Springfield State Journal Register

May 04, 2006

House panel honors retiring representative

By OTTO KREISHER
COPLEY NEWS SERVICE

WASHINGTON - The House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday honored retiring Rep. Lane Evans, D-Rock Island, by voting to name the Navy-Marine Corps Reserve Training Center in Rock Island after him.

The committee interrupted its work on the fiscal 2007 defense authorization bill to salute Evans and two other long-serving members of the panel who are leaving Congress.

Committee chairman Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., noted that Evans has been an active and effective member of the armed services panel for most of his nearly 24 years in Congress. He has used that position and his role as a senior member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee to benefit the men and women in the military, Hunter said.

Rep. Ike Skelton, D-Mo., the senior Democrat on the committee, later offered an amendment to the bill to name the reserve center for Evans in recognition of "his outstanding contributions to the members of the armed forces."

"It is fitting that there be a living memorial to his contributions," Skelton said.

Hunter added that it was "entirely fitting that Lane Evans, as a former member of the Marine Corps, have a Marine Reserve center named after him." Evans served two years in the Marines during the Vietnam War.

Skelton's amendment passed unanimously and was greeted by applause.

Evans, who has withdrawn from his re-election campaign and announced his retirement because of his struggle against Parkinson's disease, was not present for the hearing. Hunter said he and Skelton would call Evans after the committee hearing to tell him of the honor.

Although he easily won nomination for a 14th term in the March primary election, Evans has submitted a letter to the Illinois State Board of Elections formally withdrawing from the race for the 17th Congressional District. That will allow the Democratic Party organization in the district to select a replacement for the November ballot.