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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

OPA News Release: [12/18/2012]
Contact Name: Joshua R. Lamont
Phone Number: (202) 693-4661
Release Number: 12-2495-NAT

Statement by Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis on Sen. Daniel Inouye

WASHINGTON — Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis today issued the following statement on the death of Sen. Daniel Inouye:

"I want to express my deepest and most heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of my former congressional colleague, Sen. Daniel Inouye. Words cannot express how saddened I was to learn of his passing.

"In so many ways, Sen. Inouye has influenced my career in public service. During my very first days on Capitol Hill, I remember thinking about the legacy he had already created — and about how I could learn from him.

"Sen. Inouye was a fighter. He fought for our country in World War II, then as the very first congressman to represent the state of Hawaii, and finally as the second-longest serving senator and the highest-ranking Asian-American elected official in American history.

"In the Senate, Sen. Inouye exuded quiet leadership but wielded a powerful voice for working families in Hawaii. Over the course of his career, he funneled billions of dollars to strengthen the state's economy, promote jobs and protect natural resources. He stood up for organized labor, fought for better education and worked to expand services for veterans and military families — an issue very dear to his heart.

"Sen. Inouye was a tireless advocate and a dear friend to many. I have learned from him. His wisdom, insight and selfless leadership have inspired me and my work as the secretary of labor. He will be missed by so many of us. May he rest in peace."