Senate leaders say goodbye to Capitol staff

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) honored the Senate sergeant of arms and a Capitol train driver Thursday.

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Terry Gainer, the 38th sergeant of arms for the U.S. Senate, announced he was retiring earlier this year.

“His time in the Senate is coming to an end,” Reid said while Gainer was on the Senate floor Thursday. “I’m going to miss you.”

Reid said the day-to-day operations of the Senate have never been better than under Gainer’s leadership, and McConnell applauded Reid’s decision to hire Gainer.

“Those of you who see the majority leader and I spar on the Senate floor know we don’t agree on much,” McConnell said. “But hiring Terry Gainer is one decision I agree with.”

Daryl Chappelle has worked in the Senate for more than 40 years, and for more than 25 of those he’s worked as a Senate subway car driver, making sure senators get to the floor in time to vote.

McConnell said Chappelle has taken 130,000 trips between the Senate Russell Office Building and the Capitol.

“He’s the happiest guy you’ve ever met,” McConnell said. “And he’s got a genius for lifting people’s spirit.”

Reid said he will miss seeing Chappelle’s smile, which “covers his whole face.”