[Congressional Record Volume 155, Number 105 (Tuesday, July 14, 2009)]
[Page H8069]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]


  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under a previous order of the House, the 
gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Brady) is recognized for 5 minutes.
  (Mr. BRADY of Pennsylvania addressed the House. His remarks will 
appear hereafter in the Extensions of Remarks.)
  Mr. BRADY of Pennsylvania. Madam Speaker, in the frenetic pace we 
maintain in Washington, we too seldom acknowledge the invaluable role 
played by our staffs. As chairman of the Committee on House 
Administration, on this occasion I wish to note the recent departure of 
my invaluable committee staff director, S. Elizabeth Birnbaum.
  Since her arrival in 2007, Liz has served the committee, the House 
and the country with distinction, providing me and my colleagues with 
wise counsel honed during her years of service with the Department of 
the Interior; with the House Interior and Natural Resources Committee, 
as it was then known; as a tireless advocate for the health of our 
nation's waterways at the environmental organization American Rivers, 
and elsewhere. In addition to her policy advice, Liz also proved a 
strong, effective, compassionate leader for the committee staff from 
whom her colleagues could and should have learned much during her 
  Madam Speaker, the House Administration Committee may be the most 
important committee that many Americans have never heard of. We don't 
write tax or spending bills, we simply run this place. I can assure the 
House that the committee could not have run this place for the past two 
years without Liz Birnbaum. We grapple with dozens of administrative 
matters every day, large and small, each crucial to someone. Although I 
cannot be certain, because she has so many from which to choose, I 
suspect Liz might consider her greatest accomplishment to be her 
legislative and oversight roles in the December 2008 opening of the 
Capitol Visitor Center, already toured by nearly 1.5 million people.
  Liz will be greatly missed, but we can all take comfort that she will 
not be far away. The President lured Liz back downtown to the Interior 
Department, where she will direct the Minerals Management Service 
implementing the Administration's policies concerning resources on 
federal lands. While the committee's loss is definitely the President's 
gain, as Liz herself knows, Capitol Hill never lets go of alumni 
completely. So, on behalf of my committee, the House, and the country, 
I thank Liz Birnbaum for her dedicated service, wish her well in her 
next assignment, and fondly look forward to seeing her again soon.