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Mr. Speaker, I'm honored to be here to pay tribute to a man known by many and whose influence can be seen throughout the world today.
During his life he was president of the Screen Actors Guild; he was a fan of FDR and his New Deal policies; he was a registered Democrat but became a registered Republican; and he was also a member of the media. Doesn't sound like a person I normally would pay tribute to.
However, he was also an Army officer, he served as 33rd Governor of the State of California; and almost single-handedly won the Cold War. He had the eternal sense of optimism. He summarized it best in this quote: ``It's morning in America.''
And today we consider the measure which would authorize a statue of Ronald Reagan to be displayed here in this Capitol. It's a fitting tribute. Ronald Reagan arguably is one of the most influential persons in the 20th century. And there's no doubt that the world is a better place because Ronald Reagan was here. You can just ask the millions of people in Eastern Europe that are free today and have freedom because that wall, as he demanded, came down.
Ronald Reagan ushered in a new era, ``Reagan Revolution,'' as it came to be called, and swept across every aspect of America, from the executive branch to the legislative branch and the judicial branch.
Ronald Reagan pursued policies that reflected his personal belief in the worth of the individual. He stood up for the little guy. He advocated small Federal government and more power to the people to make decisions for themselves and their communities. He believed in the sanctity of the Constitution, federalism, a balanced budget and a strong military. He established policies consistent with all of those beliefs.
Ronald Reagan once said, ``Each generation goes further than the generation preceding it because it stands on the shoulders of that generation.'' That statement is true, and I believe our children and our children's grandchildren are better off because they're standing on the shoulders of this great American statesman.
And that's just the way it is.
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