tv U.S. Senate U.S. Senate CSPAN August 28, 2018 10:00am-12:50pm EDT
scheduled for 10:30 eastern this morning and at the time the lawmakers will vote to limit debate and advance nomination of richard clarita to the vice chair of governors of the reserve. and we expect tribute to the late senator john mccain who passed away earlier this month. they will recess to allow lawmakers to attend their weekly caucus party lunches. live to the floor of the u.s. senate here on c-span2.
the president pro tempore: the senate will come to order. the chaplain, dr. barry black, will lead the senate in prayer. the chaplain: let us pray. our father in heaven, thank you for your guidance , protection, wisdom, and love. we're grateful for your compassion, for you are full of mercy and eager to forgive. we find refuge in the shadow of your wings. lord, sustain our lawmakers. teach them how to live and serve. may they honor you in their thoughts, words, and deeds.
give them the wisdom to live in complete dependence on you so that your power can work through them. help them to be attentive to your precepts and sensitive to the unfolding of your loving providence. we pray in your great name amen. the president pro tempore: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to our flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
mr. mcconnell: madam president? the presiding officer: majority leader. mr. mcconnell: it was quite something to listen yesterday to members' heartfelt tributes to the memory of our friend senator mccain. he meant so much to so many of us, both inside the chamber and out. as i noted yesterday, the senate is eager to work on concrete ways to continue this momentum and provide a lasting tribute to this american hero long after this week's observances are complete. following senator kennedy's death in 2009, for example, we named the kennedy caucus room to honor him and his brother's public service. some have suggested we take a similar step so that the armed services committee on which our friend played such a critical role would meet in a committee room named for senator mccain. back in 2000, the senate approved recommendations to add
two additional portraits to the capitol senate reception room right off the senate floor. only seven senators in the entire history of this institution are honored with portraits there. i actually had an opportunity to serve in the bipartisan group that successfully recommended that senators arthur vandenburg and robert wagner should appear there alongside henry clay, daniel webster, john calhoun, robert lafalatte, sr., and robert taft who were selected by special committee back in 1957. that committee interestingly enough was appointed by linden johnson and chaired by john f. kennedy. i've also heard in recent days that perhaps senator mccain's portrait should join that distinguished group. so it's a further tribute to our colleague that there's no shortage of good ideas. in order to make sure we realize
these intention, i'd like to put together an official group that can elaborate and bring together ideas from current members, former colleagues, and friends. it will be bipartisan as only befits john's legacy, and come to think of it, would probably call it not a committee but a gang. so i'm glad we're able to form this gang to ensure that a suitable, lasting tribute becomes a reality. i'll have more details regarding this group to share in the coming days after our friend is laid to rest. madam president, august is usually a time for senators to spend more time in their home states, meeting with our constituents and reporting on the progress we've made here in washington. but this august had to be different. there was too much business left unfinished. so i made the decision to keep the senate in session this month to continue working on behalf of the american people. i'm proud to report that's just
what we've done. the senate has now passed regular appropriation measures that account for 87% of next fiscal year's discretionary spending. we finalized our work on the national defense authorization act named for senator mccain, and in august alone we confirmed eight more of the president's well qualified nominees for the federal courts. but as i've stated, the continuing historic obstruction from democrats on the president's nominees continues to make our progress on that front insufficient. so we'll stay at it. currently before us the nominees to be assistant secretary at the department of health and human services, a vice chairman for the federal reserve, important post at the departments of justice and treasury, and a slate of impressive nominees for the federal judiciary. i hope we can continue to make progress. it remains my intention to confirm all 17 of the nominees
currently before us before the senate concludes our business this week. now, on one final matter, lately there's been no shortage of outstanding economic headlines. small business confidence hits another record high. u.s. workers get biggest pay increase in nearly a decade. open jobs outnumber u.s. unemployed for a third straight month. but it's also important to look beyond the headlines and ask whether all americans are benefiting if this new prosperity. for years under the last administration, much of the so-called recovery only touched some communities and some industries. many vulnerable americans fell further and farther behind. today things are different. a growing vibrant economy has room for everyone. the unemployment rate for young americans age 16 to 24 is now as low as it's been since july
1966. 1966. labor force participation among the same group is at its highest level in nearly a decade. the unemployment rate for workers with less than a high school diploma is now at its lowest level in recorded history and as work stunts have opened back -- opportunities have opened back up, a number of americans seeking social security disability benefits has plummeted. as one scholar told "the new york times," at the economy gets better, employers are more willing to work to other labor pools and be more accommodating, people with disabilities also have a sense that there may be something out there that fits their needs. remember for much of the obama economy, opportunity creation was so insufficient that many vulnerable americans were effectively put right on the sidelines. the job market was too crowded, openings were too few, but this thriving economy helped along by republican policies is a
different story. there are more and more opportunities for everyone. this reminds us that it is capitalism and free enterprise, not new government programs that best equip americans to provide their families and pursue happiness. free enterprise is what's led an aviation tech maker in colorado to lean on a high school age technician whose skills are, quote, highly integral to the company. free enterprise is what's led a semi trailer manufacturer in wisconsin to hire inmates as they reenter the community after paying their debt and help them rebuild upright lives. it's an old line, madam president, often attributed to ronald reagan, the best social program is a job. so while our democratic friends keep railing against tax reform and regulatory reform, keep insisting we should compile more money and power here in washington, republicans know better. we know that a real recovery is when americans of all ages, all
mr. durbin: madam president? the presiding officer: the assistant democratic leader. mr. durbin: i ask consent the quorum call be suspended. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: madam president, this is a sad time for the senate and our nation. with the passing of john mccain, our country lost a legend and the senate has lost a towering figure. i've lost a friend. america owes john mccain, his family our gratitude and respect for his courage and sacrifice
and for the trials he endured to serve the nation that he loved. john came into this world with big shoes to fill. his father and grandfather were four-star admirals in the united states navy. john mccain met and exceeded his family legacy. i first met him 35 years ago. in 1982, we were brand-new freshmen congressmen elected to the u.s. house. i spotted him on the other side of the floor in the senate and of course knew instantly who he was and worked up the courage to go over and introduce myself. and then i asked him a favor. i said john, would you consider doing a cable tv show that i could send back to my central illinois district? he said sure, i would be glad to. i thought that's amazing. a democratic congressman asking a new republican congressman to help him back in his district, and john mccain said yes. it was the beginning of a friendship. that cable show wasn't shown
beyond central illinois, but i still remember it and still thank john for his act of kindness. it was my first exposure to a unique style of communication that america would come to know as the straight-talk express. sitting for that interview was a typically generous john mccain act for which i am still grateful. there was an old joke about an irishman who walks past a brawl and says is this a private fight or can anyone get into it? i think that man's name may have been mccain. everyone who knew or served with john for any period of time got crosswise with him. i can remember there in the well of the senate john mccain walking up to me, getting within an inch of my face, and chewing me out about some article that he had read in the "chicago tribune." he was so mad, he was about to explode. he wheeled around and walked away, and i thought what did i say? i can't even remember the
article. so i raced back to look up the "chicago tribune" article he referred to, still couldn't understand his anger, and thought how am i going to make amends with john? he has been my friend for so long. the next day he came up to me, i get ready for the second round, he puts his arm around me and says oh, it wasn't that bad after all, we're still friends. typical john mccain. a volcanic temper, but an embracing, loving approach when it came to friendship. that was john, passionate in his beliefs. not a man to hold grudges. he understood that two people can disagree on issues today, still both love this country, and work together tomorrow. occasionally, he would invite you on a trip. be careful. i said yes several times. a john mccain trip over a weekend was something you don't soon forget. if there is anybody out there who thinks that senators with john mccain were sitting poolside drinking these mixed drinks with paper umbrellas, they've got it all wrong.
john mccain's trips on the weekend were more like bataan death marches. from the minute you got on that plane until you got back to washington, it was a nonstop schedule. everything had to be done. we had to see three countries, not two. we had to get it done and get back to washington. and you learn so much. i went to ukraine with john. i remember walks the streets of kiev in ukraine and people coming up to john who remembered that he showed up in the midon square when the revolution was under way and spoke for those who were defying moscow. they still remembered john mccain, and they couldn't wait to come up and say hello and thank him. it was that way in so many places in the world, and i was lucky to be there, to be part of it, lucky to see history unfold, and lucky to count john as a friend. john and i had our disagreements. in fact, there was one solid year when we barely spoke. at the end of that year, i found an excuse to walk over to his office to see him on some issue.
i remember he stood up and greeted me, he shook my hand, he looked me in the eye and said i'm glad this is over between us. so was i. it was one of the happier days i served in the senate. his ability to see beyond party labels was one of the qualities that so many of us loved and admired about him. it was a lesson he learned from his family, and it is a truth, i imagine, that he came to see even more clearly during the five and a half torturous years, two of them in solitary confinement, that he spent as a prisoner of war in that hellish place known as the hanoi hilton. we are stronger together than we are divided, and john mccain knew that. his entire life was a testimony to that powerful truth. as a prisoner of war, john mccain refused offers of release because he knew what the rules were. the rules were first in, first
out. he was not the first in. he just happened to be the son of an admiral, and the north vietnamese were going to make him a symbol and release him. he wouldn't do it, wouldn't accept it. his body broken by the torture and the plane crash, he stayed in that cell and waited his turn until the moment came when he could leave with his head up. john didn't want to be defined as a professional prisoner of war. i love the story about a party that was given for john and his fellow captives after they got home. one young man was telling the story of his confinement in some detail when he happened to look over and see john mccain. he suddenly felt conspicuous and said to john i shouldn't be going on about my time as a prisoner of war. i was there for six weeks. you were there for five and a half years. typical john mccain humor and wit, john replied oh, no, go right ahead. the first six weeks were the toughest. like abraham lincoln, john
mccain knew that laughter helped to make the unbearable bearable, and like president lincoln, he was secure enough in his own reputation, in his own achievements to be modest. john endured the hell of the hanoi hilton more than many, and he served in the senate longer than many. he leaves his mark on this body and our nation. when the issue of torture and detention was front and center before the american people, when we were trying to decide what were the boundaries for this democracy, faced with the threat of terrorism, there was one voice in the senate who was credible. it was john mccain. i had made speech after speech on the subject, but when john mccain got up and spoke about the issue of torture, there was silence on the floor of the senate as we listened carefully. he proposed a resolution establishing humane standards of treatment, realizing that the humanity we showed toward our prisoners is the same humanity
we expected if americans were taken prisoner, and his effort was enacted by the senate with over 90 votes, a strong bipartisan roll call. john mccain more than anything was a champion of the united states military. the men and women who serve in our armed forces. they never had a better friend. our nation's veterans and their families never had a stronger ally. he was a leader in the fight to curb the influence of special interests and politics and to make our government truly a government of, by, and for the people, with russ feingold and john mccain, they moved us toward what america is longing for, putting the special interests behind us, putting the people first, ending soft money. he treasured our heritage as a nation of immigrants. i have such profound respect for john mccain's efforts to reach across the aisle to try to find solutions for america's broken immigration system, even as his own party railed against him, we
spent almost a year together, eight senators, four democrats and four republicans led by john mccain to write a comprehensive immigration reform bill. it was one of my proudest moments in the senate. it is why i ran for the senate. it was what john mccain told us over and over was to be our mission in life as senators -- solve the problems facing america. don't be worried about taking some heat. he took a lot of heat, as a republican who stepped up and offered a real solution to our comprehensive immigration challenge. we put together a bill over the course of a year. i think it was an extraordinary effort. we all had to compromise. john compromised, i compromised, but we ended up with a bipartisan bill that passed overwhelmingly on the floor of the u.s. senate. there hasn't been another moment like that in the time that i have been here, and john led the way. and he look a lot of grief for it. his poll numbers were not that good, particularly among the most conservative republicans,
but john knew we had a problem to solve and he stepped up and did it, and i was just honored to be part of the small group that worked night after night, week after week to put that effort together. of course, what i remember now more than anything is that middle of the night vote a little over a year ago. he walked through that door just having spoken on the telephone with president trump, and he came to the well of the senate and he stood right next to that table, and because he had limited motion in his arm because of that plane crash and torture in vietnam, he barely lifted his right arm and pushed his thumb down and said no. with that no vote, he preserved health insurance for millions of americans, and he invoked the ire of conservative republicans who will never forgive him for that moment. it was one of the proudest, most courageous votes and moments in the history of the senate. i was honored to be here and to have a chance to thank him
personally that night. i also remember when he came to the floor and spoke at that desk, which is now bearing the vase of roses as a tribute to john mccain, and reminded all of us why we run for this office. sure, it's a great title and a lot of americans never get close to a title like united states senator, but to john mccain and to many of us, it's much, much more. it is not only a great honor, it is a great challenge for us to do something with this title, to solve the problems that face this country. i didn't always agree with john, but i always respected the fact that he wanted the senate to be an institution which was serving the people in this country and solving the problems that we face. john was principled and courageous time and again. there were times when we had our differences. i can recall when he came to illinois to campaign against me. he was campaigning on behalf of
a state representative in illinois named jim durkin. not durbin, but durkin who had been john's supporter for president in the state of illinois. john returned the favor by campaigning for jim durkin against me. you might wonder in this world of politics how you react to a person who is trying to take your job away, which john was doing. well, i understood it and i expected it. jim durkin was loyal to john mccain, john mccain was loyal to him and came in and campaigned for him. after the election was over, the people of illinois decided i should be the senator. it didn't deter john mccain one bit from working with me from that point forward. there is an empty space in this chamber without john mccain. there is an empty space in america without his spirit. he will be missed, but he certainly will never be forgotten. i endorsed the proposal to
rename the russell senate office building in honor of lieutenant commander and senator john mccain. like senator schumer, i hope that decades from now, children who are visitors to the capitol grounds will ask, well, who was this mccain they named the building after? they will discover he was a man worthy of our respect, a man who was in his heart a public servant, a man who was an american hero. madam president, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
the loss of our friend and fellow senator, john mccain, let us dwell on how best to remember this great man. his friendship, his service, his integrity, his career in the senate. one of the ways to carry on his memory is for us to try to live up to the expectations he had for the senate, expectations he shared with us even in his waning days. to act with more humility, to ignore the critics, to put aside our differences when necessary, learn to trust each other more. in senator mccain's memory, we can try to live by those principles and make the senate a place where, despite the noisy d you in of politics -- din of politics, progress can still be made. that's a sentiment that i hope will long outlast the memorials, tributes, and observances this week. i also propose that we recognize senator mccain's legacy by
renaming the russell senate office building in his honor. for three decades, senator mccain was a fix tour in those marble halls, an institution of the senate. it is only fitting that his name should adorn a physical institution of the senate, particularly one that housed the armed services committee. what better way to encourage future senators, their staffs, reporters, and average americans to study his noble but imperfect example. today i'll be circulating a letter with senator flake asking all of our colleagues if they'd be willing to join us in a resolution to officially rename the russell building the mccain building. i hope that many, if not most, or all, will join because senator mccain was a dear friend to all of us and a great american, a great senator, a great man. let his name be an example to future generations.
as his service and character were to every one of us. on another matter, next week the senate judiciary will begin hearings on president trump's nomination to the supreme court, judge brett kavanaugh. for senators, both on and off the committee, to do their constitutional duty to advise and consent on his nomination, they must have time to review the nominee's record. unfortunately, chairman grassley has so to far frustrated our effort to get full access to the judge's records. first, he requested only 10% to 15% of kavanaugh's white house record. unilaterally declaring the bulk of his time in the white house irrelevant. as the national archives works through that request, the judiciary committee has been accepting documents from a lawyer hired by the bush library to prescreen documents. that lawyer, mr. burke, who
counts steve bannon, reince priebus, and white house counsel don mcgahn among his clients, also provided only 6% -- 6%, madam president -- of kavanaugh's white house record to the judiciary committee. recently declaring some documents personal rather than presidential records, a determination that we have been given no basis for. judiciary republicans went even further in their efforts to conceal judge kavanaugh's record by labeling another small portion of those documents "committee confidential." so of the 6%, close to a third cannot be seen by anyone but members of the judiciary committee, and they can't talk about it to others. that's 4% of kavanaugh's record being made public. and there is no guidelines, no rules as to which 4% is being made public and which 96% is being withheld. obviously, one might think that
the lawyer who is clearly, totally hooked into the republican appointment of kavanaugh mechanism, would not allow things that might be controversial, that might put kavanaugh in not such a good light. and yet there is not even a standard as to which documents are made public and which are kept confidential. does that sound fair to the senate? does that sound fair to the american people? who have a right to read and understand who this potential future supreme court justice may be. the burden of proof should not be on disclosure of documents. we believe in disclosure. we're an open place. senator grassley has made disclosure of things throughout the executive branch a hallmark of his career. and yet now they make the burden of proof on those who want to
disclose. and the presumption is documents won't be disclosed. it is so wrong. any fair-minded observer would be hard-pressed to say that the review of judge kavanaugh's record has been transparent, open, and fair. it has not been. the supreme court justice, the next one, will have immense influence over the lives of americans for generations on issues ranging from women's reproductive rights to health care, protections for preexisting conditions, civil rights, labor rights, environmental rights, lgbtq rights and so much more. the next supreme court justice may very well make crucial decisions about the limits of executive power and accountability, something that hangs in the balance right now with all of president trump's actions. we know already that judge kavanaugh has some deeply
troubling views on these issues, both because of his writings and because he was selected by a president who explicitly promised to pick pro-life judges and judges hostile to our nation's health care law. so in order to get a complete picture of judge kavanaugh's views on these crucial issues, his record should be made public. there may be some highly relevant information on issues like roe v. wade, campaign finance, affirmative action, and more contained within the documents chairman grassley has labeled "committee confidential." again, there are -- there is very relevant and significant information, even in the committee confidential documents, about roe, campaign finance, affirmative action, and more. they should be made public. and senator grassley can do it with the flick of his pen.
and i would appeal to him, as a man again who has stood for disclosure and openness, who has probed and gotten angry as executive branch members on both parties for withholding information, and now of course we have this 180-degree it un. it is not like the best of chairman grassley. and i hope he'll change his mind. certainly there's an offer to allow senators to view these documents, but they ought to be released to the public. we don't have secret proceedings when we choose a supreme court justice. it's not the senate going into the old chamber and debating among themselves. these documents should be made public. the senate should not be in the practice of shrouding the eyes of the public from crucial -- from the crucial business of learning what a supreme court nominee will be like. i yield the floor and note the absence of a quorum.
i'd withhold. the presiding officer: morning business is closed. under the previous order, the senate will proceed to executive session to resume consideration of the following nomination, which the clerk will report. the clerk: nomination, department of health and human services, lynn a. johnson of colorado to be assistant secretary for family support.
the presiding officer: are there any senators in the chamber wishing to vote or wishing to change his or her vote? if not, the yeas are 67, the nays are 28. the nomination is confirmed. the majority whip. mr. cornyn: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid on the table and that the president be notified immediately of the senate's action with respect to the johnson nomination. i further ask consent that the mandatory quorum call be waived. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. the clerk will report the motion to invoke cloture. the clerk: cloture motion. we, the undersigned senators, in accordance with the provisions of rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate, do hereby move to bring to a close debate on the
nomination of richard clarida of connecticut to be vice chairman of the board of governors of the federal reserve system, signed by 17 senators. the presiding officer: the mandatory quorum call has been waived. the question is, is it the sense of the senate that the debate on the nomination of richard clarida of connecticut to be vice chairman of the board of governors of the federal reserve system shall be brought to a close. the yeas and nays are mandatory under the rule. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
mr. mcconnell: the jayce are -- the presiding officer: the yeas are 69. the motion is 26. the motion is agreed to. the clerk will report the nomination. the clerk: nomination, federal reserve system, richard clarida of connecticut to be vice chairman of the board of governors. a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the majority whip. mr. cornyn: mr. president, the
senate is not in order. the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. the majority whip. the senate will be in order. senators will take their conversations off the floor. mr. cornyn: mr. president. the presiding officer: majority whip. mr. cornyn: mr. president, we've been hit with some hard news in recent days. toughest of all perhaps was losing our friend and colleague john mccain this past weekend. he was a man who loved his country and was beloved in return. one of the things i appreciate the most about our friend senator mccain is he truly believed in all his heart, in all his being, in all his soul in american exceptionalism and
that america had to lead in the world. because in the absence of american leadership, that void would be destabilizing and even dangerous. we know that john cast a long shadow in congress over the last four decades of american politics, and we will continue to honor and remember him this week and into the future. but tears and sentimentality are not what he would want from us. today instead we should try to remain a little more grateful than we otherwise would be. grateful for his example, for his daring skill as a pilot and lieutenant commander in the united states navy, and for his tenacity and resolve as a prisoner of war in vietnam, subject to unbelievable cruelty
and torture. for one who endured all these unspeakable torments and one who was quick to remind us of what that was endured for, and that was our freedom, he was, i think, one of liberty's best ambassadors. we should remain grateful to our friend john mccain's willingness and ability to serve his state of arizona for so many years and to serve our great country, by running for public office, for radiating such a sense of purpose, such a sense of moral seriousness each time, even during tough, grueling political races. and they didn't always turn out the way he would have liked. we should learn from the dignity and honor that he displayed even
in defeat. after his presidential campaign did not work out, or campaigns did not work out, i should say, in his favor. like all of us, he was an imperfect man. let's just say he was a work in progress, as we all are. he won many political battles and he lost a few along the way, but he always responded admirably. after slipping with some run-in with adversity, he got back up, dusted himself off, and tried harder next time. we should also be grateful for senator mccain's dedication to our nation's armed forces throughout his political career, including as chairman of the armed services committee, where i served with him for a number of years. and we should cherish his friendship. we should remember that at the end of the day the senator many
called a maverick had a gruff, sometimes intimidating exterior, but he also was a compassionate man and one who displayed not only tremendous loyalty to friends, but a tremendous love for his family who are now grieving. as our nation mourns the loss of john mccain and as my colleagues and i are all too aware of his absence here today, we are all challenged to be stronger patriots and better citizens, and that's what he would want from us. as he told cadets during a 1993 commencement address at the u.s. naval academy, he said my time is slipping by. yours is fast approaching. you will know where your duty
lies. our duty now lies in continuing the difficult, courageous work senator mccain devoted his life to and it is not a burden that we take lightly. we do so gladly, and we remain mindful of those for whom the last few days have been the most difficult. and as we express our condolences to senator mccain's mother, his seven children and five grandchildren and of course his wife cindy, and the entire mccain family, we want them to know that we continue to think of them, we continue to pray for them, and we continue to celebrate with them the great, distinguished, larger than life of senator john mccain. it's hard to lose one of your best teammates, but i know the legacy john mccain leaves will long remain. and i just want to echo a few
comments made by the majority leader earlier today. john mccain was a lion in the senate and in american politics, and that's why i believe we should put together a bipartisan group that can bring together the best ideas on how we can memorialize his service to his country and his legacy here in the senate. we should do this carefully and consider all options about what the best form that tribute should take. doing this in a collaborative and deliberate way, i hope is how senator mccain would have wanted it. i can't tell you how many times he always advocated for regular order. he didn't want ideas cooked up in some back room and then sprung on the nation and the senate. he wanted the committees to do their work, because he knew by
doing that, by thinking about them, by testing ideas in a committee process that we improve the chances of a better product. despite our heavy loss, we can't lose sight of our other work either. senator mccain would want us to push the ball forward and achieve on behalf of the american people. we all remember him as a fighter until the very end, and staying in the fight and making progress for the american people is what woe expects -- what he would expect of us as well. mr. president, turning to that work before us, one of the most important constitutional duties the united states senate performs is to provide advice
and consent to the president on nominations to his cabinet and to the federal judiciary and other senate confirmable positions. we have the responsibility to do that with a judge that he has now nominated to succeed anthony kennedy as associate justice on the united states supreme court. the hearing on his confirmation will occur next week, and i hope we'll move forward quickly thereafter to vote on his confirmation. judge kavanaugh's confirmation process includes the largest production of documents ever in the consideration of a supreme court nominee. well over 1,000 pages have been produced on the judge's career. i appreciate senator grassley spearheading this effort in a transparent and thorough manner. logic would tell us that the
best way to judge judge kavanaugh is how he ruled in real, concrete cases that came before him while serving on the d.c. circuit court of appeals for 12 years. that is the best evidence of how he would perform if elevated and confirmed to the supreme court. in judge kavanaugh's case what those rulings show is that he is a diligent and thoughtful judge. his rulings are clear and they are impartial. one of his colleagues, judge laurence silberman, called judge kavanaugh one of the most serious judges he's ever encount -- encountered and we expect that serious and sew bright -- sew brighty. attorneys described him as an
extremely well prepared, careful and thorough judge. as i said, judge kavanaugh served on the d.c. circuit where he's authored 307 opinions and has attracted praise across the ideological spectrum for the clarity of his thought, expression, and decision of his legal reasoning. he respects the roles and responsibility of the different branches of the government, three coequal branches of the constitution. and he sees the proper role of the judiciary as a limited, albeit, important one, not to make policy, but to interpret the law and apply it to cases impartially as written with no eye cast toward the politics of the outcome or are desire to put a thumb on the scales of justice in favor or against one of the litigants. judge kavanaugh has shown, through his opinions, that he
adheres to precedent, something careful, thoughtful judges do, paying a keen eye to legal history and tradition and putting an emphasis on the text of the relevant statutes when interpreting it. how better to affect wait congress's intent than to read the statutes signed into law. in the nominee's own words, it may be pro-business, prolabor, pro-development, pro bank, or pro-consumer, regardless, he said that judges should follow clear text where it leads. judge kavanaugh also approaches his job with humility. when approaching his mind-set, he said this a good judge has to keep learning, that they should constantly challenge themselves to study legal problems in greater depth, even when doing so force them to reconsider their instincts and prior inclinations. that is exactly the kind of
justice the supreme court needs, one that's never content to rest on his laurels, one that's constantly educating and improving himself when it comes to the history of our country or the nuance and difficult technical aspects of the law. the truth is, since his nomination, judge kavanaugh has demonstrated that he is eminently qualified and well respected by all that know him and those that are familiar with his work. so as a member of the senate judiciary committee, i look forward next tuesday to participating in the confirmation hearings and soon thereafter i look forward to voting to confirm him as the next justice on the supreme court of the united states. mr. president, i yield the floor.
mr. nelson: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator for florida. mr. nelson: mr. president, when you walk by senator mccain's desk and you see the black drape in the bowl of -- and the bowl of white roses, it really underscores the loss. we lost a colleague, we lost a friend, the country lost a true public servant. after the stories that you've heard of him being shot down of spending all of those years in the hanoi hilton, beaten nearly to death when he was fished out of the lake in downtown hanoi, he continued to serve his country in the navy, in
congress, in this senate, and, of course, as the party's nominee for president. his call to serve, his sense of duty and honor is the legacy of john mccain. he's an example for all of us. he was a fighter and he was funny too. maybe it was the years in prison or the long time of military service or the sometimes tense humor of the fighter pilots, maybe it was that legacy of his family in the military, but he knew in his soul how special the united states was and what the
united states could do for its people and for the world. sometimes we forget the stories of the excruciating pain that senator mccain went through as a p.o.w. in 2000, david foster wallace in "rolling stone" magazine wrote, and i want to give you my reciting that article some of the graphic detail after he had been nearly beaten to death and his weight had gone down to 100 pounds, so the commander at the prison camp, when they find out that his father was a four
star admiral and his grandfather was a four star admiral, they decided they were going to offer him early release. and this is what the writer writes, mccain, 100 pounds and barely able to stand refused the release. the u.s. code of military conduct for prisoners of war said that p.o.w.'s had to be released in the order that they were captured and there were others who had been at that prison a longer time and mccain refused to violate that code. the come man daunt -- commandante of that prison, not pleased, right in the office
where he had brought mccain to tell him that he was going to be released, the commandante ordered his guards to break his ribs, rebreak his arm, knock his teeth out, and mccain still refused to leave without the other p.o.w.'s. and so then he spent four more years in the prison like this, much of the time in solitary in the dark, in a closet-sized box called the punishment cell. now, maybe some of you all have heard this before. there's certainly been a lot of profiles on john mccain, but try to imagine the moment
between getting offered early release and turning it down. try to imagine if it was you. imagine how loudly your most basic, primal self-interests would have cried out to you in that moment and all the ways you could rationalize accepting that prison commandante's offer. can you hear it? if so, would you refuse to go? you simply can't know for sure. none of us can. it's hard to even imagine the pain and the fear in that moment much less how you react. that was written 18 years ago about john. and so in that moment you could
summarize his courage, his strength, his will to overcome but here in the senate we saw a leader who thought that public service was a noble calling, a leader who calls tried to do the right thing, who always put the people of his country ahead of himself. an individual who always believed that we, as americans, can subscribe to a cause greater than ourselves. america is certainly going to miss john mccain. for this senator it was certainly a privilege, for grace as well, to know the mccains,
a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from delaware. mr. coons: mr. president, are we currently in a quorum call? the presiding officer: we are. mr. coons: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that all proceedings under the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. coons: mr. president, i come to the floor today to speak in honor and memory of our
colleague, senator john sidney mccain iii. i asked myself a series of questions as i was trying to prepare for today's comments. first, who was he? who was john mccain? john was a man deeply in love with his country and its promise, a man optimistic that tomorrow would be better than today, and a man grateful for the chance to serve a cause greater than himself. his humor was rooted in that hopefulness, the sometimes sharp sting of his words in debate rooted in his passion for his pause and his love of the fight and his restlessness rooted in an impatience to get on with it, to get busy defending liberty or make a difference in the world, to help soften the burdens of millions not yet free. john was both a romantic and a cynic, as some have said, in love with and passionate about
the causes he fought for, yet clear-eyed about the long odds he often faced in a world hostile to our ideals. in trying to summarize john, just reviewing a few of his titles barely capture the complexity of this man. naval aviator, p.o.w., captain, congressmanman, senator, chairman of the commerce committee, chairman of the armed services committee, presidential nominee of his party, statesman, hero. john also treasured deeply two titles rarely mentioned here: husband and father. he clearly loved his family and was every bit as privately passionate about them as he was publicly passionate about the causes he fought for here and around the world. so to cindy and to all of john's family, thank you so much for sharing him with us, for
sustaining him in his service over 60 years, his remarkable service to our nation. i was so honored to get to know john first as a colleague and then as a traveling companion and mentor, and in recent years to be able to count him a friend. we didn't always agree or, frankly, often agree on a very wide range of policy and political issues. on one thing in particular, i deeply admired and followed his lead as best i could. john was convinced that what makes america great, what has always made america great is its values, its principles, that we stand for something in the world, not the example of our power but the power of our example. that only when we fight for those values, when we fight for the values that define us apart from other powerful nations, for human rights, for freaked --ing
freedom of speech and religious expression, for the foundations of democracy as guarantors of liberty, only when we do that do we best use our power in the world. what impact did john mccain have on those of us here in the senate and on our country? john commanded this chamber when he spoke like few others i have ever known, and he commanded it precisely because he called us to our better selves. to put down the tools of petty partisanship so often on display here and to work together, to fashion better solutions to the problems of our day. it was a the great honor to be his cosponsor on his last immigration reform bill earlier this year, a bill which offered not partisan promises, but a way forward, to fix our immigration system which has for far too long been badly broken.
indeed, from immigration to health care, national security, to foreign relations, john challenged us, pushed us to act in ways more worthy of this place and its history as the greatest deliberative body on earth, as a full equal to the executive, our president, as a group elected and empowered over longer terms to know each other, respect each other and engage each other in the real and hard and good work of advancing america's values here at home and abroad. what impact did john mccain have on me, a junior senator from delaware? well, first, my predecessor, former senator and vice president joe biden let me know for my first day here that john was a treasure and a challenge and that i would in serving alongside him have a unique opportunity to learn from someone whose scope of experience was in many ways unmatched among our current senate colleagues.
i had the honor of traveling with john, of seeing him at his absolute best, of seeing him show compassion for syrian refugees at a camp in jordan, hearing him confront corrupt foreign leaders and encourage our men and women in harm's way and visiting vietnam to see the genuine warmth with which the vietnamese people and their people regard him. i first encountered john overseas on my very first codel congressional delegation, a trip a few months in my term in 2011. i was traveling with senators corker, sanders and manchin and we had visited jordan and israel, quite a group and memorable trip. it was our last day in israel before returning home and i spotted joe lieberman, former senator joe lieberman of connecticut at dinner at the citadel hotel and he waved me over. he and mccain just finished a
long dinner and lieberman asked me to sit down and talk about our trip and experiences and recent developments in pakistan and afghanistan. mccain barely acknowledged my presence with a gruff grunt, and he seemed genuinely distracted and even annoyed as i was answering joe lieberman's questions. mccain looking around the room and barely paying any attention. and after ten minutes, john asked me three pointed and challenging questions, testing my observations and my conclusions, rattled, intimidated, i defended as best i could my eupbl sights before his -- insights before his withering questions. mccain grunted and stormed off and in the silence of the wake he left behind him joe lieberman leaned ever over and said i think he really likes you. how can you tell? to which lieberman responded he wouldn't have bothered asking
you those questions or waiting for answers if he didn't think you had something to say. there followed invitations to travel that i accepted less often than i should have but three trips were especially memorable. visiting a refuge camp in jordan where hundreds of syrians literally just arrived fleeing the butchery of assad's troops, john w*ept with compassion for women who encountered their husbands and children being taken from them. john promised to fight for them and their cause relentlessly, and he did. just after inauguration last year, at the north atlantic regional conference in canada, i got to see john command respect across the board from military and political leaders from a dozen countries and heard from leaders from the baltics to the balkans pressed him for to stay
by their young democracies in the face of russian aggression. during that trip, too, senator mccain once again reiterated his principle, unequivocal stand against torture, his your honor wave -- his unwavering commitment was one of the ways that john nudged us closer to his ideals. on an unforgettable trip to vietnam, i got to visit the hanoi hilton and hear the description of his long cap activity yip and -- captivity and torture and the regard that the people there had for him as a peacemaker. we admire john for all of these things, but working with him in the senate, traveling with him, many of us got to know him not just as a war hero and statesman, but as a colleague
and friend. john's temper was quick and fierce, and more than one occasion, he peeled the paint off the wall behind me. but more often than not, he would apologize, came around, listened, even considered. he was that breed of senator, too rare today, who knew how to fight passionately yet not make it personally. who i could respect even when i thought he was deeply wrong. who pushed me relentlessly to defend and explain my own decisions an votes. he showed unusual kindness to my children and mother and stepfather when they visited and i was struck by the delight he took in visiting with seniors. he also took wicked delight in teeing, testing, and working with rnl -- with journalists.
most importantly, senator john mccain was genuinely humble. not the false modesty of a popular politician who if these he should feign indifference to the years of a crowd, no. john's humility was real. of one who knows he is a flawed human, as we all are, and was accountable for his shortcomings. john, remarkably, wrote, spoke about, and acted on the ways in which he fell short. in an excellent recent hbo biography, mccain subjected himself to accountability for chapters he would rather have left forgotten in history. in talking about the 2000 primaries, rather than blaming the opponents and their dirty tricks for his loss, john took responsibility, for standing up
in south carolina against the practice of flying the confederate flag over the capital. and he addressed the association with the keating five scandal. he was cleared, but he viewed that as part of the larger and growing problem of campaign finance that has threatened the ethics of all who served here. and rather than moving past it, he owned it and acted on it and worked relentlessly with senator feingold until they passed the mccain-feingold campaign finance reform bill. john used his hardest personal experience to make some of his most important contributions, having himself survive imprisonment at the hand of his vietnamese captors, he could have easily returned home after five and a half years in captivity to serve out his time in comfort, instead he continued his cause in serving our nation and while here worked tirelessly
to champion those imprisoned around the world and against dictators. and we, on the senate human rights caucus, intend to carry forward that work. after 9/11, when our own country was engaged in enhanced interrogation techniques that could only be called tortured, senator mccain was irate and insisted we and he practice he knew was of limited value and demeans the torture and those tord -- tortured. he felt the pain and deeply felt the episodes of a -- of the prison. what will it mean to no longer have senator mccain here with us? we will not see another member of john's stature join us, and
his demonstrated willingness to put country over party. he earned his mavic title and it would serve all of us well to remember that even as his principled stands cost him the support of -- many in his party and his home state, he won the accolades of many more here and millions abroad delighted to see someone willing to risk reaching across the aisle and around the world from those hoping -- hoping we will continue to fight for the values that best define america. what should we do? what should we do to honor the memory and legacy of senator mccain? first fight the dread disease that took him from us. as with my friend bowe biden -- beau biden, who was taken it too young and with senator ted kennedy who was lost at a time when he was most needed. brain cancer has robbed us of
our best and brightest and we must work harder to end this disease. we should rename the great senate building in which john served for decades that we might keep his memory alive for future generations, and i think we should strengthen and invest in national service, in expectation that all young americans would serve their country in some way, military or civilian, which will take effort and investment, but service as a young man helped john fall in love with our nation at a time of great division. i can think of nothing greater to remind us of the spirit of service of which john lived his life than to make it possible for the hundreds of thousands of young american who want to serve, whether in teach for america, habitat for humanity, the peace corps, or the military by expanding those opportunities for them to learn skills, commit themselves to our community and country and earn tuition funds for college through service. we must stay engaged internationally and lead by the power of our example.
john would say this requires us to advance not just america's interests but our cherished values, to stand against authoritarian leaders from russia, china, north korea, and iran, and to stand with our democratic partners and allies like those in nato. last, we have to continue with john's spirit of working across the aisle. i was struck in hearing his remarkable speech in philadelphia at the national constitution center where my predecessor, vice president biden, spoke movingly in introducing him and senator mccain in accepting that law, which should be mandatory viewing at every high school in america. it is clear these two men who served decades alongside each other genuinely knew each other, knew each other's families, knew each other's values, even though they could disagree. we have to demonstrate that we
can work together and be cheerful and grateful in our service. it caught my breath when i walked in this chamber yesterday to see john's desk draped in black velvet and white flowers rather than his remarkable stature and punctuated speech and his call to action that rang through this space. john, i won't soon meet another man like you, and i only hope to some day deserve the friendship you extended to a young and inexperienced senator and to follow your example of genuine humility, dedication and passion in tirelessly serving the greatest nation on earth and the best hope for freedom in our world. rest well, dear friend. may god himself hold you in the palm of his hand and give peace to you and your family. thank you, mr. president. with that, i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the
senator from utah. mr. hatch: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent to be able to complete my remarks here today. from without objection. mr. hatch: i rise to pay tribute to an american hero, a powerful leader and a dear friend, senator john mccain. after decades of dedicated service to this nation, john was taken from us over the weacd. the good -- weekend. he fought his battle with brain cancer as he did with every battle in his life, with toughness and tenacity, with grit and with grace. this week i joined millions in mourning the passing of a beloved patriot. over a lifetime of selfless service, john came to embody the very pinnacle of american virtue, courage, commitment, integrity, and sacrifice. these are the precepts he lived by and by which he will always be remembered. no one is more worthy of the word hero than john mccain.
the senate, instead -- indeed, id should say, the nation will miss the steady, guiding presence of a singular statesman. by now the biographical details of senator mccain's life has been covered at length, the son of a four-star navy admiral, he knew great exings -- expectations at an early age. he went to the navy academy, and fought for freedom, which he did. what is exceptional of john mccain is that he not only met the heavy expectations placed upon them, he far exceeded them. few have ever risen to the position of influence that john mccain did. fewer still have done so and kept their character in tact. but senator john mccain did. indeed, he never parted from it. as a prisoner of war in vietnam,
john was offered release on multiple occasions, yet he refused each offer until the p.o.w.'s incarcerated before him were also released. greater love has no man than this than a man lay down his life for his country, for his friends. john possessed such love providing time and again his willingness to lay down his life for his brothers in uniform. as a captain, john mccain personified selfless sacrifice, offering himself as a bargaining chip to secure the freedom of fellow countrymen. each day for more than 2,000 days, he endured horrors that few of us could imagine, solid terry confinement, forced starvation, repeated beatings, and the constant threat of death. yet he stayed the course, finding strength in the love he
felt for his fellow servicemen, and most of us, the love he had for his country. when john was released in the spring of 1973, he came home a living scarf vietnam. the cartlilage in his knees was all but gone, the bones in his body broken by endless beatings. he was a walking testament to the brutalities of torture and the depths of human depravity. but the hell of war was not enough to stop john mccain from being a happy warrior. upon his return, he continued the same mission he started in vietnam, looking out for the safety and welfare of his fellow sailors. few remember that before john was elected to congress, he was the nef's -- navy's senate liaison. it was in this capacity that he and i first became friends. even then john impressed me with
his sense of mission, going incredible lengths to ensure that our service men and women had the resources they needed to keep us safe. he would carry that same commitment with him when he was elected to the house of representatives in 1982 and five years later when he joined us here in the senate. the pentagon had no closer ally than john mccain. they also had no fiercer critic. like an admiral who demanded only the best of his sail os, john -- sailors, he wanted to be sure that our service men were living up to their standard. he never hesitated to call out runaway spending in military ranks. our men and women in uniform were stronger and our nation more safe because of his efforts. no one commanded more respect than john mccain as the chairman of the senate armed
services committee. john constantly put others before himself as a prisoner of war, and he did the same as a senator. he was the kind of friend that you could count on for help when you needed it most. nearly 20 years ago governor mitt romney who at the time has been tasked with salvaging the salt lake winter olympic games came to me with a pressing problem with only months to go before the opening ceremony. utah lacked the federal funding it desperately needed to pull off the olympic games. in our moment of need, we turned to senator mccain. i took mitt over to see him. the two of us marched up to senator mccain's office in the russell building. even though we came unannounced, senator mccain gladly received us, and together mitt and i made
the case for emergency funding. within days we had secured the resources we needed to move forward with the games, all thanks to senator john mccain. were it not for john's quick action, i can honestly say the 2002 winter olympics would not have been a success. in fact, it would have been an embarrassment. and he was not real excited about putting up federal funds either, but all i had to do was ask and he said fine. so esteemed was john by his republican colleagues that we didn't hesitate to throw our support behind him in the 2008 presidential election. senator mccain mounted an admirable campaign refusing to stoop to the political mudslinging that all too often defines presidential contests. i agree with the assessment of the late charles krauthammer:
quote, mccain ran a valiant race against impossible odds. he will be, he should be remembered as the most worthy presidential nominee ever to be denied the prize. unquote. that was a wonderful quote. we will remember john for many things, for his courage as a sailor, for his dedication as a senator, and for his principle and principles as a statesman. we will also remember how he embodied the best in us. john mccain really was a man for all seasons, a voice of temperance in intemperate times, and a model of civility and reason. the tragedy of his passing is that we need men like john mccain now more than ever before. i consider myself incredibly lucky to have known john and even luckier to have called him friend. here in the senate and across the nation, we will miss him
dearly. john, thank you for blessing us with your service and your sacrifice. today my prayers are with the people of arizona and the mccain family. i differed with john from time to time, and we never had any acrimony between us. he was always open, and he would come across and help me when i needed the help here in the united states senate, as i would do for him. all i can say is it was a privilege to serve with him. i feel very deeply about john mccain, and i'm really, really pleased that i can stand here as one of his friends, who knew him well, and praise him, maybe not as good as i really feel, but good enough. now, mr. president, on another matter, i'd like to take a
moment to discuss the nomination of brett kavanaugh to be an associate justice of the united states supreme court. next tuesday the judiciary committee will convene a hearing to consider judge kavanaugh's nomination. the hearing will run four days. the american people will have an opportunity to hear from judge kavanaugh at length. they will also hear from a number of lawyers, former colleagues, and clerks who know judge kavanaugh well and can attest to his legal abilities and personal character. ever since the president nominated judge kavanaugh to the supreme court, our democratic colleagues have hurled all sorts of wild accusations against him. they've called him a reactionary. that's terrible. they've said his nomination threatens the destruction of the constitution. even more terrible. they've said that those who support his nomination are
complicit and evil. even more terrible. next week the american people will have an opportunity to see judge kavanaugh. they'll find that he's not a reactionary. they'll find that he doesn't in fact intend to destroy the constitution. and they'll also find that those who, like me, support his nomination are not complicit and evil. rather, the american people will see a whip smart, incredibly accomplished, humble man. they'll see a jurist who's offered more than 300 opinions and whose reasoning has won the day at the supreme court over a dozen times where the court has copied his opinions. they'll see a devoted husband and father who puts his family and his community first. they'll see a man who spends his spare time coaching youth basketball and feeding the homeless. they'll see a beloved teacher who wins sterling reviews from
his students for his fair-minded approach to teaching constitutional law. in other words, the american people will see those of who know judge kavanaugh see in him. it is those qualities that make me proud of the role i play in his confirmation -- as i played in his confirmation as a circuit court judge in 2006 after years of partisan obstruction. i've been on the judiciary committee for the last 14 supreme court confirmation hearings. judge kavanaugh's will be my 15th and final. he is as qualified and ready to serve as any nominee i have seen to our nation's highest court. i hope that next week the over-the- top rhetoric and misrepresentations about judge kavanaugh will finally cease. let's make this confirmation about judge kavanaugh. let's make it about his judicial record and his experience.
let's stop trying to give up the base -- or or gin up the base by pretending his nomination is a threat to the public. brett kavanaugh is an excellent judge and good man and he will make an outstanding justice. next week the american people will see that for themselves, and i think it will be an eye-opener for some people who have been listening to some of the remarks thrown his way. i know him well. he's a bright man, an honest man, he tells the truth. he writes very, very well. he will make an excellent addition to the united states supreme court. he's honest, he's faithful, he's a good family man. he's everything you'd want in a justice on the greatest court in
the world: the united states supreme court. i know him. i support him not just because he's a republican or because he gives the republicans somewhat of an advantage on the court, but because he is one heck of a good person, one heck of a good judge, one heck of a good student of the law. he's a wonderful man, and i hope that my colleagues on both sides of the aisle will see it through in a way that will be an honor to this body, not a desecration. mr. president, i suggest the absence of a quorum. or should i -- the presiding officer: would the senator suspend his request for the calling of a quorum call.
mr. tillis: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from north carolina. mr. tillis: i have one request for a committee to meet during today's session of the senate. it has the approval of the majority and minority leaders. the presiding officer: duly noted. mr. tillis: thank you, mr. president. i ask unanimous consent i may be able to complete my brief remarks. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. tillis: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, before i speak on a topic that i sadly have to come to the floor every week and speak on, i want to offer my heartfelt condolences to the mccain family and to all of his friends and supporters. i had the privilege of serving on the senate armed services committee with senator mccain for three years. i learned a lot from him and he has done a wonderful job of standing up for men and women in uniform and standing up for veterans in his entire time in congress. i also wanted to share this one story. i had a reporter ask me yesterday, you know, what kind of experiences have you had with him that were most memorable. and it was a day that i spent with him in north carolina back
in 2014. you really judge, i think, a politician by how they behave when they're not in front of the camera or they're not here at the desk of one of the desks in the senate. and when you saw him interacting with men and women in uniform and you saw him interacting with veterans, you saw a man with a heart of gold and a commitment to those men and women in uniform. and i just want to again tell the mccain family our prayers are with them. our hearts are with them. and we thank them for allowing him to share some of his life with us here in the senate. now, mr. president, i'd like to turn to another sad topic. it's a floor speech that i have had to provide over the past few months, and sadly may have to provide for the next several months. it has to do with the detention of someone who's been in prison, or in detention for now 690 days in the country of turkey. in october of 2016, this man was
detained. he was held in prison for almost 19 months in a cell that was designed for eight people. it had 21 people in it in a turkish prison. this man's name is andrew brunson. he's from black mountain, north carolina. he's a presbyterian minister and he spent the better part of 20 years in turkey as a -- in a christian ministry. he opened a church just outside of izmir several years ago. it's a very small church. they would have an open-door policy. anyone could come in. and he had been living peacefully there for 20 years. but in 2016 there was a coup attempt, a coup attempt that i still maintain was illegal. it was not the proper way to change government. and -- in the united states or in turkey. and the people responsible for that coup should be held accountable to the law. unfortunately, pastor brunson got swept up in the emergency actions that president erdogan
took after the coup attempt and put him in prison. he actually thought he was going down to get finally his permanent residency documents in turkey which he had been working on for awhile when he and his wife were arrested. his wife was held in prison for about 12 days. pastor brunson has been in prison and now detained under house arrest for two years in october. the issue actually came to me as constituent work about a year and a half ago, and we were doing everything we could to go through diplomatic channels to try and get pastor brunson released. then earlier this year they finally, after about 19 months in prison, without charges, they issued an indictment. read the indictment. it was absurd. and i'm not an attorney, but i couldn't even understand how the charges that they had levied against pastor brunson and the evidence they used to substantiate the charges, i don't believe would keep you in jail in the united states overnight.
and yet this man had been held in prison for 19 months. but i also heard that he was concerned, he was really -- his mental state was down. he lost 50 pounds over about a year and a half. i also heard through diplomatic channels that he was afraid the american people would read these indictments, believe him and turn their back on him and that's when i requested a trip to turkey, to visit him in the prison, look at him eye to eye and let him know as long as i'm a u.s. senator he's not going to be forgotten. about six weeks later i went back and i sat through 12 hours of his first hearing, 12 hours in a turkish courtroom that convinced me that this man was being subjected to a kangaroo court. the legal system there is very different than our own. he has no jury. he's speaking before three judges and a prosecutor that sits up in the dais with the judges. they assume that you're guilty unless you prove to them you're innocent. he testified for almost six hours that day. and then we heard from secret
witnesses whose voices were scrambled. some of them are in prison, putting forth some of the most absurd charges or allegations you can imagine. but they're enough to keep him in prison. about a month ago the turkish government did agree, or i should say their judiciary did agree to release him on house arrest. so for about the last month he's been confined to an apartment that he has near eusz myrrh. he -- izmir. he has a tracking bracelet on his ankle. but as far as i'm concerned, he's still in prison. and so for the past several months i've been trying to do everything i could to show respect to the turkish government but make it very clear america's not going to stand for this kind of a treatment of an american citizen, particularly from a country that's a nato ally, a country that we have a treaty obligation to go and defend them in a time of any sort of adversarial act, let's say russia or some other nation chooses to do something hostile to turkey, we are obligated to
send men and women on to turkish soil to fight side by side for their freedom. and yet i've got an american who's been charged with bogus charges, in prisons in a nato ally country. first time it's happened in the history of the alliance. when we have talked to the people, foreign ministers, president erdogan and others about this, they say we have to have our judicial process follow its course. i don't believe that's true. i believe we have a president who's declined to try and do a hostage swap. the reason i believe that is after they said we have to let the judicial process follow its course, president erdogan said that we have someone who they believe is involved in the coup attempt. we said if they are, we will extradite that person. they haven't proven it. but what he said to the press is if you give us our pastor, we'll
give you your pastor. so now maybe -- maybe it was just an offhanded comment that he regrets. maybe he didn't really mean he was willing to trade someone on u.s. soil for someone on tushish soil. -- turkish soil. why did he then, the administration officials say, just a few minutes ago, say if we can't trade a pastor for a pastor, if you agree to drop a lawsuit against a major bank in turkey, we will give you pastor brunson. if they haven't proven this is a hostage situation, i don't know what is. we have had to put a provision in the national defense authorization act to hold turkey accountable. it relates to pastor brunson's imprisonment and it relates to a missile defense system. and we also told them that we may have to reconsider whether or not we would actually
transfer joint strike fighter f-35 planes to turkey in tt timeline they are supposed to go there at the end of 2020. i hope that we get past all of this. i hope that measure in the national defense authorization act is the last one i have to pursue here. but as long as pastor brunson is in prison in turkey, i will do everything i can to get the 72 senators who signed on to a senator, it's extraordinary to get that much senators to agree on something, in this body to express their concern for pastor brunson. i will go back those same senators and say we have to take it up another notch unless pastor brunson is released. i will thank tucky for allowing his wife nor reason to travel out of the country. i hope that next week we can talk about the positive things that we can do with a nato ally to secure their homeland,
improve their trade agreements and to are -- have a relationship with a nato ally that i so bad want to have. until pastor brunson is released there is no way on earth i will do anything to make our tripp better -- our relationship better. it is within president erdogan's power to take this off the table today. i hope that president erdogan and the turkish officials hear our pleas, show us a nato ally the respect we deserve and to free pastor brunson. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the senate previous order, the senate
live senate coverage when lawmakers return at 2:15 p.m. eastern here on c-span2. tamara senator mccain's body will lie in state in phoenix, arizona. funeral services are set for thursday also in phoenix. on friday senator mccain will lie in state and u.s. capitol rotunda in washington, d.c. with another funeral service on saturday at washington national cathedral. he will be buried sunday in annapolis, maryland. senators continued to speak about the life and career of senator john mccain. here's a portion of what they have to say. >> it was quite something to listen yesterday to members heartfelt tributes to the memory of our friend, senator mccain. he meant so much to so many of
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