George W. Bush photo

Remarks on Signing Legislation Designating the John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse

March 13, 2001

Thank you all very much. Please be seated. It's my honor to welcome you all to the Rose Garden. So many friends and colleagues of Joe Moakley are here—I want to thank you all for coming. This is the first bill-signing ceremony to take place in the Rose Garden since I've been the President. And I'm glad to be part of an event honoring a distinguished Member of the United States Congress.

After today, the U.S. Courthouse located at 1 Courthouse Way in Boston will be officially known as the John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse. It is a fitting tribute to a remarkable man.

Joe Moakley is a man of strong opinions and broad respect. And in this town it isn't always easy to combine the two, but over a long career he's been able to do so. He's a self-described bread-and-butter Democrat. Others know him as a formidable advocate for his party's cause. Ever since he joined the House of Representatives in 1972, he has made the cares and concerns of everyday people his business.

Joe is not only a passionate advocate for what he believes in; he's an enormously effective Member of Congress. Representative Moakley understands how the United States House of Representatives operates. He knows its rules, and he knows its ways.

But what makes Joe Moakley exceptional is not simply his political skills; it is the fact that he's so well liked and admired by members of both political parties. Joe has a well-deserved reputation for being civil, friendly, and funny. Members love his sharp Irish sense of humor. They admire his courage in the face of adversity. And a few past Members of the Rules Committee even liked his singing voice. Notice I said a few. [Laughter]

But above everything else, Joe Moakley has brought honor to his profession. Some people run for office by trying to tear down the institutions of Government; not this man from South Boston. Joe loves the United States Congress, and he loves public service.

Like Robert Kennedy, another son of Massachusetts, Joe Moakley considers politics to be an honorable profession, an opportunity for achievement, and a truly exciting adventure. If Speaker McCormack and Speaker O'Neill were here today, they would have a simple tribute to this good man: Well done, John Joseph Moakley. You served your constituents and your Congress and your country with honor and distinction.

Congressman Moakley.

NOTE: The President spoke at 2:02 p.m. in the Rose Garden at the White House. H.R. 559, approved March 13, was assigned Public Law No. 107-2. The transcript released by the Office of the Press Secretary also included the remarks of Representative Moakley.

George W. Bush, Remarks on Signing Legislation Designating the John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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