McConnell Highlights Important Events at U.S. Capitol

First Lady Melania Trump speaks about efforts to combat the nation’s opioid epidemic; Senate to unveil official portrait in memory of Senator Ted Stevens

WASHINGTON, D.C.U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor:

“First, I want to acknowledge two notable events taking place here in the Capitol today.

“As we speak, the First Lady of the United States is just down the hall for a special event relating to our nation’s opioid epidemic – marking the progress that Congress and the administration have made in recent years and focusing our efforts on the work still ahead.

“I will have more to say on this subject tomorrow, which will mark the one-year anniversary of President Trump signing our landmark opioid legislation into law.

“But I want to warmly welcome the First Lady to the Senate this morning and thank her for her continued focus on this crisis, which affects so many states. I offer these thanks not only as the Majority Leader but as the senior senator for Kentucky which has been hit hard by this epidemic.

“And then later today, in the Old Senate Chamber, family, friends, and former colleagues of our late colleague Senator Ted Stevens will gather for the unveiling of the Senator’s leadership portrait.

“Senator Stevens’ likeness will join the storied ranks of the Leadership Portrait Collection — images of Majority Leaders, Minority Leaders, and Presidents pro tem which are proudly displayed around the building.

“Our distinguished predecessors watch over the corridors they walked, the rooms in which they debated, and the body they served.

“It is fitting that Senator Stevens is being recognized for his service as president pro tem. As we all know, unlike the elected party leaders, that is not a job which you can campaign or persuade your way into.

“The only way to become president pro tem is to persuade your home state, over and over, to re-hire you. And Ted Stevens was about the most dogged advocate for his home state that anybody could imagine. He was Alaska’s son and Alaska’s champion, twenty-four hours a day and then some.

“So I look forward to honoring our former colleague’s memory this afternoon.”

Related Issues: Opioid Abuse, Tributes