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Honoring The Service Of John V. Sullivan, House Parliamentarian, Upon His Retirement

Rep. Dale E. Kildee

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Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate House Parliamentarian John V. Sullivan on his retirement from the U.S. House of Representatives. John, who was appointed House Parliamentarian by former Speaker Dennis Hastert on May 31, 2004, will retire at the end of this month after serving 25 years in the parliamentarian's office. John became only the fourth parliamentarian to serve in the House since the office was established in 1928.

John Sullivan is one of the most exceptional parliamentarians I have had the pleasure to serve with during my 35 years in Congress. John has always handled himself with the utmost professionalism and has always held himself to the highest standard. There is no sharper mind or greater expert on parliamentary procedure than John Sullivan. Members on both sides of the aisle have relied on his expertise and extensive knowledge of the legislative process. I echo the Speaker and Minority Leader's comments that his retirement is ``a loss for the people's House.''

Over the years, I have seen a steady and disturbing decline in the civility and comity in the House of Representatives. There have been more heated exchanges and political bickering on the House floor in recent years than I care to remember. However, through it all, John has been able to navigate the House through some difficult times and has reminded all of us that we should respect our colleagues and the rules of this great institution. His steady leadership, intellect and nonpartisan decision making has made it possible for this body to continue to function despite the political rancor.

Throughout my life, I've tried to emulate those for whom I have great respect. John Sullivan is one of those people that I will always admire and respect. Not only am I a better legislator, but I am also a better person for having known John Sullivan. I wish John the best in his retirement and thank him for his years of service to this great body and to our Nation.