“Today, I join all Americans in mourning the death of Senator Edward M. Kennedy, one of the most influential and dedicated Senators of our time. Senator Kennedy was a legislator’s legislator who had the leadership, wisdom and profound understanding of complicated issues to accomplish great things for our nation.
His passing leaves an enormous hole in the U.S. Senate.
“During Senator Kennedy’s 46 years in the Senate, he had a tremendous impact on the issues that have shaped our nation for almost a half century.
His skills were key to the passage of legislation that has changed our nation forever, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Americans with Disabilities Act, Title IX, education reform and increases in the minimum wage. His work has made it possible for minorities, women and people with disabilities to achieve equality and equal rights.
“I served for two years on the Senate Judiciary Committee with Senator Kennedy and I consider him one of the most remarkable, outstanding leaders of our generation.
Personally, I have lost someone who has been a mentor, a friend, and one of my heroes.
The nation has lost a leader who fought to right wrongs, who worked to ensure that all Americans had a better tomorrow and who knew how to work across party lines to make important progress.
“I join my Senate colleagues in reaffirming our commitment to continue his life’s work and to make sure, as he so eloquently stated: ‘The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dream shall never die.’
“The Kennedy family is in the thoughts and prayers of all Americans during this very difficult time.”