Washington, DC: Buffalo-area Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) , along with Senators Charles E. Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton announced the House of Representatives has approved S. 3145, a bill renaming a portion of U.S. Route 20A, which leads to the Buffalo Bills stadium, for Western New York native Tim Russert. Similar legislation renaming the Highway for Russert sponsored by Senators Schumer and Clinton was approved by the Senate on June 25th. House passage of the bill clears the way for the President to sign it into law.
“Tim Russert was highly respected because of his journalistic and political expertise but he was loved because of his sincerity and loyalty,” said Congressman Higgins. “Most notable was his allegiance to his roots and the values instilled in him right here in Buffalo at a very young age. Russert’s commitment to family, community and country was unwavering. The Russert Highway leading up to the home of the Buffalo Bills is fitting remembrance of a man, who after all his success, never forgot to root-on his hometown.”
“The Senate and House votes are a moving tribute to the man who defined what it means to be a Buffalonian,” said Schumer. “I think any politician in Washington would tell you one of their favorite ways to spend a Sunday morning was visiting Tim on Meet the Press—even though you knew he was going to grill you! I know I’ll particularly miss those few minutes before we went on air, where Tim always took the time to talk about the Bills before getting down to business. By putting Tim Russert’s name on this portion of Route 20a, he will never be far from the town he never forgot.”
“The overwhelming bipartisan support in the House and Senate speaks volumes about the friendships Tim forged, and the respect and admiration that my colleagues on both sides of the aisle had for this proud son of Buffalo,” said Senator Clinton. “Throughout his years in Washington he remained true to his roots, and more often than not on Sunday mornings during the football season he proclaimed his love for the Bills to a national audience as he signed off of Meet the Press. When people drive through what will be the Timothy J. Russert Highway, I hope they are reminded of the man who always cheered on his hometown team.”
Under the legislation a stretch of Route 20A between Abbott Road and California Road in Orchard Park, New York will be designated as the “Timothy J. Russert Highway” in honor of the NBC Washington Bureau Chief and Meet the Press moderator who died suddenly last week. Russert, the ultimate Buffalo booster, frequently ended his show with an enthusiastic “Go Bills!”
Born and raised in the Buffalo area, Russert attended Canisius High School and worked for Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan and New York Governor Mario Cuomo and before joining NBC News in Washington, DC. Tim’s beloved father, whom he wrote about in his New York Times Best Seller “Big Russ and Me,” continues to reside in the Buffalo area.