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WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today honored retiring U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) on the Senate floor.
Thune’s remarks below (as prepared for delivery):
“Mr. President, in just a few weeks my friend Rob Portman will be leaving the Senate.
“Rob is someone I’ve gotten to break bread with a lot of times during our years together in the Senate, and we have become really good friends.
“And I will miss having him here.
“Rob has spent a lot of years in public service.
“Twelve years in the House of Representatives.
“U.S. trade representative.
“Director of the Office of Management and Budget.
“And, finally, twelve years in the Senate.
“I’ve served with him on the Senate Finance Committee for nearly 10 years, and his going is a huge loss.
“He played an indispensable role in the historic tax reform legislation we passed in 2017, particularly with the transition to a modernized international tax system.
“Our outdated international tax rules had left America’s global businesses at a competitive disadvantage in the global economy.
“And one of our priorities when it came time to pass tax reform was ensuring that American businesses could compete on a level playing field with their foreign counterparts.
“Between his time in Congress and as director of OMB and U.S. trade representative, Rob has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to American economic competitiveness and the international tax system.
“And he quickly became the lead on that aspect of tax reform.
“Our final legislation brought the U.S. international tax system into the 21st century by replacing our outdated “worldwide” system with a modernized territorial tax system, so that American businesses are not operating at a disadvantage next to their foreign competitors.
“And we saw an almost immediate positive effect for American businesses – which, of course, means that we saw positive results for American workers.
“And that is really in large part thanks to Rob.
“It’s an important legacy – and it joins Rob’s long list of achievements in public service, from restraining unfunded mandates on states, to securing resources for addiction prevention and treatment, to advancing a pro-growth trade agenda good for American workers and businesses alike.
“He’s also been a strong voice for American leadership and values on the global stage, especially as a co-founder of the Senate Ukraine Caucus.
“Mr. President, it is sad to see Rob leaving the Senate.
“But he’s spent a lifetime helping to build up our country, and I know his contributions won’t end here.
“I’m also happy that he will have more time to spend with his family and with his wife Jane.
“Jane is terrific – like me, Rob married up – and I know Rob is looking forward to having more time to relax together.
“I also know Rob is planning to get more involved in the family business – the Golden Lamb inn and restaurant in Lebanon, Ohio, which has played host to at least a dozen U.S. presidents over the years.
“And, as I said, while Rob’s time in the Senate may be coming to a close, I know that he fully intends to continue doing what he’s been doing throughout his career – working to make our country a better, more prosperous place.
“Rob, congratulations on your years in the Senate.
“I hope you get some well-deserved rest in the coming months.
“And I look forward to seeing your next chapter.”