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As the US Senate kicked off its budget reconciliation vote on Saturday night, a senator used a few moments to highlight Representative Jackie Walorski and members of her staff, who died in a car accident this week.
“Mr. President, I rise today to honor the lives of four Hoosiers who were tragically lost in a car crash this week,” Sen. Todd Young, R-IN, said outside the Senate chamber.
He then named Walorski, 58, communications director Emma Thomson, 28, and district manager Zachary Potts, 27, who were killed in a head-on collision Wednesday in Elkhart County, Indiana. Edith Schmucker, 56, the sole occupant of the other vehicle, was also killed in the collision.
“We all mourn them and pray for their family and friends,” Young said. “Like everyone here and back home in Indiana, I am heartbroken.”
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“It is, of course, a deeply difficult time for those of us who knew one or more of these Hoosiers, it is such a difficult time for their families and friends and for all of us,” he said. he adds.
“I think one thing that particularly struck everyone was the loss of two young congressional staffers, whether you know Zach or Emma personally or not, you certainly know their type. If you watch these debates from Capitol Hill, you know the type of hard-working, smart, committed young people who come to work on a congressional staff, and they dedicate so much of their time, their talents, and other opportunities are given up in order to serve their country.
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“We should celebrate their accomplishments as we mourn their loss. It’s a reminder, I think, for all of us to thank the many congressional staffers who do far more than the public will ever know,” Young continued. .
Young also recognized his colleague, who he said had “infectious” confidence and “could light up a room.”
“Jackie knew she belonged here. Jackie understood this was her calling,” he said. “She didn’t need people to tell her she belonged, but she got down to business because she had things to do.”
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“Her confidence was contagious. Everyone saw it. Everyone was impressed with it. People love being around her and including me,” Young added. “Jackie had so many other incredible qualities.”
He continued, “She was always so full of energy. She was a lightning bolt. She could light up a room like no other. She was peppy and full of fire. And Jackie had a really big heart too.”
Young also described Walorski as a “larger than life figure” who “inspired and motivated people”.
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“It’s no exaggeration to say that Jackie’s last breath was spent in service, in service to his constituents, to his God, to the great state of Indiana and to his country,” he concluded. .
Walorski’s funeral will be held August 11 at 11 a.m. ET at Granger Community Church in Granger, Indiana.