Republicans joined the plaudits for the Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) as Capitol Hill mourned the five-term, 89-year-old lawmaker.
“Senator Lautenberg was a dedicated public servant who was committed to making our country a better place on behalf of all Americans,” said Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.). “As the last World War II veteran in the Senate, his leadership earned the respect of his colleagues on both sides of the aisle. My thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time.”
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) called the Democrat “a real American hero.”
“I have been privileged to serve with him in the Senate for over two years and to have gotten to know him as public servant and the great person he was. Frank served his country and state with courage and dignity, and I will always remember the way he tirelessly championed the cause of veterans like him who have sacrificed so much for America,” Rubio said.
“My wife Jeanette and I will always remember Frank for his kindness and generosity. As we settled into life in the Senate, Frank and his wife Bonnie were always incredibly supportive and helpful with their advice and guidance. They helped make our transition easier, and we will always be grateful to them,” he added. “May God bless Frank Lautenberg and may He provide comfort and strength to his family during this difficult time.”
“Dianne and I send my condolences to Senator Lautenberg’s wife, Bonnie, and to his entire family. Frank was a fine public servant, a good friend and he will be missed,” said Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.).
“The entire Senate is saddened today by the loss of our colleague, Senator Frank Lautenberg,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said. “The Senate’s last remaining World War II veteran, Frank was a patriot whose success in business and politics made him a great American success story and a standout even within the fabled Greatest Generation. Elaine and I send our condolences to Bonnie, the Lautenberg children, and the entire Lautenberg family.”
Democrats lost another senator in December when Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), another WWII vet, died at age 88.
Lautenberg’s office said the senator passed away from “complications from viral pneumonia.” His office highlighted his career highlights as passing the law that banned smoking on airplanes and authoring the law that prevented domestic abusers from possessing guns.
Lautenberg was in a war of words with Newark Mayor Cory Booker over the future of his Senate seat earlier this year before announcing on Feb. 15 that he wouldn’t seek a sixth term.
Amen MT @hart_less_hero: R.I.P. Senator “Uncle” Frank Lautenberg.
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) June 3, 2013