Dodd Wants Caucus Room Named for Kennedy

By LeAnne Gendreau
|  Thursday, Sep 10, 2009  |  Updated 12:30 PM EDT
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Dodd Wants Caucus Room Named for Kennedy

AP

Many important events have happened in the caucus room of the Senate Office Building and two senators want it to be renamed for their late colleague.

Two of the late U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy’s friends in the Senate want a history-filled room in the Russell Senate Office Building to be named in his honor.

Senators Chris Dodd and John Kerry plan to introduce a resolution Thursday to rename the Caucus Room the Kennedy Caucus Room.

It is where John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy announced their presidential campaigns and where the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee  marked up the Affordable Health Choices Act, Dodd said.

“And it is there that I propose we affix the Kennedy name, not just as a monument to the things that the three Senators Kennedy have done, but to the spirit of compassion and compromise, fierce advocacy and tender friendship, that Teddy embodied perhaps more than any other Senator of our time,” Dodd said.

That room was also the site of hearings on the sinking of the Titanic in 1912, Wall Street banking practices in 1932 to 1934, Army-McCarthy hearings in 1954, the Vietnam War in 1966, the Watergate hearings in 1973 and the Iran-contra hearings were held there in 1986.

From that room in July, Kennedy spoke about the health care bill.

This room is a special place. In this room, my two brothers declared their candidacy for the presidency. Today, the nation takes another major step toward reaching the goals to which they dedicated their careers, and for which they gave their lives. They strived, as I have tried to do, for a fairer and more just America – a nation where every American could share fully in the promise of quality health care.”

Dodd spoke on the Senate floor Thursday about honoring Kennedy. 

“There really is no issue that does not bear Senator Kennedy’s mark, and a good many of the significant laws passed in the last half century bear his name,” he said. “Across America, there are people who might have lacked for an advocate had Teddy not stood up for them – people who can now stand up for themselves, with dignity and hope and a chance to make it in America, because of my friend Teddy.”

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