Friday, December 6, 2013
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"I think John Kerry would be an excellent appointment and would be easily confirmed by his colleagues," Sen. Susan Collins said in response to a question about Kerry serving as secretary of state.
"I hope that as you leave, the example that you set is one that all of us can follow," said Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H.
Shaheen especially credited Snowe with helping save the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard during the last round of base closings, which in turn helped protect jobs at small businesses throughout New England.
Sen. Mary Landrieu, the Louisiana Democrat who co-chairs the committee, went through a long list of committee accomplishments in the years since she and Snowe became the first women to simultaneously hold the senior positions in a House or Senate committee.
Landrieu credited Snowe with helping expand federal programs that support small businesses, including nearly doubling the amount of small business lending funds to community banks in recent years.
Snowe, a former committee chair herself when Republicans were in the majority, joked that she has served on congressional small business committees longer than some of her senior staffers have been alive. Snowe was first elected to Congress in 1978.
"I can't think of any higher priority than being a megaphone for the 150,000 small businesses in my state of Maine and, of course, the more than 30 million small businesses nationwide," she said in opening remarks. "As we all know, small businesses are willing to take risks that others won't.
"They have their fingers on the pulse of the local community."
Washington Bureau Chief Kevin Miller can be contacted at 317-6256 or at: