Mr. THURMOND. Mr. President, I rise to pay a tribute to Senator Hank Brown since he is retiring at the end of the current year.
If there is one image that people around the world have of a Westerner, it is that of an independent man or woman who rides tall in the saddle, stands up for what he or she believes is right, and is a person of great practicality and common sense. Without question, these are the type of attributes that one finds in our friend and colleague, Hank Brown of Colorado, who is bringing his career in Congress to a close.
Though a Member of this body for only one term, Senator Brown is no stranger to Capitol Hill as he served for 10 years in the House of Representatives. Throughout his tenure in both Houses of Congress, he demonstrated a commonsense approach to the issues before the Nation. As a conservative, he took a hard line against Government waste, an excessive Federal budget, and efforts by bureaucrats and environmentalists to impede the rights of land owners, ranchers, and those who seek to harness the riches of the West.
I had the good fortune to serve with Hank on both the Committee on the Judiciary and the Veterans' Affairs Committee over the past 6 years, and his commitment to his work and to serving the Nation impressed me greatly. Without question, my colleague from Colorado approached his duties seriously and sought to represent his constituents as best he could. As a veteran of the Vietnam war, Hank was especially sensitive and knowledgeable concerning issues that came before the Veterans' Affairs Committee, and he worked hard to ensure that America never forgets those men and women who have sacrificed so much to protect the interests and ideals of the United States. I have no question that should Hank Brown have chosen to stand for reelection, the grateful voters of his State would have easily and overwhelmingly returned him to office.
Mr. President, in a case of life imitating popular lore, Hank Brown is going to saddle up and ride west into the sunset at the end of the 104th Congress. As he makes his journey back to his home State with its glorious Rocky Mountains and crystal clean air, he can reflect on a distinguished and well respected career in the U.S. Congress. In the course of almost two decades, Hank worked hard to forge compromises, reach agreements, and to fight for what is right. His efforts benefited the people of Colorado and the United States, and his presence will certainly be missed in this Chamber. Some say that Hank may run for Governor, and if that is the case, the Mile High State, will be in good hands, but regardless of whether or not our friend seeks that office, we commend him for his service to the Nation and wish him great success in the years to come.
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