Merkley Statement on Passing of Senator Edward Kennedy

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 talents. 

“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.”