The late Maryland Speaker of the House Michael E. Busch (D) was eulogized Tuesday on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D), that chamber’s majority leader, offered a five-minute remembrance of Busch, the longest-serving speaker in Maryland history who died Sunday.
“Maryland lost a champion,” Hoyer told his colleagues.
Excerpts of his remarks are below:
“His title was Mr. Speaker. Many however knew him as ‘Coach,’ a reminder of his day as a teacher and athletics coach at St. Mary’s High School in Annapolis. It was at St. Mary’s High School that Michael Busch first made a name for himself as a very excellent football player. He later played at Temple University, and for 40 years he worked with the Anne Arundel County Department of Parks and Recreation with young people – teaching them, mentoring them, giving them values.
“Many who served with him in the legislature called him Coach not just because of his history, but because Speaker Busch was like a coach and a mentor to so many of those who served in the House of Delegates.”
“He was a man of deep intellect, poise, steadiness under pressure, and a well-spring of compassion. He led efforts to expand access to quality, affordable health care for Marylanders. He helped lead efforts to make Maryland one of the first states to adopt marriage equality by legislative action, an action that was later confirmed by the voters of our state. He led the state in its efforts to abolish the death penalty, and he oversaw the enactment of Maryland’s $15 minimum wage. And he worked hard to ensure a cleaner Chesapeake Bay and its watershed for future generations, while increasing investments in renewable energy. Earlier this week, the General Assembly overrode the Governor’s veto to enact Speaker Busch’s bill to protect five oyster sanctuaries in [the] Bay.”
Hoyer said Busch’s positive nature will be felt in Maryland for years to come.
“He was good and a decent person who sought to elevate our politics during an age when too many unlike him had brought our politics low,” Hoyer said. “…I hope all of us in this House will find inspiration in Speaker Busch’s life and legacy as we strive to do right by those we serve as he did for so many years. And to do so together in a way that is bipartisan as was his inclination and performance and be reflective of the way he lived his life and approach the work of governing.
“In an age where, as I said, politics has been brought low by divisiveness and in some respects hatefulness and attacks on one another, Michael Busch was somebody who treated others with respect, with consideration, and with fairness.”
Hoyer posted a video of the remarks on Facebook.