A resolution introduced by Buffalo-area Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) recognizing the life and work of Buffalo native Tim Russert was approved unanimously (395-0) by the House of Representatives. Congressman Higgins introduced the resolution, which included 89 cosponsors, on the House floor this afternoon.
Below are Congressman Higgins’ remarks as prepared for delivery:
Madam Speaker, last Friday the nation lost one of its premier political journalists, and my home neighborhood of South Buffalo lost a favorite son.
There were many moving tributes to Tim Russert across the country this weekend from colleagues, friends, and viewers for whom he was such a trusted source of news over the years.
In Buffalo, we began to remember Tim in our own way, as one of our greatest ambassadors, a kid from the neighborhood who never forgot his roots and continually made us proud.
Tim Russert was born in Buffalo, on May 7, 1950. He worked his way through Canisius High School and John Carroll University.
He believed strongly in the value of a Jesuit education, and was a man of devoted and humble faith who called himself, "a respectful servant in the laity of the church.”
After graduating from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Russert entered public service, working for Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Governor Mario Cuomo.
In 1984 Tim began his celebrated career in journalism at NBC, where he stood out by, among other accomplishments, arranging the first live appearance on American television by Pope John Paul the Second.
In 1991 NBC named Russert the moderator of Meet the Press, a landmark decision that would leave a lasting impact not only on the Sunday morning talk shows, but on all of political journalism.
Tim served masterfully as anchor and political analyst. He earned a reputation as a tenacious yet fair interviewer of his guests, who included just about every major candidate and officeholder.
His preparation and performance on Meet the Press set a new standard for political journalists: that they should ask – and demand answers to – the pressing questions of the day. No one did it better than Tim.
Russert was also an accomplished author, and his moving books “Big Russ and Me” and “Wisdom of our Fathers” became New York Times best sellers. They also provided insight into the highest priority Tim put on his family.
It has been noted in recent days that Tim Russert was proud of his Buffalo roots, never more evident than when he would use his NBC bully pulpit to cheer on the Bills before a big game. To many people, Buffalo helped define who Tim was.
Buffalo was important to Tim Russert. What most people do not know is how important Tim Russert was to Buffalo.
In many ways, he defined how we in Buffalo see ourselves – tough, smart, loyal, hard working and not easily fooled. Tim Russert embodied these characteristics, and he never forgot that where he came from helped make him who he was.
He will be missed.