Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding the passing of former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
Yesterday, our country lost a great statesman, and many of us in this chamber lost a dear former colleague.
Senator Bob Dole, who represented Kansas in the Senate for 27 years, and who served 3 years as Senate Majority Leader, passed away yesterday morning at the age of 98.
Throughout his life, Bob Dole redefined, and elevated, what it has meant to be a public servant.
He was born not to wealth but in poverty, a son of the Kansas heartland who grew up beneath the shadow of the Great Depression. As a young man, Bob unblinkingly answered the call to serve by enlisting in the army during World War II, where he earned two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star.
After his election to the Senate, Senator Dole quickly won the admiration of his colleagues with his candor, his sharp wit, and his penchant for good-natured ribbing. But beneath all that was an unquenchable desire to get things done in this chamber.
While he frequently sparred with Democrats, some of his greatest achievements were bipartisan endeavors, including his work to pass the Americans with Disabilities Act, legislation to strengthen Social Security, and revamping federal nutrition programs. Despite rising to the top ranks of his party, Senator Dole always kept close relationships with those on the other side of the aisle.
Senator Dole exemplified the greatest generation. While I never had the pleasure of serving in the Senate with him, I always admired his steadfast advocacy for veterans, for Americans with disabilities, and his love for his country.
For the information of all, Senator Dole will lie in State this Thursday under the Capitol Rotunda, where we will pay tribute to his life and to his legacy.
I thank the Speaker and Leader McConnell in helping make this event’s ceremonies possible.
For today I join all my colleagues in mourning the loss of this this great public servant, and I wish all of Senator Dole’s family my deepest condolences.