Former New Hampshire Senator Warren Rudman was honored on the Senate floor by New Hampshire’s two current senators Thursday.
On the Senate floor Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen used Warren Rudman’s life as an example for today’s hyper-partisan lawmakers.
“Senator Rudman was widely and deservedly hailed in both life and now in his death as a public servant who reached across party lines to get the job done for his country and his state," Shaheen said. "Warren Rudman didn’t do this out of weakness. He acted so because of the strength and courage that marked his entire life.”
Rudman, who died this month at age 82, spent thirteen years in the Senate. In that time he became most well known for helping craft the Graham/Rudman Act, which aimed at slashing the federal budget.
Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte says it’s a shame later Congress’ disregarded it.
“When it was signed into law annual deficits were $200 billion," Ayotte said. "Can you imagine how much better off we’d be today if we had headed Warren Rudman’s warnings and truly followed through on the work that he did in this body?”
Then there was Rudman’s work investigating Iran Contra. The bipartisan investigation revealed President Ronald Reagan and his administration broke the law by defying prohibitions Congress had put on the White House.
Ayotte says his work there shows he was a true statesman.
“This is what he said: “I consider myself an American first and a Republican second.” It was a commitment that he kept leading to where he lead a non-partisan inquiry that pursued the facts," Ayotte said. "He saw himself as asking tough questions on behalf of the American people and he expected answers.”
Senator Shaheen may have summed up his life best.
“Warren B. Rudman lived a long and full life. His service graced the Senate. And to the end he had New Hampshire Granite in his veins," Shaheen said.