Merkley Statement on Passing of Senator Edward Kennedy


WASHINGTON, DC – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley issued the
following statement on the passing of Massachusetts Senator Edward Kennedy:

“I first saw Senator Kennedy in action when he spoke to
Senate interns in 1976.  It was a standing-room-only crowd.  I was
tremendously impressed by his principled fight for working Americans, his
booming voice, and his passion.  His informal title as ‘Lion of the
Senate’ was well-earned.

“He has been the force behind so many advances in areas
ranging from health care and education to civil rights and the judiciary,
including landmark legislation such as Medicare, Head Start and the Americans
with Disabilities Act.  Even as he fought the illness that would
ultimately take him from us, he continued to push for health care reform that
would provide every American with quality, affordable health care.  In a
life marked by so many personal tragedies, he never gave up on the battle to
make our nation a fairer and better place for Americans.

“Senator Kennedy dedicated himself to the most American of values: 
that every person deserves an equal opportunity to pursue his or her God-given

“The nation has lost a giant.  Senator Kennedy made the
Senate a better place, he made the country a better place, and I cannot express
how honored I am to have had a brief chance to serve with him.”