Rep. Jim Oberstar received a standing ovation from members of the Transportation Committee after delivering his final opening address as committee chairman.
Oberstar began the Thursday’s hearing by saying that this would be the final time he gaveled in the committee, the same place where he began in Congress as a clerk in 1963.
“It’s been a long and eventful, fulfilling, satisfying and productive journey,” Oberstar said.
Oberstar also praised the committee’s bipartisanship over the last four years, noting it passed legislation that overcame a presidential veto.
After Oberstar’s remarks, committee members lauded Oberstar for his role as "Mr. Transportation."
“People have been blessed to have your service all these years,” said ranking member Rep. John Mica, in line to take over as chairman in January. “We are missing, with your departure, an incredible wealth of knowledge and experience that will never be replicated.”
As Oberstar concluded the hearing with a bang of the gavel about a half hour after it began, the members still in the committee room gave the 18-term congressman one final cheer.