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Menendez gets choked up recognizing Lautenberg's life

“Frank left us too soon,” Menendez said before having to pause because of emotion. “He lived in the moment. … It goes by all too quickly.”

Menendez said Lautenberg was “not about yesterday’s news,” citing how he went to a Lady Gaga concert for his birthday this year.

“He was a fan of Lady Gaga,” Menendez said. “So he and his wife Bonnie went to Radio City Music Hall for Lady Gaga's Monsterball Tour. No Frank was not yesterday’s news. He was always about today's news and he lived in the moment.

"But that moment is gone now."

Lautenberg was the last World War II veteran serving in the U.S. Senate for nearly 30 years.

Menendez read through a handful of legislative accomplishments Lautenberg achieved, including his work to ban smoking on airplanes and to stop domestic abusers from owning a gun.

Menendez now becomes the senior senator from New Jersey.