[Congressional Record: February 24, 2009 (House)]
[Page H2610]


  (Mr. HOLT asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 
  Mr. HOLT. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize Mike Sheehy, the 
National Security Adviser for the Speaker. Mike Sheehy has given three 
decades of service to his country, much of it here in the House of 
  When the Speaker first appointed me to the House Permanent Select 
Committee on Intelligence 6 years ago, Mike was one of the first people 
I turned to. His deep experience on intelligence matters, as well as 
his knowledge of the House and its Members, have served the Speaker and 
all of us well over the years.
  Especially after the Speaker asked me to chair the Select 
Intelligence Oversight Panel, I have frequently sought his advice on a 
wide range of issues, and I've found him to be always thoughtful and 
well-informed, and I might add, always calm. He is a consummate 
  As he leaves his position here on Capitol Hill, I and others want to 
recognize him, thank him and wish him well.


[Congressional Record: February 24, 2009 (House)]
[Page H2621-H2622]

                      TRIBUTE TO MICHAEL W. SHEEHY

  (Ms. PELOSI asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 
  Ms. PELOSI. Mr. Speaker, I rise to sing the praises of Mike Sheehy, a 
person who has served our country for over 30 years in the military and 
on Capitol Hill. Unfortunately for us, Mike Sheehy is moving on after 
over 30 years of service, and so it is with mixed feelings that I say 
how proud we are of him, but how sad we are to see him leave.
  Mike began in the Congress of the United States as an aide in 1977 to 
Congressman Eddie Boland of Massachusetts. That is a name familiar to 
many of us here in the Chamber. He served as Chairman Boland's 
administrative assistant, and then went on to serve him as Staff 
Director and Chief Counsel at the House Intelligence Committee, and 
that is where many of us became more fully aware of Mike's contribution 
to our country.
  He came to my staff in 2003 when I became House Democratic leader. He 
became the security adviser to that office. That same year he was 
recognized with the prestigious Director's Award, the highest award 
given by the Defense Intelligence Agency.
  Mike is the proud father of three children, Beth, Matt and Tim. His 
children are continuing the family commitment to public service. Beth 
served in the Peace Corps in Kazakhstan and Matt served proudly in our 
Nation's military.
  Of all the people that I have worked with and served with in this 
Congress and beyond, I can say that Mike Sheehy is truly an all-
American patriot. He loves America. He came here after attending 
Marquette University and Georgetown Law School and serving in the Navy. 
Since then he has been serving our country, staffing the Congress of 
the United States.
  Leaving after 33 years, he leaves a foundation of knowledge and 
experience and judgment to those of us who will carry on.
  Thank you, Mike Sheehy, for your leadership and your service to our 
  Mr. HOYER. Will the Speaker yield?
  Ms. PELOSI. I am pleased to yield to the gentleman.
  Mr. HOYER. I thank the gentlewoman for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, Members of the House, I have risen before to note how 
well this country is served by those who work for this institution and 
with all of us. They are not elected; they are selected. They are 
selected by those of us who have been given the honor and privilege of 
serving in this body. They are, however, equally important. They don't 
have a vote, but they have extraordinary influence, and their influence 
in many respects is in direct relation to the substance of their advice 
and counsel.
  By that yardstick, I think there is no staff person with whom I have 
worked through the years that surpasses Mike Sheehy in terms of the 
value added to the considerations of the critical issues that confront 
our country.
  In particular, Mr. Sheehy has been involved in some of the 
information most vital to protecting our people and our Nation. He has 
done so with great intellect, with great integrity, with great insight, 
with great thoughtfulness.
  Mike, America does not know the name Mike Sheehy, doesn't see you on 
C-SPAN, but they have been extraordinarily well-served by you. Well, 
they may have seen him from time to time perhaps on C-SPAN. But they 
have been extraordinarily well-served by you. Your country has been 
well-served by you in the Navy and in this institution, and each and 
every one of us have been well-served by you. But in particular I know, 
as I said as we were walking to the Chamber, the Speaker of our House 
will uniquely miss your quiet presence, your extraordinarily good 
advice and counsel, and your steady hand.
  Mr. Speaker, I express my gratitude to Michael Sheehy, a true public 
servant of the finest caliber--who leaves us at the end of the week.
  Mike has spent 30 years on Capitol Hill, following five years in the 
Navy. That makes a grand total of 35 years in public service to the 
people of this great Nation.
  I have known Mike personally for several years. He is a studied and 
cautious professional, with extremely sound judgment and an almost 
unparalleled depth of policy knowledge on national security issues.
  Most recently, I had the pleasure of working with Mike on renewing 
the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Mike proved critical to the 
arduous negotiations, and went above the call of duty--spending several 
late nights with me, in my office, poring over bill text.
  He has been an asset and a loyal friend to me and my staff, certainly 
to Speaker Pelosi, and to the Members he served before her. He is 
irreplaceable and will be missed tremendously, although we wish him 
well in all that lies ahead.
  Godspeed. Good luck. Well done.
  Ms. PELOSI. I am pleased to yield to the gentleman from Texas.
  Mr. REYES. I thank the gentlelady for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute as well to our Speaker's 
national security adviser and former staff director to the House 
Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Mr. Michael Sheehy.
  As chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, I have 
had the immense honor of working closely with Mike on significant 
intelligence issues of our day. Whether the subject matter is foreign 
intelligence surveillance laws, satellite technology or human 
intelligence operations, he is virtually a walking encyclopedia of 
  Mike's national security expertise is the result of many years of 
public service, first during his time in the U.S. Navy JAG Corps, and 
then in the 10 years he spent as an aide to the late Representative 
Edward Boland.
  As some of you may remember, Mr. Boland was the first chairman of the 
House Intelligence Committee and he earned great distinction as the 
father of the Boland Amendment, which prohibited funding of U.S. 
involvement in the Nicaraguan Contras uprising. Acting as an associate 
staff member for the House Iran-Contra Investigating Committee, Mike 
had a front-row seat to the history that evolved during his service to 
Representative Boland.
  Mike joined the Intelligence Committee as chief counsel in 1990 under 
the leadership of then-chairman Anthony Beilenson. In 2003, he received 
the Defense Intelligence Agency's Director's Award, the highest award 
given by that agency. It was at that time that he left the committee 
when then-minority leader, our Speaker today, hired him as her senior 
policy adviser. To me, it seems she knew a good thing when she saw it. 
We missed him on the committee, but we were glad he was there advising 
our Speaker.
  In the time that I have had the privilege to serve as a member and 
now as chairman of the Intelligence Committee, I have grown to rely on 
him and discovered that Mike's depth and breadth of intelligence 
knowledge are only surpassed in my opinion by his exacting eye for 
detail, his capacity to focus on the bigger picture and his ability to 
find middle ground when there doesn't seem to be any.
  While he is often quiet, Mike is always processing, turning the 
information over and over in his head, and offering a measured, 
thoughtful response to whatever the situation may be.
  Just as he has ably served the Speaker, he has become a trusted 
adviser for me as chairman and for our Intelligence Committee as well.

                              {time}  1400

  So, today, to Mike, I say thank you for your service to your Nation 
and thank you for your capable counsel on all matters of intelligence. 
I wish you success as you retire with over 35 years of public service, 
and I hope that you find much happiness in all of your endeavors. God 
bless you, Mike.
  Ms. PELOSI. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
  Mr. Speaker, in conclusion I want to say that in addition to all the 
wonderful things that are said about Mike, simply put, without his 
leadership and knowledge staffing us on the Intelligence Committee at a 
crucial time in our country's history, we would not have had a 9/11 
Commission. I know

[[Page H2622]]

that Mr. Roemer, who authored that legislation in the House, would 
subscribe to that characterization as well. So whether it's force 
protection, 9/11 Commission, ongoing safety of the American people, the 
list goes on and on, Mike Sheehy has been there to protect the American 
people, which is our first responsibility.
  Thank you, and God speed, Mike Sheehy. Thank you very much.