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U.S. lawmakers from Kansas Tuesday introduced bipartisan legislation in the Senate and House to award fellow Kansan, former U.S. Senator and presidential nominee Bob Dole the Congressional Gold Medal.

The legislation aims to award Dole "in recognition for his service to the nation as a soldier, legislator and statesman."

The legislation, introduced by Senator Pat Roberts and U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, was co-sponsored by the entire Kansas delegation including U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran and Reps. Roger Marshall, Kevin Yoder and Ron Estes.

"I can think of few people more deserving for a Congressional Gold Medal than Bob Dole," Roberts said. "Bob is not only one of the country's finest statesmen and Kansas' favorite son, but he is also a friend, mentor and brother to me. He has served our country in countless ways, spending his whole life serving Kansas and the nation. From his days in Russell, Kansas, his service in World War II, and his dedication to spending his life as a public servant, Bob Dole embodies the American spirit." 

Jenkins credits Dole for his continued work on key initiatives including helping veterans receive care and working to curb child hunger and poverty.

Moran said Dole "reminds us all that one person is capable of making meaningful changes to people's lives with long-lasting effect."

Marshall, who holds the seat Dole once held, describes his position as "an awesome responsibility."

"Today, he is a mentor and continues as a shining examples of international leadership. Beyond honoring a deserving patriot, I hope this award reminds my colleagues of leaders like Senator Dole, who never forgets the human impact of each decision."

Yoder said while Dole is a larger-than-life figure in American politics, "he's one of the kindest, funniest and most humble men (he's) ever had the privilege of knowing."

Estes said dole "embodies what it means to be a Kansan, and his legacy will loom large for generations to come."

"Bob Dole is a true American hero," Estes said.

"The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions," a spokesperson for Roberts' office said. "It is the most distinguished honor and the highest civilian honor given by the Congress. 

The proposed legislation to honor Dole comes three days after his birthday. Dole turned 94 on Saturday.

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