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Ms. DeLAURO. Madam Speaker, I rise as Chair of the Appropriations Committee, and on behalf of the Members of the Committee, and its staff, to pay tribute to Matthew Earl Washington as he departs federal service after a lengthy career in the House of Representatives.
Originally from North Carolina, Matt's distinguished career in the House began in the office of the late civil rights icon Congressman John Lewis of Georgia as a Legislative Assistant. He later served as Senior Policy Advisor to Congressman John Olver of Massachusetts when the congressman served on the Appropriations Committee. His extensive knowledge of America's security, transportation, and infrastructure earned him the position of Staff Director of the Transportation Security and Infrastructure Protection Subcommittee of the House Committee on Homeland Security where he adeptly served as the lead staffer on all Subcommittee matters for Chairwoman Sheila Jackson-Lee.
Since then, for the past nearly 15 years, Matt has served the Appropriations Committee with great diligence. The Committee's longest serving African American staffer on the Democratic side, he began his impressive tenure as a Professional Staff Member on the Defense Subcommittee where he oversaw the programs and funding that support active duty and reserve personnel. He later served as a Professional Staff Member for the full committee, ensuring smooth legislative and procedural processes for the Committee and Member offices.
Following these roles, equipped with unparalleled knowledge of the Committee, Matt took on the role of Clerk for the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee in 2011 becoming the first African American staffer to hold the position. He skillfully managed and negotiated all aspects of the Subcommittee's jurisdiction, and his leadership has helped protect our national security, uphold our commitment to servicemembers, veterans, and their families, and rebuild critical military infrastructure. In 2019, Matt began serving as Clerk of the Legislative Branch Subcommittee, expertly leading the Subcommittee to enormous legislative triumphs in an attempt at making Congress work better for the American people.
His years of experience and expert knowledge of the Appropriations Committee made him an excellent addition to my Front Office staff when I became Chair of the full committee, where he has since served as Deputy Staff Director for the past two years. He has been at the helm of the investments we have made to help working families and vulnerable people all over our nation. In his unique role, he has been instrumental in the implementation of Community Project Funding, coordinating spending between all 12 subcommittees, and representing the Committee in front of critical partners during negotiations. And personally, he has been a trusted advisor throughout my first term leading this Committee.
While we will miss Matt greatly, we are excited for what the future holds for him. I wish Matt, his wife Chandini, and their children Yara and Zayn all the best, and extend my gratitude to his family for sharing him with us for so many years.
Our Nation is safer and this body is stronger because of Matt's tireless work. I join all Members of the Appropriations Committee who he has worked with in saying we will miss his expertise greatly. The Appropriations Committee is a family--one made up pf all the staff and Members who serve and have served this great institution. We are all so lucky that he will forever be part of this distinguished group. Congratulations on a remarkable federal career. His country is endlessly grateful for his leadership, service, and dedication.
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