Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) broke into tears on Thursday while giving a speech about the Violence Against Women Act.
Franken was on the Senate floor advocating for the renewal of the landmark bill when he choked up while recalling the domestic violence work of Sheila Wellstone. Wellstone was the wife of the late senator from Minnesota, Paul Wellstone. The couple died in a plane crash in 2002.
Franken struggled to keep back tears while repeating Sheila Wellstone's words on violence and peace.
From his floor speech:
Madam President, Sheila Wellstone isn't with us today. Sheila, Paul and their daughter Marcia were tragically taken from us too soon, but Sheila's example is with us. Her legacy is with us and her words are with us.
I'd like to close with those. Here's what Sheila said: We really have to look at the values that guide us. We have to work toward an ethic that respects every individual, to be physically and emotionally safe. No one, regardless of age, color, gender, background, any other factor, deserves to be physically or emotionally unsafe. In a just society, we pledge to act together to ensure that each individual is safe from harm. In a just society -- I think we have to say this over and over and over -- we are not going to tolerate the violence.
Madam President, the VAWA reauthorization bill is another step toward a more just society as Sheila described it. And I look forward to it becoming law.