On Senate Floor, Portman Honors Outgoing Senator Dean Heller

December 19, 2018 | Press Releases

 WASHINGTON, D.C. – Last night on the Senate floor, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) recognized the career of Senator Dean Heller (R-NV). Senator Heller serves alongside Portman on the Senate Finance Committee. 

Transcript of his remarks can be found below and a video can be found here. 


“Among the colleagues of ours who will not be rejoining us in January is Dean Heller. Senator Heller hails from Nevada and he is a good friend. He’s also a valued member of this body and we’re going to miss him. Dean is a classic servant leader, dedicated to public service. He served in all kinds of role in his community, his state, his country, and he’s always done it with class and humility. He grew up in Carson City, Nevada, with his five brothers and sisters. He said he started working at his dad’s auto shop in middle school. You know what, I think he brought some of those skills he learned in middle school on the shop floor here in the United States Senate because, like every good mechanic, he’s optimistic. Every mechanic thinks he can fix whatever problem you have. That’s Dean Heller. He rolls up his sleeves and gets to work. He has the determination to make things better. That’s as true when he’s working on a car as it is when he’s working on legislative solutions here in the United States Congress. 

“He’s been devoted to helping his community for a long time. He served for two terms on the Nevada assembly representing Carson City and then served three terms as Nevada’s Secretary of State before being elected to represent the state’s Second Congressional District in the House of Representatives across the way there. Later he was appointed to the United States Senate, and then he won his election to the United States Senate in 2012. I’ve had the privilege of working with Dean Heller a lot on issues. We both serve on the Senate Finance Committee. We have jurisdiction over a lot of things, including tax reform. During the tax reform process over the last year, we worked hard together and I saw the hard work and determination that he first developed working in his dad’s auto body shop. I saw someone who was solutions driven, someone who wanted to create a better future for the people he represents. 

“He was effective in a number of ways with regard to helping others, helping with opportunity. One that he worked with the presiding officer on was doubling the child tax credit. It’s a provision in the new tax law that puts more money back in the pockets of hardworking families in America. He also served on the Senate Banking Committee, the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, the Commerce Committee. He’s been involved in a lot of the issues that this body takes up. In fact, more than 100 of his bills have become law during his time here in the United States Senate. That means he reached across the aisle to help his fellow Nevadans. 

“His presence is going to be missed but I know he will keep trying to make things better. I know he’ll stay busy back home doing things he loves, baling hay on his ranch, restoring stock cars he grew up racing, horse-packing, hunting, fishing, spending time with his great family. He and his wife, Lynne have been married for more than 30 years, have four kids and three grandkids. I know he’s looking forward to spending more time with them this holiday season. In fact, he’s told me for one of his holiday traditions, he gets out his trombone and his kids and their spouses all grab instruments and they play music. The ‘Heller Band’ performs some famous, well-known Christmas holiday songs. I’d love to see that—I’m not sure I’d like to hear it, but I’d love to see it. Dean with his trombone. 

“Let me just say, it’s been an honor to serve with Dean Heller. He’s a great guy and a privilege to work with. I know he has a bright future outside of this place. I look forward to continuing to staying in touch. We’ll miss him knowing his work is not done. We hope to continue to work with him.”