Monday, November 24, 2008

Mental health bill is Ramstad's legacy -
Minneapolis-St. Paul Star-Tribune

WASHINGTON -- Jim Ramstad capped his 18 years in Congress with one last visit to the Oval Office, where President Bush signed a document representing the Minnesota Republican's life work: a legacy bill opening the door to treatment for millions of Americans suffering from mental illness or chemical addiction.

The two men -- both of whom have publicly acknowledged past drinking problems -- shared a warm moment examining the president's historic Resolute desk, which Ramstad first viewed during the Kennedy administration in 1963. That was as part of a Boys Nation youth leadership group that included former President Bill Clinton.

"I guess we're both flying the coop," Bush told Ramstad. "Except I hear rumors you might be staying."

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