It’s sad that he has passed. I didn’t agree with the guy much politically, but by all accounts he was genuinely nice person to work with and be around. There aren’t enough people like that in the world, sadly.
Consider the following list of legislative accomplishments:
- No Child Left Behind
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
- Civil Rights Act of 1991
- Americans with Disabilities Act
- Ryan White Care Act (AIDs funding)
- National Cancer Act of 1971
- Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965
- Voting Rights Act of 1965
That list includes legislation that he was involved in, even if he wasn’t the principal author or sponsor. Don’t directly quote me on it, though, because I haven’t taken the time to properly vet it. For example, I’m 95% sure that Senator Kennedy worked on FMLA, but I can’t find a good source on it in the few minutes I took to compile the list. The majority of the list was compiled by reading the Wikipedia entry on Senator Kennedy, so I suppose it should all fall under “trust but verify”.
Seriously, its hard enough to author legislation that makes it to the President’s desk and gets signed into law. Senator Kennedy did it a lot over his years in the Senate.
Its sad that people on both sides of the aisle will take this as an opportunity to advance their own political ambitions. We already have people attempting to rename the health care overhaul after Senator Kennedy, and I’m sure there are plenty of people that are happy that the Democratic Caucus lost their 60 seat supermajority. Right now we should be concentrating on the loss of someone whose work touched all of our lives. We can fight next week.