tv U.S. Senate U.S. Senate CSPAN August 28, 2018 2:15pm-7:47pm EDT
tribute. we are expecting further debate on executive nominations. live now to the floor of the u.s. senate for afternoon debate the presiding officer: the senate will come to order. mr. graham: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from south carolina. mr. graham: thank you. i have been thinking about this. i have been dreading this. and i am now going to do this. to all of my colleagues who have gone before me, you have done right by our friend, senator mccain. the family appreciates all the good words, the kindnesses, the anecdotes that have come their way. this is a tough time for the
family. john has seven wonderful children, cindy, devoted wife, you really did well by john. but before anything else, i just want to know -- i'm going to try to make this somewhat fun, even though i don't feel in a funny mood right now. but the bottom line is, let's start off with the tie. to anybody who may be watching on television, this is a naval academy tie. i wore this today, john, to honor you and to annoy you all at the same time. he would constantly tell me, lindsey, i wish you were in my naval academy class. i said, well, that's very nice, john. you know why, lindsey? i said no, john. if you'd been in my class, i would have been sixth from the bottom, not fifth. thank you very much, john. humiliation and affection were constant companions.
the more he humiliated you, the more he liked you. in that regard i was well served . to my colleagues, thank you again so much for what you have done. the only way i know to put this in words that maybe john can relate to is that after a military operation is over, after a mission is complete, the pilots come back and debrief. if there's a military operation, they do an after-action report. i thought to myself, what would it say? what would the after-action report for john mccain say? and the purpose of these reports is for lessons learned so that others will benefit and make sure that we'll remember, remember the things that went well and the things that did not so we'll be better off as a unit, as a nation. the title of the operation was
pretty easy. you can say a lot of things about me but clever is not one of them. operation maverick. it began in the fall of 1954, the year before i was born at the naval academy and it ended the 25th of august, 2018. and what can we learn? the source of the report is me, his political wingmen, code name little jerk. you've all got your names and you've earned them like i did, who was lucky enough to walk in his shadow and to witness history up close, to be in the presence of a giant at a time everything around us was so small. what did i learn? that a few dumb jokes told over
and over actually become funny and can take you a long way in politics, marco. i'm going to give them to you because john liked you. lindsey, how hot is it in arizona? john, i don't know. it is so hot that the trees chase the dogs. isn't that funny, john? what's unique about arizona? i said i don't know, john. i imagine a lot of things. barry goldwater ran for president lost. i ran for president and lost. lindsey, it's the only place in the nation where mothers tell their children you can never grow up to be president. jeff, remember that. maybe you can break the string. lindsey, aren't you a lawyer? yeah, i am, john. he says, ug know the difference it a lawyer and a catfish? no, i don't. one is a bottom dwelling scum sucking creature and the other
is a fish. no wonder we did so poorly with lawyers, john. you know why i didn't join the marines this no, my parents were married. i'm going to miss these dumb jokes. what else did i learn? i learned how to fight a lot. everything and everybody. i learned how to forgive and i saw how to heal. on the fighting side, i learned that the captured warrior who was tortured became the statesman who forgave and healed, a relationship between his former adversary and our nation. i went to the hanoi hilton, one of the highlights of my life with john. it's now a museum and we're the bad guys because they get the right how the museum reads. i remember being in front of his
cell and you can see the wheels turning and the memories coming back. and as we walked forward surrounded by a bunch of handlers and john mccain was elvis in vietnam. it was the most amazing thing in the world how people adored him in vietnam. i saw a bunch of photos on the wall of the prisoners playing volleyball, sifting in the sun with -- sitting in the sun with sunglasses on. i said john, must not have been that bad after all and he said with a smile, i don't remember it this way, which allowed us to get out of vietnam. i remember him embracing a war that nobody wanted to talk about because he understood what it would cost to lose it. i remember him supporting the surge when everybody was willing to get out of iraq because they were so tired of it and so no
way forward. i remember the fighter. i remember the 2008 campaign when in 2007, john mccain was fifth in a four-person race, written off as politically dead, no money, the straight talk express had no wheels. out of sheer determination after a visit to iraq where general petraeus allowed him to talk in july to 600 people are going to reenlist in a war they did not have to continue to fight and about equal number were becoming citizens because they were fighting for their country and had expedited citizenship, two empty chairs in the front were boots and john asked, what is that all about? the two didn't make it to the ceremony but were given their citizenship that day. i remember about 2,000 soldiers wanting a photo and every one of them got it.
i remember being so hot i couldn't breathe but we stayed anyway. i remember coming back and getting the nomination only to lose. i remember that night very well. he had wanted to be president. he was prepared to be president. but it was not his to have. and i remember above all levels the speech he gave that night. john taught us how to lose. when you go throughout the world, people remember his concession speech as much as anything else. there are so many countries where you can't afford to lose because they'll kill you. and john said that night, president obama is now my president. so he healed the nation at a time he was hurt. i learned that serving a cause greater than yourself hurts.
anybody in the military can tell you the risk you take. he couldn't put his jacket on. he couldn't comb his hair because he got hurt serving a cause greater than his self. i remember how easy it is to say and how hard it is to do, how hard it is to tell your base i think you're wrong. how hard it is to solve problems that nobody else wants to talk about. i learned that failure and success are the different sides of the same coin, that john told me, i have become better from my failures because it teaches us and i've been tempted by my success and without my failures, i would never have been successful. so to those who are striving as a young person, remember john mccain. he failed a lot but he never quit. the reason we're talking about
him today and the reason i'm crying is because he was successful in spite of his failures. for family and friends, the after-action report would say a relationship with maverick brought joy and difficulty. both were your constant companion. he was a difficult man. he could be tough. but the joy that you receive from being with him will sustain you for a lifetime. and i am so lucky to have been in his presence. he taught me that principle and compromise are not mutually exclusive and the foundation of a great person as well as a great nation. he taught me that immigration as hard as it is to solve,
somebody's got to do it. and he said to me with ted kennedy, you're going to learn, lindsey, that the other side has to get something, too. i have learned that lesson. to my friends on the other side, as long as i'm here, i'm going to remember that you have to get something, too. he taught me that when good ignores evil, it may be convenient but it seldom works. he talked about what would happen in iraq if we left. he was right. he talked about what would happen in syria if we didn't get involved. he was right. why? because warriors are the best, i believe, at making peace, and the warrior understands the difference between a false peace and real peace. to those who accused him of
wanting endless wars, you have no idea what you were talking about. he wanted sustainable peace and understood the consequences of not seeing it through. the soldiers adored him. to those who have traveled with john, you seldom had two mills in the same country. you met more people than you could remember, but you were struck by one thing. we're going to really bad places a lot. and those in the military adored this man. he taught me that boldness and practicality must be practiced in equal measure. he believes in climate change, sheldon. and so do i. but there's a practical streak
about john that i think made him very successful because he told me time and time again, you have to let people catch up with you. you have to have a rhythm and a pace. there are a hundred people in this body if different walks of life. you may think you're right and over time if you are, it will be proven. but give your colleagues the time and the understanding to catch up with you. he taught me that honor and imperfection are -- are always in competition. i do not cry for a perfect man. i cry for a man who had honor and always was willing to admit to his imperfection. if you're thinking about getting in politics, the one thing i would ask you to look at when it comes to life of john mccain,
that it's okay to tell people i screwed up. i got this wrong. i want to make it right. honor is, in my view, doing the right thing at your own expense. and he did that time and time again. he taught me that life without passion and love is a sad life. he had a happy life. he had ten lives. he was involved in five aviation accidents. if we sent john a bill for all the planes he crashed, he could never pay it off. he lived life to its fullest. he was often disappointed, but he was never deterred from getting back up and going at it
again. love, not a word often associated with senator mccain , but it should be because if you were loved by him, you knew it. you were loved with all your faults. and i was lucky to have been loved by him. so how would i characterize operation maverick? wildly successful. it made the world a better place. it gave the nation something to talk about at a time when we can't agree on anything. not universal acceptance of the life of john mccain, but pretty damn close. the only time msnbc, cnn, and fox are saying the same thing. and the only way that happened
is because those of us who have had the pleasure of being in his presence and those who covered him in your business want to tell the story. i haven't been approached since his death -- i have been approached since his death by cab drivers, waiters, cops. they said sorry for your loss. my name is graham, not mccain. but i feel like a mccain. i don't know if i have earned that honor, but i feel like it. the average man and woman in this country got john mccain. and what will it mean for the future? it means there will be generations of politicians coming along who will be
influenced by him. the mccain institute is alive and well. its goal is to get young leaders throughout the developing world, expose them to democracy, teach them the art of compromise, the rule of law. and what a legacy. john will inspire courage. he will reinforce the idea nothing is inevitable as long as a few people are willing to fight for what they believe is right. it is going to be a lonely journey for me for a while. i am going to need your help, and the void to be filled by john's passing is more than i
can fill. don't look to me to replace this man. look to me to remember what he was all about and try to follow in his footsteps. if you want to help me, join the march. if you want to help the country, be more like john mccain. i believe there is a little john mccain in all of us, and the little john mccain practiced by a lot of people can make this a really great nation. so my friend, you did good. you lived in the shadow of a four-star father and a four-star grandfather. you always worried would you disappoint? you did not. to cindy and the children, thank you for making me part of the clan. to team mccain, you taught me what loyalty is all about. to my colleagues, thank you for
i say that although john mccain and i served together, it was only for the last four years of a storied senate career, and we were not on any common committees. but let me say why i am qualified,. in that brief period, i say firsthand that which others rise and speak of from many more years of acquaintance. i speak of 2014 when i was running for senate for the first time and john mccain came to louisiana to campaign on my behalf. and it was remark to believe see how veterans responded to him. and we would go -- oh, my gosh, it was a sort of schedule that is legendary for john mccain. we started off in covington, louisiana, then went to new orleans, and then went to baton rouge, to lafayette, drove up to shreveport and came back to new orleans -- all in one day. and others would have been
tired. he was energized. he taught me about social media. folks would come up to him and wish to have their picture taken. he was take a selfie and he would say, post it on facebook. and sure enough they d and in that way, his contact with people would from just the group meeting -- always incredibly well attended -- to the individual meeting, to everybody who those folks are reaching out to facebook. but even that is not the story of which i wish to tell. we're in this incredibly intense schedule in which we are meeting one person after of another and in -- after another, and in slovenia port as we're talking out, a fellow handed john mccain a in a moment he said, senator, that is fellow who is a fellow vietnam vet. he is in the hospital now and cannot come. and he would love to hear from you. and here is his phone number. so we get in the car and john picks up his phone and he calls. and he says, hello, my friend.
this is john mccain. i'm sorry you're under the weather. tell me about it. and spoke to the man. and as one vietnam veteran to another, reaching through that wire, making that man know that he was deeply cared for and honored for his service to our country and his sacrifice for our country. that tells me a measure of john mccain. in this incredibly intense schedule, finding that moment to reach out to an individual to let him know how much he was valued as an american. so, mr. president, i rise to speak briefly, and i started by saying i am probably among the least qualified. but perhaps because of my brief interaction and the quality of the interaction and the intensity of how john mccain presented himself not just to me, not just to his fellow
american but to all the voters of louisiana, i might be the best qualified, the best qualified because even in that glimpse you see that which made john mccain a great american, bringing it all, all the time, for everybody who lives in this country to represent this country as best as possibly to the rest of the world and in so doing served not just our country but the rest of the world. thank you, mr. president. and i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from rhode island. mr. reed: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, i rise today to honor our late colleague and friend, senator john mccain. i want to begin by offering my deepest sympathies to john's loving wife cindy, his children sydney, megan, jack, doug, and andy and his mother roberta. those who knew him knew that above all else john was a loving father, devoted husband, and a
dedicated family man. today we mourn with the entire mccain family. i would like at this time just to take a few moments to reflect on his heroic legacy. when i think of john mccain, tword woulds come to mind -- words come to mind -- courage and sacrifice. as a son and grandson of decorated naval officers the desire to serve his country ran deep in john. following in their footsteps, he graduated from the naval academy and went on to serve in vietnam. the events that followed, being shot down, captured and held in horrific conditions have become military legend. his indomitable spirit carried him through his years of imprisonment. but his willingness to sacrifice for his fellow servicemen should be testament of his courage and sacrifice. as everyone knows well, john endured grueling hardships throughout his captivity.
on courage, he so eloquently explained that courage is not the absence of fear but the capacity to act despite our fears. at one point during his captivity, john made what i can only imagine to be one of the most difficult decisions of his life -- he was offered special treatment and release due to his family's military prominence, but he refused. he stated that he would not accept release until all the prisoners of war taken before him were also released. to put his comrades and his country before his own welfare, especially when confronted with uncertainty and abuse is the most profound example of his willingness to sacrifice his life for others. john spent more than five years in captivity at the hanoi hilton, but rather than allowing the horrors to continue to color his life, he returned to the navy before beginning a career in business. not long after he again heeded
the call to service and won a seat in the house of representatives representing arizona. the first indication that senator mccain would be an outspoken leader and staunch defender of service members came when as a freshman member of the house he opposed legislation supported by president reagan to keep marines in lebanon. he refused to further endanger service members for an objective that he viewed as unattainable. it took political courage and conviction for john to stand up to a man who has called one of his heroes and oppose him on principle. this willingness to stand by his convictions and speak his mind, no matter the perception, would become a hallmark of senator john mccain. first in the house, then in the senate, and on the presidential campaign trail with the aptly named "straight-talk express" john was renowned for the candid expression of his thoughts and steadfastness of his principles.
while john and i serve together for many years in the senate, i was fortunate to work most closely with him during the past four years when he was chairman of the armed services committee and i was the ranking member. our pairing could be rocky as times, not because he was a republican and i was a democrat, but because he went to the naval academy and i went to west point. as john joked, i did okay for someone who didn't have a college education. thank you, john. but in all seriousness, senator mccain's leadership was vital in shepherding through congress numerous defense authorization acts that have substantially reformed the department of defense, improved care for service members and increased the capacity of our military to immediate the myriad national security challenges we face. throughout his life, senator mccain was a steady force in turbulent times in global afarmers the threats to our national security and the stability of the global order are more numerous and diverse
now than way any point in our recent history. we should remain john's guidance that we live in a land made of ideals, not blood and soil. we are the custodians of those ideals, at home and their champion abroad. he believed in an america that is united by its values, not divided by manufactured distrust and animus. most importantly, he emphasized a moral obstacles that we as americans carry to provide leadership in the world and serve as the beacon of hope, opportunity, and justice -- both here and across the globe. as a further reflection, i was always impressed by john's respect for colleagues who were committed to principle but who sought principled compromise. this respect animated our relationship and made it possible to find common ground. finally, what ultimately motivated john mccain, i believe, was the knowledge that
thousands and thousands of americans in uniform were protecting this nation. he understood that we owed these men and women and their families more than we could ever really pay. he always kept faith with these valiant americans and inspired all of us here to keep that faith. as our sailors, soldiers, marines, and airmen guarded our country and constitution, he guarded them with a special and profound love. i will miss senator mccain's partnership and friendship, and this chamber will be hard-pressed to find a more respected voice of reason and bipartisanship. it is my hope that we can follow in the footsteps of the virtues that senator john mccain exemplified -- courage, sacrifice, compassion, determination, and above all else an unyielding patriotism that motivated a lifetime of service. we can best honor senator mccain by living our lives by the example he set. mr. president, i would yield the floor.
a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from south dakota. mr. thune: the senate is not in a quorum call, are we? the presiding officer: the senate is not in a quorum call. mr. thune: mr. president, in the wake of senator john mccain's passing, i was particularly moved by the announcement that in accordance with his wishes he'll be buried in the cemetery at the u.s. naval academy. it is a fitting resting place for someone whoing belonged in - who belonged to the united states navy and characteristic of him that in death he wished to rest with his comrades at
arms. it was during his service at the navy that lieutenant mccain's plane was shot down over north vietnam. he was ejected and taken into captivity. during world war ii admiral chester nimitz noted that, and i quote, uncommon valor was a common virtue. end quote. the same can be said about the american soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines in the prison camps of north vietnam. john mccain joined their number in october of 1967. during the years of his confinement he was regularly beaten and tortured. he survived thanks in part to the friendship of his fellow prisoners of war. in 1968, his captors offered the malnourished and ill mccain the chance to be returned home early, ahead of prisoners who were next in line. john mccain said no. he spent another almost five years in captivity before being
released on march 14, 1973. it scarcely needs to be said, mr. president, that he remained a thorn in his captors' side the entire time. mr. president, living in perhaps the most privileged country in the world, it's hard for most of us to imagine going without the internet for a few months, let alone something more fundamental like electricity or indoor plumbing. the courage and character and sheer determination required to undergo regular torture, malnourishment and deplorable living conditions is almost impossible to fathom. and yet, hundreds of u.s. soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines, john mccain among them, endured these torments and persevered. and amazingly it was in the prison camps of north vietnam that john mccain discovered the fierce love of country that would animate his life. years later he noted, and i quote, i fell in love with my
country when i was a prisoner in someone else's. i loved it for its decency, faith and wisdom of its people. i loved it because it was not just a place but an idea, a cause worth fighting for. i was never the same again. i wasn't my own man anymore. i was my country's. end quote. john mccain was his country's man, mr. president. throughout a congressional career that spanned 35 years, he served her faithfully. he inspired those who served with him on both sides of the aisle. and he always called on all of us to live up to all that is best and greatest about the united states of america. he was a fierce crusader for the causes close to his heart from supporting our nation's veterans to equipping our military with the tools that it needs to advancing liberty around the world. he was also a wonderful colleague and friend.
shortly after i got to the senate, i read his book "faith of my fathers." and as i'm reading this book, i'm starting to think that some of the dates and places sound pretty familiar, so i did a little research and ended up discovering that the distinguished flying cross that my father harold thune received had been awarded to him by none other admiral john mccain, our john mccain's grandfather. when i shared this with john and every time i'd see him he'd say we've got to call your dad. that's exactly what we did one day. and i cherish that special connection, mr. president, with a family that has meant so much to our country and to freedom. mr. president, it was an honor to serve with john mccain. i will miss his sense of humor and the passion that he brought to every battle. i admired him greaterly. he reminded me and all of us every day that life is not about advancing ourselves but about serving a greater cause.
and that paradoxically, it is in service that we find freedom. in his farewell message to his country men john said, and i quote, to be connected to america's causes, respect, liberty and justice and dignity for all people brings happiness more sublime than life's fleeting pleasures. our identities and sense of worth are not circumscribed but enhrargd by serving good causes that are bigger than ourselves. end quote. mr. president, already the new class of midshipmen has overrun the grounds of the u.s. naval academy. and in the days and years and decades to come midshipmen will walk past john mccain's grave and the graves of other marines and sailors who have served our country. the graves will fade into the background of everyday life but they will still whisper always of the courage and sacrifice of those who have gone before. and later at that time of their testing some of those midshipmen may remember the graves of those
heroes and resolve to be like them, to be like john mccain. mr. president, when discussing how he would like to be remembered, john mccain said, and i quote, i want when i leave that the ceremony is at the naval academy and we just have a couple of people that stand up and say this guy, he served our country. this guy, he served his country. mr. president, i think that he can be assured that there will be more than a few people saying that come sunday. there can be few finer epitaphs. mr. president, i yield the floor.
mr. mcconnell: mr. president. the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that notwithstanding the provisions of rule 22 the pending cloture motions on executive calendar 911, 783, and 720 be withdrawn and that at 3:45 p.m. today the senate vote on the following nominations in the order listed with no intervening action or debate: executive calendar 910, 911, 783, and 720. that if confirmed, the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table, the president be immediately notified of the senate's action. i further ask that the pending cloture motions on executive
calendar 633, 635, 636, 674, 676, 692, 693, 731, 779, 782, 838, and 839, 893 be wraub and following disposition of the patelunas nomination the senate vote on the following nominations in the order listed with no intervening action or debate. executive calendar 663, 635, 3636, 3674, 676, 692, 837. that if confirmed the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table, the president be immediately notified of the senate's action. i further ask that at a time to be determined by the majority leader in consultation with the
democratic leader during the week of september 4, the senate vote on the following nominations in the order listed: executive calendar 693, 731, 778, 779, 782, 838, 839, 893, that if confirmed the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table and the president be immediately notified of the senate's action. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection, so ordered. a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from minnesota. ms. klobuchar: mr. president, last week we lost an incredible patriot, senator, and american, our friend and colleague senator john mccain. my heart goes out to his wife
cindy, his mom, his daughters, and family. in the navy, john exemplified heroism and bravery and in the senate he was a mentor to so many of us. he taught us how to work with leaders on the world stage, but then he taught us something just as important, and that is how to work with each other when we're here back at home. this past month my husband and i got to visit john and cindy at their ranch in arizona for one last time. even while battling brain cancer, he continued to be engaged in the issues of our time. he continued to have that signature mccain humor and that grit. my last memory of john, i had brought a few of his books with him, and he was getting tired, and he pointed to one sentence
in one of the books, and he said to me, that, that's what matters. and the sentence was this: nothing in life is more liberating than to fight for a cause larger than yourself. and no one proved that more than john mccain. lindsey graham just gave beautiful remarks about his best friend, his best friend who had caught him so -- taught him so much, how to pick yourself up and be resilient when things go wrong, who taught him how to always put your country first. so i saw that resilience firsthand when john invited me to go with him and lindsey on a trip to asia. it was at an incredible moment in his own life. it was right after he had lost that presidential election, something that he had dreamed to attain for so long, and it didn't work out.
so did he just go home and not do his work? no. he dove right in and took a young senator with him to asia along with his best friend, lindsey, and some of his most beloved staff. and what i saw on that trip i'll never forget. he's literally a few months out of losing a presidential election, but he's still excited about the world around him. he's excited when the defense secretary calls him with something he wants him to work on with him. he has great humor when he reads about president obama's latest purchase of a dog and other things, and he just says it and smiles and puts the newspaper down. he loved introducing me to people that i never thought i'd met, and he loved sharing those stories. and on every leg of the trip between countries, he would read books. he would read books about world war ii. he would read books about
anything in history that he thought was relevant to today. he loved it for the sake of history, but he also loved it because he believed that history teaches us something, that you can't ignore history, that you take the lessons of history and bring them with you forward. john's own history was incredible. a navy pilot during vietnam. after being shot down he was held and tortured as a prisoner of war for over five years in that infamous hanoi hilton. so on that trip to asia, we went to that prison and i saw that cell where john had been held for those five years, the cell in which he had made the decision to allow other prisoners to be released before him because he didn't want to look like he got special treatment. that was a moment i will never forget. but then we went on a tour of the rest of the prison.
and again with that signature wry humor and resilience, as the guide is showing us a new exhibit which included sort of happy pictures of prisoners of war sitting around a christmas tree or playing table tennis, and she proudly showed us those pictures, and he nodded his head with all the media behind him, and then he whispered to me, i don't remember any of this. we then went to an exhibit that was brand-new of his flight suit, and it was this pristine flight suit with his name enembryo tkered in it and next to it was a picture of him, the plane being shot down and the flight suit was all torn up. and they show us the flight suit. he takes pictures, he smiles, and as we're walking away, he was saying to me that was not my flight suit. that was john mccain. and when he walked around those streets of vietnam, a place where he had been held prisoner for five years, it was like a rock star. you know why? because he had come back there
so many times bringing different americans with him, working on issues that mattered to them, working on trade issues, normalizing relations. they loved him there. that was him. that was john mccain. the other thing about him was there was so many senators he mentored, but i always loved how he would take some of the new women senators under their wing and made sure they went on these trips. and in many of the rooms where we met with foreign leaders, it would be, again, john and me and lindsey. senator mccain went first and then all the foreign leaders would look at lindsey graham, but john mccain would stop them and say, i'm sorry, senator cloab is the lead -- klobuchar is the lead democrat in the delegation and she will go next.
he would send a letter to the foreign leaders and say that she should be treated with respect and equally and she is the democratic lead on our trip. part of being a mentor to someone is also urging them on and many of us here know what it was like to get one of those back-handed mccain compliments, which always didn't seem like a compliment to the outside, but truly was. my favorite was when i would do a sunday show or something like that and he would have liked what i said, i guess, but he would call and leave a message, and say, you did pretty good on that show on immigration, pretty good for a communist. i know some of my republican colleagues were never called a communist, but that was his word of affection for many of us on the democratic side. and what he did mentoring women members and staff had to do with the incredibly strong women in his own life, his wife cindy,
his mother, his daughter megan, and his family. that was a lot that i think a part of john mccain that people don't know. and the last thing that i would mention that i hope, and lindsey talked about this, his legacy that must live on, and that is what he taught us about working with the rest of the world. my last trip i took with john mccain was to lithuania and lativa, esto nirch a, and -- estonia and georgia, and the president-elect had been talking negatively about nato and he thought it was important to show the world that there were people in the senate, leaders in the senate that stood by those baltic nations that declared their independence and that's why we went on that trip. and somehow we found ourselves
on new year's eve in a blizzard in the middle of the night on live ukrainian steve with the president of ukraine where the president there wanted to show support for democracy and their quest to stay independent despite the foreign invasion by the -- russia. so, as we stood there, the president gave senator mccain a machine gun, a ukrainian-made machine gun. they are proud of their armaments there. mccain was holding it and then he gave it to senator graham and gave him a pistol, and i was standing there, and mccain says, i wonder what you are getting. it's a flat box and i opened the box and it had two daggers. and senator mccain said i was deserving of a pistol and arranged to have one brought to me and the navy confiscated
every weapon, and a year later senator mccain said, i wonder what happened to my machine gun. that trip was about him standing with us with these are leaders to send that incredibly important message, his own words from back a few years before in 2013 when he spoke to that pro-democracy crowd of protesters in ukraine telling them that america is with you and they said thank you back at him. as he said, the united states has a special responsibility to champion human rights in all places for all peoples and at all times. so he would send this message to our allies. he would look for those hotspots, he would look for those moments when it was necessary to show our allies and friends and those struggling for human rights and democracy that they had a friend in the united states. he knew that supporting our
allies is also about supporting ourselves and i'll use john's words here. in supporting their hope, their faith, and their friendship. that was john mccain. so when i think about protecting the future of our country and the work that must be done in this chamber and his devotion to making friends on on the other side of the aisle -- on both sides of the aisle, i think of the decency he brought to politics, not always happy every moment of his life in politics, but always decent, and that was best reflected on a rally that happened in my state in the waning days of his presidential campaign when a woman stood up when he could have just embraced what she said, but he didn't. the woman said of then-candidate obama, i read about him, he's an
arab. without missing a beat, john shook his head and politely said, many nom, he's a family man who i happen to have disagreements with. that's a moment you plan for or where you have a strategy. that was his reaction in the moment when he knew that his dream was slipping away from him and he could have just said anything about his opponent because he was mad that he wasn't wing, but he didn't. he -- winning, but he didn't. he took the high road. that's john mccain. so as we move forward in this chamber, i hope we will remember his word, that the most liberating thing in life is to fight for a cause larger than ourselves. he did that every single day and we must now carry on that torch. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor.
the presiding officer: the senator from ohio. mr. portman: today i want to join my colleague from minnesota and other senators in talking about our colleague, an american icon, who played an outsized role as our country's story. senator john mccain was first and foremost a patriot. throughout his whole life and very prolific life, he lived the motto of his 2008 presidential campaign, which was simply, country first. i had the privilege of helping senator mccain during that 2008 campaign. i was in the private sector then, and i took time off to spend about six weeks with him traveling around the country. i was on the campaign trail with a group of his loyal friends, including the first friend, lindsey graham. i had known john for many years but you really get to know somebody in a different way during the intensity and pressure of a national campaign.
i played the role of his opponent, then senator barack obama to prepare for his debates. i took that role very seriously, maybe too seriously on occasion. it was my job to get under his skin and prepare him well for the debates, and i did it. many of my colleagues will tell you he was a fighter and a tough competitor and did not minutes words -- mince words. i was on the other end of that after some spirited debates, i was glad in the real world i was on his side. needless to say he was not happy to me. i think cindy mccain didn't forgive me when i was playing the role of senator obama. even two years later when i was first elected and joined him here in the united states senate, he would introduce me to the reporters in the hall and say, that's the jerk that played
obama. the john mccain that i got to know during the incidentty of -- intensity of the campaign was compassionate and his heart was in the right place. he had a sense of humor that was in tact. when a bad poll would come out, he would gather us around and say, don't worry, it's always darkest before it's pitch black. one of the memories i will never forget was during a debate preparation in a theater in new york city. at start of the debate practice i was backstage because i wanted to be realistic coming out behind the curtain and to the podium. it was september 24, twiet, just as -- 2008, just as the financial crisis was hitting. it's difficult to go back to that moment today, but the mind-set at the time was that we were in a true crisis. the stock market had crashed.
the country was mired in financial turmoil, and so i stood there behind the curtain getting ready to come out. john mccain and two of his top campaign advisors were on stage getting into their own debate and their debate was about whether or not to suspend the campaign, postpone the first debate that was scheduled to occur a few days later and fly back to washington, d.c., to work out a legislative solution to bolster the shaky financial system. i remember one of the advisors say that suspending the campaign would hurt them. it was a view shared by pretty much every political pundit. i remember john mccain pushing back. he said, it's the right thing to do to suspend this campaign. if we don't fix this, it won't be a country left to govern.
it's the right thing to do. if we don't fix this, there won't be a p country left to gorch -- left to govern. he suspended his campaign and returned to washington to enter the arena and to try to fix things. john mccain was less worried about the political fallout than he was about what was at stake for our great country. country first. he didn't win that campaign, but i think he taught all of us a lesson about how to lose. he gave a generous concession speech that put country first. he was someone a lot of us look to counsel and work with on many issues of often national security issues. in my case he was an expert. i worked with him on issues like ukraine, but also on other matters. just in the last year he played a key role in helping us enact reforms here in the united states senate that are making a real difference right now in
combating online section trafficking -- sex trafficsing. this was during sesta. and this sesta legislation was something he was involved with. cindy mccain has a long history in this area. she's a real expert on it and she was instrumental in the legislation in these reforms, as was the mccain institute. john had a passion for it. he was the first republican cosponsor of the bill and a passionate advocate. he believed in his heart that the sale of women and children online was just wrong and it should never happen, certainly not in this country in this century. about six months ago this legislation, the sesta bill was about to be vote on and after getting permission from my democratic coauthor, senator richard blumenthal, who agreed with me, i approached john mccain and i asked him if we could name this antisex trafficking legislation the
mccain bill, after him and after cindy and all the work he had done and his passion for it. his response was immediate and classic mccain. no, he said. that wouldn't be right. i strongly support the legislation but you all did the work. it isn't about me. it's about getting this done for those women and those children. country first. for me, this chamber is never going to be the same place without him. it's as simple as that. lindsey graham said that well earlier. and, for me, this place, the senate, and the country for that matter is better off because of him. he dedicated his life to those liberties we enjoy as americans and he took it upon himself to defend and represent them and try to spread them around the globe. he joined the u.s. navy to protect our country, spent five years as a prisoner of war and served in the house of representatives and the u.s.
senate representing not just his arizona constituents, which he did well, but, as he viewed it, the entire country. country first. now is a gesture of our nation's gratitudor the -- gratitude, senator mccain will lie in state in the capitol. john mccain was a hero in the flesh right here in this century and i feel blessed for having known him. the last conversation i remember having with john was right out here in the an telephone -- ante room. he was in a wheelchair. he had a brace on his leg necessary because of the chemotherapy and his voice was faltering. we sat and we talked first about the sesta legislation and cindy's role. john always had a funny line, in this case he joked saying, passing that legislation will save my marriage. then he started talking about his kids.
he went into detail about what they were doing, especially his sons in the military and what they were accomplishing and his daughter megan and her work in the media world and how proud he was of them. his voice strengthened and his eyes shown with proud as he talk bd each of them. i muttered something about that being another part of his legacy, and he gave me that crooked smile. family and country first. my wife jean and i send our condolences to john's amazing wife, cindy, to his seven proud sons and daughter, and to the entire mccain family. godspeed, john mccain. mr. brown: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senior senator from ohio.
mr. brown: thank you. i appreciate my colleague from ohio, i appreciate his comments about senator mccain and cindy mccain. i have made some remarks from the floor earlier about senator mccain and a tribute to him as my colleagues pretty much all are doing as we should and people have done so well. i appreciate in particular senator portman's comments about the sex trafficking issue that senator mccain was so interested in and cindy really led the way. i saw cindy at a conference in cincinnati and senator portman's hometown. i live in the other end of the state. her passion about that clearly infected john and his passion about an issue, especially north of cincinnati, in the 75 corridor, especially toledo, how troubling it s. he took on so many issues that mattered and i thank rob for mentioning that. mr. president, i'd like my remarks to be in a different place in the record, my following remarks. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. brown: thank you, mr. president. we consider the nomination of
dr. richard clarida at two positions, vice chair for a term of four years, and a member of the board for an unexpired term of 14 years. that's the way the fed works to be on the board and then some special vice chair of supervision or vice chair generally in those titles that go along with the appointments. federal reserve hasn't had a full board since august 2013. why is that? well, president obama nominated qualified financial experts alan landon, a small community bank owner, i believe, from hawaii, and professor katherine dominguez who both stepped up to serve their country. they put a number of their lives' activities of hold in order to serve on the federal reserve. yet the chairman of the banking committee, not the present chairman senator crapo, the former chairman of the banking committee simply refused to give a hearing to either of them.
we've seen that on the export import bank. we saw it on the -- one of -- a number of transportation nominations. we saw it on the federal reserve time after time after time. if obama nominated the senate banking committee and the senate floor refused to confirm. president trump as the president only now for 18, 19 months will now have the ability to have nominated six of the seven fed governors to 14-year terms. think about that. board members do vital work on monetary policy and their work affects the financial situation of ohio families. they set rules for the nation's largest banks, the banks that caused the financial crisis. you xd underestimate -- you can't underestimate the collective amnesia of this body when it comes to financial regulation, the banking committee which continues to give wall street anything it asked more profits, more
deregulation, more tax cuts. they -- as i said, the board sets rules for the nation's largest banks, the banks that caused the financial crisis, cost us millions of jobs, cost so many families their homes. as i said a number of times, my wife and i life in zip code on -- had more foreclosures than any zip code in the united states of america. you still see the residue of that and the results of those foreclosures. we know the pain inflicted on millions of families across the country, thousands of families within two or three miles or four miles of my house. yet we barely recognize anymore in this body what happened because this body didn't do its job, federal regulators and the bush administration didn't do their jobs, and wall street was so greedy. now, fast forward back to this year. board members will decide whether to finalize the fed's proposal to roll back capital
and leverage requirements. think about that. that's the collective amnesia. they are willing, the federal reserve -- the regulators, whether it's o.c.c. or the federal reserve or fdic or the treasury department are willing to weaken rules across the board that are there to protect the financial stability, the stability of our financial system, yet it's like we forgot what happened ten years ago. if adopted, the plan would allow the eight largest banks what the fed's considering now, the plan will allow the eight largest banks in the country, the eight largest banks to poor $121 billion into stock and dividends. it's 120,000 million. that's what that number means. $121 million in stockbacks and dividends. that's just paying off management, giving executives the one-tenth of 1% at the top who already make millions of dollars in compensations. the compensation has given them
more. it's funds that could be used to pay workers, to cut fees for coupers and to protect -- consumers and to protect taxpayers from bailouts. big tax cuts never enough. more deregulation, never enough. biggest profits ever, never enough. huge compensation, never enough. members of the fed board will also vote on a fed proposal to limit -- these restrictions devised by the former fed chair of more than 15 years ago, actually more than 25 years ago would protect taxpayers by preventing big banks from taking risks, big risks with hardworking families' saving accounts. if there's any better example of the collective amnesia of politicians and regulators in washington, d.c., it's this. and that's compounded, mr. president, by -- if you look up the street -- obviously you can't see it from here. you look up at 1600 pennsylvania avenue and the white house looks like a retreat for wall street
executives. one wall street executive after another hired by the white house. governors on the fed board will also have a say on the fed's stress test. the yearly exercise designed to prevent a big bank from being able to bring down our entire economy. why would we want to do this? why would we weaken these rules as bags are making bigger profits, executives are getting greater imen saition and banks got -- compensation and banks got a huge tax cut. why would we weaken rules so they could have more at the possible expense of the stability and strength of the financial system? we've seen already the damage this administration's wall street-friendly appointees can do. in july the fed allowed the seven largest banks to plow $96 billion, seven largest banks, $96 billion. that's about $14 billion each, $14 billion each, some a little more, some a little less, allow them to plow $96 billion to dividends and buybacks so c.e.o.'s can make more money.
they didn't put it in workers' paychecks. you know, mr. president, what the average teller in this country makes? you go into a local branch bank, you know what the average teller makes? $12.50 an hour. in my high school reunion, i sat across my 45th recriewn in mansfield, ohio, i sat across the table from a woman who was working for a large -- one of these largest banks. she's making -- she's worked there 30 years. she makes $30,000 a year. but never enough for the c.e.o.'s. never enough for top management. at a time when big banks post record profits, they should be building capital cushions to protect themselves from tough times. they should be giving raises to workers who power these companies. instead the fed undermines the lessons from the last crisis, let's the banks drain away their rainy day funds. three banks, three banks, goldman sachs, morgan stanley, state street all had capital below the amount required under the stress test. but you know what? the fed gave them passing grades anyway. what are the stress tests for?
they're called tests. if you fail a test, you should do something to correct it. but they said, pat them on the back, it's okay, you tried. you may have not got a passing grade but we'll let you go anyway. the fed, what's the fed's response in addition to giving those three banks a pass? the fed wants to make next year's stress test even easier to pass. vice chair quarles has suggested he wants to give bankers more leeway. they're going to make them easier. they're going to talk to the banks to say how do we write it so you can pass it easier. maybe we'll show you ahead of time what the tests are. i don't remember that in eighth grade. i don't remember that in junior high or college, that the professor or teacher would say, hey, come up to my desk. i'll tell you what this test is going to be. i'll give you some advice on how to pass it. the fed is considering dropping the qualitative portion of the stress test all together even though banks like deutsche bank,
santander, r.b.s., citigroup have failed on quality of grounds. the banks i mentioned, most are foreign banks. most of them are foreign banks. some of them have had real problems internationally in the strength and the viability of those banks. that doesn't even include the changes the fed is working on after congress passed 2155 to weaken dodd-frank more. they used to be annual. now they're periodic. guess who gets to decide how often periodic is? happens to be the same wall street people that the president appointed to the fed to decide how often these tests are. so we're making them weaker. we let you pass them even if you don't. we're going to make them weaker. then we're going to let the people being tested know more about them before the tests are run. then we're going to make them periodic so we won't make them as often. this is really a way to make sure these banks are strong
enough to make sure that they can weather a storm. cries chair qawrms has also made it clear -- quarles has also made it clear that massive foreign banks can expect goodies too. the fed may also weaken the community reinvestment act, a law that ensures low and moderate income communities have access to credit. and on it goes. and on it goes. and on and on and on it goes. dr. clarida is an expert in monetary policy. he failed to provide the committee with meaningful insight into his views of the important issues that will be considered by the fed. because i couldn't get a clear answer and i know that a number of us ask questions on both sides, couldn't get clear answers during the hearings on leverage, on the community reinvestment act, on taxpayer protections for the biggest banks, on diversity and so many other issues that impact the people we serve, i asked him to respond to these questions in writing. putting it mildly, we were disappointed n. fact, several of the responses we asked him --
he's a distinguished professor. we asked him specific questions but the answers he got were pretty much identical to the responses from another federal reserve nominee, michele bowman. instead of writing themselves, it's clear the fed staff wrote it and gave it to the two of them and they gave identical answers back. that doesn't tell us anything about what he actually thinks. when banks are making record profits, the fed should be preparing the financial system for the next crisis. they should ensure banks are resilient, focus on increasing employment and wages. they should combat asset bubbles but over the last six months, i've seen the fed only moving in the wrong direction, weakening rules, boughing to special -- bowing to special interests. remember i said the white house looks like a retreat for wall street executives. they're bowing to the interests, making it easier for big banks to cut corners. i'm only becoming more worried whether the fed can protect taxpayers and homeowners from the next crisis. that makes nominees to the board more important than ever.
we need strong financial watchdogs, for the lap dogs. we need individuals who have their own ideas, own ideas on the causes and impacts of the financial crisis who take seriously their role to protect taxpayers and homeowners from wall street abuse. i'm not confident this is the case with this nominee. the ohioans i represent need to know the people nominated to serve them think about these important issues. we haven't gotten that from this nomination. that's why i cannot support, why i plan to vote no. thank you, mr. president. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from missouri. mr. blunt: i know we have a series of votes coming up. i won't stand in the way of those votes once we get over the next couple of minutes. but i didn't want to let the week go by without talking a little bit about john mccain here on the floor. a number of people have asked me
this week, particularly members of the media have asked who's going to replace john mccain. i think the point is, he'll be a hard man to replace. he brought a unique background to this job, raised in the house of a man who was about -- who was going to become an admiral, his grandfather an admiral on the deck of the u.s.s. missouri when world war ii ended. john mccain grew up in a house where visiting members of the house and visiting members of the senate were not unusual. i think that gave him a real capacity to have a comfort level to speak forcefully and truthfully with people at all levels. clearly his time as a prisoner of war had great impact not only on who he was but also on what he was able to do and what he was able to say and how he was able to say it. he was a man of intense energy. there's a picture in this
building, mr. president, of theodore roosevelt seated in the chair, but his left hand is made into a fist. and i never saw that picture thinking it was a fist about to hit somebody, but a fist trying to contain his own energy. there was a reason that theodore roosevelt was john mccain's hero. h.w. brands wrote a book called "the last romantic." the truth is if there was a last romantic, it was john mccain, not theodore roosevelt. john mccain brought an intensity to what we do, an immediate willingness to engage, certainly i think every member of the senate experienced that at least once where that immediate engagement with no doubt in his mind was there. members of the media saw that. he was a man of intensity. he was a man who believed in his
country. he was a man who believed that this country deserved to be represented well all over the world understand that freedom should be defended -- and that freedom should be defended. somebody observed to me earlier in the day that traveling with john mccain, he was unbelievably patient with the troops and unbelievably tough with the generals. and i've seen that and many of us have seen that. he will be missed, but his work was well-done. his place was clearly filled. he made a difference in the history of the country and made a difference for all of those of us who got to know him. and i would yield. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the question occurs on the clarida nomination. is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll.
the presiding officer: are there any senators in the chamber wishing to vote or change their vote? if not, on this vote, the ayes are 69, the noes are 26. the nomination is confirmed. under the previous order, the motion to can reconsider is considered made and laid upon the table the and and the senate proceed to its immediate consideration. under the previous order, the question occurs on the following nomination, which the clerk will report. a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from south dakota. nunn thune i would ask the remaining votes in the series be 10 minutes in length. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. the clerk will report the nomination. the clerk: nomination, federal reserve system, richard clarida of connecticut to be a member of the board of governors.
the presiding officer: question is on the nomination. all those in favor, say aye. those opposed, say no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the nomination is confirmed. under the previous order, the motion to reconsider is considered made and laid upon the table and the president be immediately notified of the senate's action. under the previous order, the question occurs on the following nomination, which the clerk will report. the clerk: department of justice, joseph h. hunt of maryland to be an assistant attorney general. the presiding officer: vote is on the nomination. is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
the presiding officer: are there any senators in the chamber wishing to vote or wishing to change their vote? if not, on this vote the ayes are 72. the noes are 23, and the nomination is confirmed. under the previous order, the motion to reconsider is considered made and laid upon the table, and the president will be immediately notified of the senate's action. under the previous order, the question occurs on the following nomination which the clerk will report. the clerk: nomination. department of treasury, isabel marie keenan patelunas of pennsylvania to be assistant secretary for intelligence and analysis. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll.
the presiding officer: are there any senators in the chamber wishing to change or change their vote? if not, on this vote the ayes are 75, the noes are 20. the nomination is confirmed. under the previous order, the motion to reconsider is considered made and laid upon the table. the president will be immediately notified of the senate's action. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the question occurs on the following nomination, which the clerk will report. the clerk: nomination, the judiciary, terry fitzgerald
moorer to be district judge for the southern are district of georgia. the presiding officer: all those in favor say aye. opposed, no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the nomination is confirmed. under the previous order, the nomination is considered made the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table and the president will be notified of the senate's action. the presiding officer: the senate will report the following nomination. the clerk: r. stan baker of georgia to be united states district judge for the southern doctor district much georgia. the presiding officer: the question is on the nomination. all in favor say aye. opposed, no. the ayes have it, the nomination is confirmed. under the previous order, the president will be immediately notified of the senate's action. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the question occurs on the following nomination which the clerk will
the table and the president will be immediately notified of the senate's action. under the previous order, the question occurs on the following nomination, which the clerk will report. the clerk: mary w. ash of louisiana to be united states district judge for the eastern district of louisiana. the presiding officer: the question is on the nomination. all in favor say aye. all posed say no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the nomination is confirmed. under the previous order, the mows to reconsider is considered made and laid upon the table and the president will be immediately notified of the senate's action. under the previous order, the question occurs on the following nomination which the clerk will report. james r. sweeney ii, of indiana, to be united states district judge for the southern district of indiana. the presiding officer: the question is on the nomination. all in favor say aye.
all opposed say no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the nomination is confirmed. under the previous order, the motion to reconsider is considered made and laid upon the table and the president will immediately be notified seafnt'. under the previous order, the question occurs on the following nomination, the clerk will report. the clerk: susan paradise baxter of pennsylvania to be united states district judge for the western district of pennsylvania. the presiding officer: the question is on the nomination. all in favor say aye. all opposed say no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the nomination is confirmed. under the previous order, the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table, and the president will be immediately notified of the senate's action. under the previous order, the question occurs on the following nomination, which the clerk will report. the clerk: , nancy e. brazil of
minnesota to be united states district judge of minnesota. the presiding officer: the question is on the nomination. all in favor say aye. all opposed, say no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the nomination is confirmed. under the previous order, the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table and the president immediately will be notified of the senate's action. a senator: mr. president . the presiding officer: the senator for wyoming. mr. barrasso: i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to legislative session for morning business with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. barrasso: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator for wyoming. mr. barrasso: mr. president, i come to the floor today to add my voice to the am around the -- to the many around the world who are remembering our dear friend and colleague john mccain.
john mccain was a man of the highest character, courage, and credibility. known for his stubborn courage and his heroic patriotism. he leaves a legacy of devotion and love for his country and his family when i first came to the senate, mr. president, john was very welcoming. he knew i had been an orthopedic surgeon and told me to take a look at his x-rays. of course the x-rays showed the many fractures as a result of being shot down over hanoi and the subsequent beatings as a prisoner of war. it was out of pure generosity on his part that we became friends and traveling companions. john took great pride in this institution and in knowing that none of us in this body of 100, left or right, republican or
democrat, conservative or liberal, none of us agreed with him 100% of the time, but every one of us respected him and the strength of his convictions. i always have. probably no one knows the first person to give him that nickname of mavrick, but he certainly lived up to it. for john it wasn't about playing a character on television. for him there was no switching between a public and private persona. he was the same when the cameras were on as -- were off as when they were on. when we were in the chamber, his voice would thunder on the senate floor when he was stirred to outrage, incredible force and conviction. and so he came to another affectionate name, hurricane mccain. his humor was legendary. he used his biting humor as a
surface-to-air missile. we'll all know his incredible biography, his courage as naval officer and as a prisoner in vietnam. it was a story that inspired millions of people around the world, and i could see it when we traveled the world together. we would visit american troops overseas and it was incredible to see the respect that he commanded no matter where he went. mr. president, you served time in the military, you've been deployed, you know what it is like to be there and know when someone from home comes to thank you and support you and make sure you have everything you need. our men and women in uniform looked at him in awe and they hung on his every word. foreign leaders did the same. john really was a reassuring figure around the world. my first trip with john was thanksgiving 2007, it was before he was the nominee for president. he was actually trailing
significantly in the polls, and we went to iraq during the surge. we spent the day in baghdad and in other locations nn the dark -- and in the dark of night flew out into the anbar province where his son was serving. we had thanksgiving dinner with a number of soldiers, and when john got to see his son, he went to hug him, to lift his arms, but because of the orthopedic surgery, he was unable to hug him due to the fractures. he was up on his toes to hug his son in the anbar province of iraq. i had a chance to have dinner with six soldiers that evening. they had one request of me. could i introduce them to senator mccain. our final trip was over memorial day this past year, 2017.
it was to vietnam. we went to the lake where he had been shot down. it was a bipartisan group, senator coons from delaware was along. we went to the hanoi prison where he spent five and a half years. we saw the cell and we also went to the presidential palace. no matter where we went, he was met with a hero's welcome. i don't know how many people could have sustained and survived five and a half years in that prison with the beatings. it took a man of incredible courage and character and he gained credibility as well as a certainty for his own life. we also went to camron bay during the trip to vietnam and many vietnam war veterans had been through that area and they brought in the s.s. john mccain, the ship named after his father and grandfather. and while there, we had a -- a
luncheon on the deck of the boat on the ship and it was -- it was called mccain field, and he was greeted warmly by everyone and he greeted them just as warmly. every senator who ever traveled with senator mccain shared a common experience. it was being approached by someone on the street or in a restaurant and being asked, are you with senator mccain? of course we would say yes. then they would -- they would hand us a cellphone and say, could you please take a picture of me with senator mccain? and, of course, we always said yes. you could see the reverence and respect that each of these individuals had for senator mccain. people also respected his incredible legacy of service, his strength as one of the fiercest legislators in our
nation's history. it is fitting just a few weeks ago congress paid tribute to him by passing the john s. mccain national authorization act for fiscal year 20919. -- 2019. we all know that caring for the military was a abiding concern in his military career. he wanted to make sure that the men and women in uniform were treated fairly by the government, that they were respected and that they were honored for their service. you know, we get used to using language of combat around here and all sorts of other areas where it really doesn't belong, we talk about fierce political battles, hard-fought election campaigns. but as someone who knew what real battles looked like -- looked like, he had perspective on a real battle. he took them seriously and he never engaged in a fight where he didn't believe he was on the side of right. he never tired of ridiculing what he saw as wasteful
government spending. every soldier, every sailor, every airman knows that none of us are indispensable. we serve our mission, and if we fall, another will step up to take our place. john understood that truth also about public service. i think john would also understand the sincerity of the grief that the members of this senate are feeling today. i remember vividly the last time i saw john mccain. i went to visit him and his wife cindy at the ranch in he is dona. -- sedona. john and cindy have been so kind to my wife, bobby, when we visited the ranch in the past. i remember john taking my wife on a tour of the many historic trees on the ranch. john was also very kind to my
daughter emma in his visits to washington and in some of her travels with me. but let me assure you about cindy mccain. cindy is also an american of great strength and great courage. when i was there, we sat together and we talked about the senate, about his beloved arizona, about the past, and actually about the future as well and about the places around the world that we had visited together. the presiding officer: the senate needs to come to order. mr. barrasso: senator mccain was a student of history. we talked about teddy roosevelt's speech. it goes, it's not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. the credit belong to the man who is actually in the arena, who's face is marred by dust, sweat
and blood, who strides valiantly. who knows the great enthusiasms, great devotions and spends his life in a worthy cause and who knows in the end the triumph of freight a -- great achievement. and if he fails, he fails while daring greatly so that his place shall never be among the cold and timid souls who know neerltsdz victory -- neither victory nor defeat. john mccain knew both. he knew victory and he knew defeat. john mccain was the man in the arena. mostly john and i sat and enjoyed the view of the river, the trees, and the red rocks. i know the view was one of his great joyce. the peace and -- joys. the peace and certainty of a --
serenity of a landscape -- ther serenity of a landscape shaped by years of water and -- wear and weather. people see symbolism in that. if john heard me say that, he would have said whiskey, tango, fox trot, get to the point. so i will. john mccain was the conscience of the senate. he served the american people and the senate on his own terms. he left us on his own terms as well p. -- as well. we grieve him today because, for us, it just was not enough time. that's the thing about our heroes. we start to believe that they will live on forever, but of of course -- but of course they do not. ronald raying p ann says this, -- reagan said this, when the lord calls me home, i will leave with the greatest love for
this country of ours and with the greatest future. john mccain left with this greatest love of country for us and eternal optimism for the future. rest in peace john mccain, rest in peace. the presiding officer: the senator from hawaii. a senator: thank you, senator mccain may have represented the people of arizona but in doing so he changed the world. mr. schatz: his family legacy and leadership are actually rooted partly in the pacific. he met his wife, cindy, in honolulu, and generations of mccains have left their mark on the region. his grandfather served in the pacific theater as an admiral in world war ii. and his father commandedded armed forces in the pacific during the vietnam war and john s. mccain iii would become the
most famous p.o.w. of the vietnam war. his relationships with the region began with those conflicts with pain and with loss, but he never let that beginning define his views of the asia-pacific. as a senator he called for the united states to transform the peace we made with vietnam into a partnership. it is thanks in part to him that the united states now works closely with vietnam on everything from economic development to counterterrorism. and the people of vietnam know it. the monument that marks where he was captured as a naval pilot in vietnam has turned into a shrine this week with people leaving flowers in memory of the man who helped normalize relations between our two nations. this is one of the ways that senator mccain has shaped the pacific. just a few years ago he designed the southeast asia maritime security initiative which will increase stability and help to professionalize militaries in
the region, including the military of vietnam. he was a strong advocate for freedom of navigation in the region and for human rights. he worked with senator cardin to introduce a bill that would punish military officials in burma for the part that they have played in waging genocide against the rohingya, a bill that i hope the senate will pass soon. he was an early voice that warned about north korea's nuclear program, and as a long-time member and chairman of the armed services committee, he always stood up for our men and women in uniform. a few years ago on the 70th anniversary of the attack on pearl harbor, my predecessor daniel k. inouye planned to give a floor speech remembering the 2,004 americans who died that day. senator inouye's staff let it known he would mark the anniversary on the senate floor but he gave that speech to a chamber that was not full. but john mccain was there.
he was there for senator inouye just as he had been there for our military and for our country time after time. he was ernest -- earnest and solemn when it came to fulfilling his oath to the constitution but he was also the embodiments of taking your job seriously, not yourself. one tribute from a former staff member recalled senator mccain led a codel to estonia where he joined a senate colleague hillary clinton enjoying several rounds of vodka shots before deciding to take a midnight stroll around town. he also remembered the senator holding a press conference in a geo thermal pool in iceland, bathing suit and all. early on in my time in the united states senate, i would pick up the phone and call my dad to tell him whenever i had a substantive conversation with senator mccain because he was that much of a giant. and now he's gone. mr. president, we all need people in our lives who ask us to do more, who remind us that
we are capable of doing more and doing better. the world needs heroes. and we have lost one with the death of senator mccain. he once challenged the leader in his party to, quote, set an example for what our country can and should represent. that was also his challenge to the senate. he demanded more of the senate and more from ourselves and for that especially, he will be missed in these chambers. who will hold us accountable when we fall into a destructive pattern? when he lectured us, and he did lecture us, we took it to heart. he was true north for the united states senate. he cared deeply about relationships between members of both parties. he cared about legislating and about finding a way to govern. and while he is gone, we do not need to forget the lessons and the lectures of senator mccain. he is an example for us to
follow. and that is as true today as it was in any of his 32 years of service to the senate. we will miss him in this chamber where he cast a long shadow with moral clarity whenever he spoke. this week our hearts are with his mother, roberta, his wife, cindy, his children and his grandchildren, and to all those who loved him. may his memory be a blessing. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from kansas. mr. moran: mr. president, thank you. the presiding officer: the senate is in a quorum call. mr. moran: i would ask the quorum call be lifted. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. moran: mr. president, i join my colleagues today in tribute to our colleague, senator john mccain of arizona. you know, we look for heroes in this world. it seems to me we're always looking in the wrong places and we look at baseball diamonds and basketball courts and amp theaters of stadiums and where performers sing. we fail to look in the right places. sometimes we're with heroes and we don't always recognize it at the moment. but there is no american i know that is more deserving of the title hero than john mccain.
those who serve us in the military, they are entitled to that honorrive -- honorific, and those who serve our veterans, they're heroes, too. senator mccain lived a liefs in which heroics -- life in which heroics are part of every day. i first met john mccain in 1996 in hayes, kansas, my hometown. senator bob dole, then a candidate for president of the united states, would fly into the airport in hayes near his hometown of russell. this time he had a guest with him, john mccain, who was his campaign chairman in his presidential campaign. i watched the two of them interact and it's really the first time i had the opportunity to see a senator perhaps other than my own two from kansas.
senator dole had the greatest regard for senator mccain. senator dole wore the p.o.w. bracelet never having known john mccain when he was a p.o.w. but by happenstance chose to wear a bracelet in honor of and respect for, being concerned about a p.o.w. in vietnam. and they learned on the senate floor john mccain -- john mccain learned on the senate floor that bob dole wore his throughout much of his captivity. i respect and honor senator dole and i saw that day the respect and honor he had for a fellow senator, a fellow serviceman, a fellow veteran, both senator dole and senator mccain whose lives were dramatically affected by their service to our nation.
quite frankly, when i arrived in the united states senate, i was intimidated by senator mccain. he was vitriolic. he had the opportunity, he had the habit of exploding at a moment's notice, something could set him off, something he cared passionately about could cause him to react. and in my early days as a new united states senator, i didn't seek the companionship of john mccain. that was a mistake on my part because despite his prickly nature, knowing john mccain became one of the most valuable experiences i've had in the senate. we began working together on one of those issues that john mccain and no one else in the united states senate could have the stature to deal with. certainly our military men and
women, the defense of our nation, but we bonded in our efforts to see that the veterans of our nation receive the care that they deserve, that they receive their benefits from the department of veterans administration that they are entitled to, and that they earn through their service to our nation. that work, a mccain-moran bill, became a significant part of the v.a. mission act, and i learned in that experience the dedication that senator mccain has to those who served, to make sure that the mistakes that were made at the department of veterans affairs that may have cost veterans their lives never happen again. initially that resulted in the v.a. choice act, and just recently passed by the house,
passed by the senate, signed by the president, the legislation that we named in honor of senator john mccain, the v.a. mission act, which replaces and improves the choice act. in that experience of working with senator mccain on behalf of america's veterans, i also got acquainted with senator mccain's staff. and i think it's probably true that we can learn a lot about our colleagues by the people they surround themselves with and the way that a senator treats his or her staff member, and perhaps even more importantly, the way that that staff, those individuals who work for a united states senator treat their boss. and what i saw from those who work for senator mccain was abiding respect, love and care and compassion for united states senator john mccain.
it told me a lot about his staff but told me even more about the person and character of senator mccain. i also discovered in my time working in the senate with john mccain his abiding love for the people of arizona. senator mccain could be a national figure, was a national figure, could be only a national figure if he desired. he had the stature to be a person that was known not only in the state he represented but in the nation and around the world. and while senator mccain represented the united states well, here in the united states senate and in countries around the globe, you could tell that senator mccain cared and loved the people he represented at home. he respected them. he recognized that they were the ones who gave him the
opportunity to perform on a national stage. and he never forgot arizonans. i appreciate the way that he and senator flake, his junior colleague from arizona, worked together on behalf of the citizens of his state. so while it would have been easy for john to play only the national figure, he never forgot from where he came. and while much of my comments today have paid my respect to senator mccain for his service to the united states senate, it is his service in the military, in the navy, that is most compelling to me. i've known this story throughout my life and it's been reported and repeated here on the senate floor, but i do not know a person who as a prisoner of war,
given the opportunity to be released and to return home to family and loved ones, i do not know a person who would say no. i do not know a person other than john mccain who would say no, it's not my turn, no, there are others who are prisoners of war more deserving and in fact on the list ahead of me to be released. what an honor to know a person who puts others so much ahead of himself, to know someone who because of his love of country and love of those who served and his sense of responsibility and obligation to those he served with and who were prisoners of war with him, that he had the character, the values to say no,
it's not my turn. i wish i knew people, i wish i was one of those, and so today i certainly honor senator mccain for his status and service as a senator, but i admire and respect him for his service to the nation, his service in the navy, and his care and compassion for those he served with. john mccain led a full and meaningful life. he instructed us numerous times about our behavior here in the united states senate. he asked us as americans to behave differently. he asked our country to come together. we desperately need the opportunity for americans to see what they are seeing on the united states senate floor this
week. where both republicans and democrats are honoring the life and service of john mccain. we need to answer his call. we need to honor his request to make certain that the work we perform is done for all americans. john mccain was a republican, but much more so he was an american. he reminds me of what i see on the monuments and memorials op the nation's mall when i make my trek up to the lincoln memorial and pass the world war ii memorial, the vietnam wall, and the korean war memorial. no one memorialized there fought, died, sacrificed, served for republicans or for democrats. john mccain and those we
memorialize on the national mall recognize a higher calling. if we could do something that would alter our behavior in respect to john mccain, what a difference we might make in the country. if americans can use this moment to pull together, our country will be better. john mccain led a full and meaningful life. i admired him, i respected him, and i loved him. senator mccain, thank you for your service to our nation. it is a grateful nation. eternal father, strong to save, whose arms hath bound the restless waves. the navy hymn. may john mccain rest in peace.
mr. president, i yield the floor. mr. cardin: mr. president, i rise today to express great sadness for the passing of senator john mccain. it marks a deep loss for this country, the state of arizona, and above all his family and friends. john mccain was an honorable public servant who sacrificed greatly to serve his country in uniform and as a lawmaker proudly represented the people of arizona. mr. president, i will always remember the bipartisan luncheon that we had. when senator mccain recounted his experiences as a prisoner of war in vietnam. there wasn't a dry eye in our caucus. in my visit to vietnam, i had a chance to visit the hanoi hilton and see firsthand the place where john mccain acted so bravely. he was truly an american hero.
i'd like to express my deepest sympathies and condolences to cindy, their children, and their family at this very difficult time. in his final letter to americans, senator mccain reminded us that, and i quote, we are citizens of the world's greatest republic, a nation of ideals, not blood and soil. we are blessed and are a blessing to humanity when we uphold and advance those ideals at home and in the world. for nearly a dozen years in the united states senate, i have watched my friend senator mccain live and act by those ideals on behalf of the american people and on behalf of our global community. john was my enduring partner in standing up for universal human rights and advancing core american values. john always expressed his views with passion but respected civility. he represented the best united
states senate, working across party lines to get issues resolved. the senate has lost a great patriot and a role model for senators. the nation has lost a strong, effective leader for american values. arizona has lost a senator who loved the state and people he represented. and i along with many members, all members of this chamber have lost a friend. today john's faith in american ideals endures with the sergei magnitsky act. with david cato from uganda and roberto conseres from honduras. the many people around the world who have suffered human rights abuses from uncover corruption and fighting for freedom, equal justice, and dignity. it was john who insisted that we ensure corrupt leaders are held accountable for their crimes. he truly believed that public
officials have a responsibility to serve and protect their citizenry from harm, and he had a particular disdain for officials who chose instead to exploit their citizens for personal enrichment. anyone who knew john knows of his disdain for one of the most corrupt leaders of our time, vladimir putin. it was the putin regime's ruthless torture and murder of sergei magnitsky after sergei exposed their corruption with the regime's repeated attacks on the russian people that inspired senator mccain and i to work together on the magnitsky law. i thank senator mccain for giving me that opportunity, for giving me the strength in developing a strategy where we could, in fact, enact not only the original magnitsky statute but the global magnitsky statute which truly provided u.s. leadership globally. many other countries have followed our leadership. and after vladimir putin attacked our 2016 elections, senator mccain worked with me
and others to ensure a new, tough sanction regime against mr. putin and his oligarchs for their insidious attack on our democracy. senator mccain fought to ensure our efforts to hold russia accountable for these actions made into law. just last month he joined a bipartisan group of senators again towards the same goal, given mr. putin's persistent attacks on our democratic system. senator mccain and i worked alongside one another to address the genocide against the rohingya community in rokan, burma, orchestrated by the burmese military. last saturday, august 25, marked one year since the outbreak of violence in the western rokan state which resulted in a mass exodus of over 700,000 rohingyan to neighboring bangladesh. in response to this violence crime against humanity perpetrated against the rohingya community, senator mccain and i introduced the burma rights and freedom act. senator mccain would stand up
for people anywhere in the world who were victimized by human rights violations. russia dissident vladimir karamiso wrote yesterday about john, as an idealist, he believed in his principles and was prepared to stand up for them, regardless of party, convenience, or political advantage. mr. karamiso has been poisoned twice in russia as a result of him standing up against mr. putin. i remember john doing just that during our foreign relations committee 2013 debate on whether to turn arms -- whether we should arm the rebels in syria. he passionately argued that we should do more to support them against bashar assad's butchery. in 2016, as the assad regime mercilessly pummelled rebels in aleppo, mccain said, and i quote, the name of aleppo will echo in history as a testament to our moral failure and everlasting shame, end quote. senator mccain called it the
way he saw it. he called it what was happening. john also stood for the ideals as a leader on comprehensive immigration reform. i remember first coming to the senate in 2007 and working on comprehensive immigration reform with senator mccain, senator kennedy, and president bush. that legislation ultimately did not pass, but it showed me that senator mccain was a serious legislator who was willing to work across the aisle to get things done. senator kennedy died in 2009 of the same form of brain cancer that senator mccain succumbed to over this past weekend. they both side on august 25. in 2013, senator mccain was part of the gang of eight, along with senator schumer, the bipartisan group of senators who wrote a 2013 measure to overhaul the country's immigration system and border security. i supported that bill which passed in the senate but sadly was never taken up in the house, although we all know there was
enough support in the house to pass that legislation. senator mccain believed in working together to get things done. he listened, fought passionately for what he believed in, but wanted to make sure we got things done, in the best tradition of the united states senate as the greatest deliberative body in the world. senator mccain lived by that tradition. in his memoir, senator mccain said that his failure to enact comprehensive immigration reform was, quote, a harder disappointment than other defeats. we failed twice and then once more after ted had passed away, despite big majorities in both houses of congress in favor of it. i'd like to say i will try again, but that's not up to me anymore. that's a harder disappointment than other defeats have been because, first, it's something that most americans want and most members of congress know is the right thing to do, end
quote. he always calls it the way he sees. he shows his passion but respects civility. the united states senate and the american people have lost in john mccain a man who was the very definition of service to his country. i will miss john terribly. i hope all americans will pause today to remember his legacy and admire his courage. mr. president, i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from north dakota. mr. hoeven: mr. president, i rise today to commemorate the life of senator john mccain, along with my colleagues. john's an american icon whose legacy is known not only across our nation but around the world. his belief in american exceptionalism was unwavering and propelled him to a lifelong service to our nation.
few have demonstrated john's level of commitment and service to our country. both through his bravery serving in the united states navy and his long tenure in congress, he demonstrated his deep love of country. as the son and grandson of four-star admirals, john began serving this country at an early age. he followed in their footsteps, attended the united states naval academy, and was later commissioned as a naval aviator. he served in the vietnam war where he was captured and spent five and a half years as a prisoner of war. and during those years, through torture and misery, he never gave up. he was offered freedom but refused to be released unless every other prisoner was released with him. think about that. flying over vietnam, shot down, ejects from his plane, lands in a lake in hanoi, bruised, terrible shape. put in a prison, clearly in
incredible pain, and through it all offered an opportunity to go home early. he says no, i'm not going unless all of the p.o.w.'s go. think of the strength of character that takes. it's almost unfathomable. you know, i always affectionately referred to him as the admiral because both his father and grandfather were full admirals. no doubt, senator mccain would have been an admiral had he stayed in the navy as well, but it was just -- just the way that i could recognize his just amazing service in a fun way, in a personal way, but here's somebody that when you talk about serving our country in the military, he just epitomizes that grit, that determination, that strength, that character, that service that we love,
respect, and honor so much in our service men and women. john's perseverance followed him as he began serving our nation as a member of congress and in the united states senate. he fought fiercely for what he believed in. everybody talks about how when he took a position, he took it -- he took it with a passion. and so whenever you debated him or discussed things with him, when you worked with him, when you were on the same side, when you disagreed, he had that amazing passion that came through and many have remarked on it. it was a remarkable trait. it's part of that warrior in him. for the entirety of his life, john endlessly advocated for men and women in uniform. he served and he served them throughout his life in the senate. working with him to support our service members and veterans is something that i will never forget. what many people will not know about john, though, is his
warmth as a friend. you know, you hear about his temper. he could be mercurial, although then he would get over it and he would be right back working again. you have heard about his incredible energy. you have heard about his war record. his time as a p.o.w., the things he did as a senator, but one thing that i think you don't hear as often but that was very much true is he had a tremendous, tremendous sense of humor, and that came through so often in his interviews, but he was a warm person. i can rememby would come to my office and want to meet senator mccain, if it worked out time weiss, i would take him -- timewise, i would take him over and we'd go to senator mccain's office. i have someone here who would like to say h.e.u. to john, get a picture and meet him. if he was there, almost every time he'd bring them in and it wasn't a case of getting enough time or getting at quick picture or something like that. invariably, he'd have them come in and sit down and talk to them and take pictures and pretty soon he had aide be taking them
all around his office and showing him pictures of his family -- he was so proud of his family -- and his grandfather, his father, his -- you know, his momentos is all the amazing things that made up an amazing life. he loved it and he was so warm. i think that's one of the things -- there's so many things that i'll never forget, but that's one that i truly treasure and always remember, that here senator mccain, somebody known across america, around the world, certainly an icon, a colleague obviously to all of us, but somebody that really was a friend, and when he went over and -- and when you went over and you wanted to talk to him about something or take somebody over to see him or whatever it was, you know, he was a friend; he was somebody that was
down-to-earth, that was a person that you could connect to ton a real level. that's pretty amazing for somebody who lived such an incredible life. we'll miss john mccain. may god bless him. from my wife mikey and myself t john's wife cindy and the entire mccain family, we join with you in mourning his loss and honoring his tremendous memory and legacy. thank you. i yield the floor.
the presiding officer: the senator from montana. mr. tester: are we in a quorum call? the presiding officer: the senate not in a quorum call. mr. tester: thank you, mr. president. i rise today on behalf of 152,000 montanans whose health care coverage is currently in jeopardy. next week in a texas courthouse will become the newest battlefield in the health care. the latest attack is a lawsuit attempting to get rid of legal protections for folks with preexisting conditions. protections that make it illegal for insurance companies to deny health care coverage or charge absurd rates because of common conditions, conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes or heart disease or cancer or even pregnancy. these protections were signed into law almost ten years ago,
passed by majorities in both the house and the senate, and despite many attempts to undermine them, they've been upheld by the supreme court and continue to be supported by members of both parties in congress. and that is because an overwhelming majority -- more than three-fourths of americans -- support these protections. in fact, the kaiser family foundation recently reported that 77% of independents and 58% of republicans think it's very important to maintain protections for folks were preexisting conditions. so why are we even here? well, in june the department of justice announced it would stop defending these critical protections in court. that's correct, you heard it right. a bunch of unelected bureaucrats have decided to stop defending the law of the land that protects folks with preexisting conditions. this decision not only harms millions of americans, it threatens to create chaos in the
marketplace and could drive up health care costs, not to mention it's a dereliction of duty. now, i know that we all wake up some days and we just would rather go fishing, but a job is a job, and you just can't decide that it's not worth doing, especially when your job is to defend protections for millions of americans and thousands of montanans with preexisting conditions. montanans, like christina from missoula, who told me last week how the justice department's decision could impact her husband who suffers from a chronic type of leukemia that can be managed but not cured. six years ago we started the cancer journey when i would husband was diagnosed with c.l.l., a type of lymphoma leukemia. thanksfully he found work and is receiving the care he needs to manage his chronic disease that has no cure.
but if he could have been denied health insurance coverage because of a preexisting condition, my husband probably would not have received the care that he needs. karen from belgrade, montana, wrote something similar, saying, i am very concerned about the department of justice's decision to no longer defend americans against health insurance companies who want to disahow people with preexisting conditions -- disahow people with preexisting conditions. i am a cancer survivor, as is my 22-year-old son. it is frightening to think that both of us may be uninsurable in the future if this trend continues. or kim who wrote me and said, i've been a type i diabetes for 35 years and the burden is heavy. the cost of insulin continues to sore to the point -- to soar to the points that some people have to choose between their insulin or their rent or other medication. i have good health insurance through my employer which makes the financial cost manageable.
but if preexisting conditions weren't covered, my next health insurer could simply choose not to cover my diabetes. i'm here to tell you that there are thousands of others no montana like karen, kim, and christina. in fact, a new report released today -- also by the kaiser family foundation -- found that without current protections, without current protections, 52 million americans could be denied health care coverage because of preexisting conditions. the report broke this number down even further and found that in builtings, montana, our state's largest city, one out of every four adults between the ages of 18 sand 64 have a preexisting condition that could prevent them frommest going health coverage if our current protections are repealed. that's not to mention the thousands of others who could be charged higher rates or denied reimbursement for care if these protections disappear. but instead of them doing their
job like protecting folks like kim and karen and christina, a bunch of unelected bureaucrats in the department of justice have decided to help repeal a law that it's their job to defend. well, if they won't help protect montanans, then we will. and that is why i have helped introduce legislation that would authorize the senate to intervene in next week's lawsuit and defend protections for people with preexisting conditions. now, i am -- would be the if irrelevance to tell you that our -- now, i would be the first to tell you that our health care system isn't perfect but folks are forced to pay higher premiums because of ail ultimates like high blood pressure, cancer, or day, and the vast majority want to keep it that way. that's why a group of my colleagues across the aisle introduced a bill last week to try to preserve some of these protections. that might sound good in theory, but in reality it would still threaten coverage for folks with preexisting conditions and that is why i am calling on my
i'll admit that when you and i, mr. president, first got here in 2014, i knew john mccain as somebody from the history books. i knew john mccain as somebody destined for the history books. i knew john mccain as an american hero. but i didn't know john mccain the man. i didn't know john mccain, the flesh and blood, genuinely hilarious guy. but over the past 48 months i had the privilege of actually getting to become friends with john mccain. it's sort of weird to say when you're our age -- you're a good bit older than i am, but when you're roughly our age, mr. president, i'm 46 and john mccain was an octogenarian, and he befriended me. i've been on many overnights with john mccain, i've been to war zones with john mccain. i've been cussed out by john mccain lots of times.
he would call me stupid bastard on a regular basis and he meant it affectionately. i'm convinced he didn't use the term stupid bastard lately. he reserved it for those he cared about. i have laughed and cried with john mccain. i wrestled policy with john mccain. i got to grill hamburgers and serve them to troops on the 4th of july with john mccain. as we in this body praise john mccain today and for the rest of this week, as we rightly should, there's going to be a lot of people talking about his time in the hanoi hilton. john mccain was in prison to fight for our freedom for more than five years. he was in solitary confinement for about three years. he was tortured for years. and if you ever met any of the p.o.w.'s that were in the cells around him, almost to a man they credit the fact that they didn't lose their minds during that time to the fact that john
mccain kept them sane. he kept them stable. john mccain told me a story one time on one of those overnight flights, and he's told it to many other people around here, about tap code, which is something sort of akin to morse code. but new folks in the army learned tap code, and it's a way to kind of spell out a five by five grid and you can put letters together and make words and make sentences and make paragraphs. and john mccain thought it was very important that the men who were in prison with him would learn to tell each other stories. they would tell poems that they knew from their youth. they would tap out songs that they knew from when they were kids. because if they had a sense of history past, they would have a sense of hope and history future. and john mccain kept those people sane. i remember one time hearing him wax on and on about the story and i was in awe about how long it must have taken to persuade these men they were going to teach each other songs and poetry from their youth. i said how long did it take to
do that? he looked at me like i was an idiot. what did i care? we had infinite time, you moron. he didn't say you moron but how do you not get time is the one thing that is completely irrelevant when you're in prison. if something takes too long that's a virtue, not a liability. one of the things we don't tell here but need to tell more is the connection about how he thought about time and why he acted the way he acted as a senator. if we're going to want to honor john mccain around here, one of the most basic things we should do is recognize that the reason he didn't suffer fools lightly is because he had a concept of time that was as a man who spent five and a half years in prison, he wanted to redeem the time. after he was released, he wanted to make sure that he spent all of his time on big things. his impatience, his volcanic
temper flowed from the fact that he thought life was too short to waste on small stuff and if you were willing to do small stuff he was going to get in your grill. the fact that john mccain was a hero was because of the way he endured torture on our behalf and because he ran over big issues and often interacted with people rudely in the senate they were inex-treufrpbgably linked. if we're going to honor john mccain we have to understand his impatience was a factor of his mission. how do we honor this man? it's an important conversation. my understanding is the two leaders are going to get together and put together a commission to deliberate over the next many weeks or months about the proper way to honor john mccain. i'm glad they're doing that. there's a lot of discussion about renaming a building after him or renaming a different committee room after him. some of those tributes may be
the right tributes. i'm not meaning to prejudge that right now. obviously there's something hilarious about the idea that a senate office building may be renamed after john mccain because if you had the mccain s.o.b., it's obvious what john mccain would want you to call that mccain s.o.b. building all the time. so there are important things to talk about, and yet i want to urge one bit of caution, which is we should not think that what john mccain would want us to do in this time and place is in any way reducible to marble. because just as america is not the sum of her cities, so too the united states senate is not the sum of its buildings. the united states senate is not the places where we meet. as john reminded us in his farewell charge read posthumously yesterday, as john reminded us, america is an idea. america is a cause. america is about liberty. america is about justice. america is about universal human
dignity. and even though john could often run over you when you were having a debate and argument if you were in his way, probably more than any person i've ever met, john actually believed in universal human dignity. the reason he was so big on the global stage is because he stood in the tradition of 230 years long announcing what america believes about 7.5 billion people that are created in god's image with universal dignity and that implies to everybody everywhere. it isn't america's job to fix every problem everywhere but it is part of america's mission in the world to proclaim that universal human dignity and that's what john did. that was a huge part of his calling. unfortunately we all know all too well that when the public looks at this institution right now, when the public looks to this city, they don't see a place that looks like it's beating heart is to proclaim that universal america idea, to proclaim that american sense that everybody is created with
infinite worth. and yet, though we know that, we're not doing that much about it. and this institution, most of the time we finger point. we don't problem solve. and the public is groaning for us to do better. the last few years should be blinking red lights for all of us who are privileged to serve here for a time. when the american people look at washington, they rightly think that it's shady for can be the members and their spouses to be raising money from foreign sources. when the american people look at washington, they rightly think that there's a whole lot of shady going on and that people's taxes and their finances ought to be disclosed when they're running for an office of public trust. when the american people look at washington, they don't see most members of congress as stewards of the public trust, but rather as hypocrites with taxpayer-funded sexual harassment lawsuits settlements.
when the american people look at washington, they think it's weird that the average member of congress has an investment portfolio that grows much faster than the market average, and when people leave jobs in this institution they often head for cush jobs on k street rather than moving back home which is where they said they were going to end up after they ran for office. we've seen multiple indictments across both the legislative and executive branches in recent weeks in this town. is it any wonder that the american people look at us and they wonder if we really care about the crisis of public trust? is it any wonder that john mccain was impatient with the pace of us tackling big problems in this place? we obviously have a truncated week here and many of us are headed to arizona for a funeral in the next few hours. and so i won't introduce anything now, but i want to say that when we get back and as this commission gets kicked off, trying to figure out the proper way to honor john mccain, i
plan to make a proposal that we should find a way to honor john mccain not just in marble -- maybe that's a step that's important. but if john mccain were here i submit to you that john mccain wouldn't be all that concerned about what names and placards and signs we put on buildings and meeting rooms. i think we should find a way to honor john mccain in a way that john mccain would have seen fit, and that is we ought to pass a piece of legislation that we wouldn't have passed absent this moment. we ought to come together in a bipartisan way and we ought to do something that makes both political parties really uncomfortable. that was one of the things john mccain was great at. this man is gone and we are surely poorer for it, but we can do something big that's in line with the spirit of how he wanted to disrupt this place. if we wanted to make both parties uncomfortable -- and john was a guy who loved to
point both barrels at pwoergt -- both parties i think we could find a way to do that in a way the american people would applaud and i think that would be the right way to honor john mccain. his willingness to take on everybody and all the sacred cows in this town was why a lot of people hated him but more why a lot of more people loved him. if we're going to honor his spirit we ought to find a way that's big, disruptive and uncomfortable for washington, d.c. thank you, mr. president.
mr. grassley: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from iowa. mr. grassley: i rise for the purpose that a lot of my colleagues do, to speak for a short period of time about our deceased colleague, senator john mccain. so in regard to those remarks, since i'm going to also speak on another subject, i ask unanimous consent that my remarks on senator mccain be inserted in
the record where other people have spoken on that same subject. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. grassley: i begin my remarks by paying my respect to our colleague and friend, senator john mccain, a great american has died. senator mccain represented the people of arizona and the united states of america with great honor and always holding his ground and sticking to his principles. sticking to his principles have been the words used by more colleagues since his death than any other description of him. senator mccain was tough and tenacious both as a 32-year member of the united states senate and also as a member of the united states navy. his grit and determination as a prisoner of war in vietnam, h
legendary and ought to be an inspiration. for the rest of his life, he understood from his own experience what it takes to keep a country safe, and he stood up for the security of the united states and in turn that was standing up for the security of the world. he prioritized those in uniform and the veterans who he safeguard our nation. i had tremendous respect for senator mccain's leadership of the armed services committee and for the many ways that he led on a number-one responsibility of the federal government: our national defense. senator mccain and i served in the senate together since 1986. even after he became ill last
year, senator mccain's charisma was as strong as ever. at christmastime, he greeted me with an oft repeated joke that he had since he was a candidate for president and traveling around iowa. he learned a lot about iowa and this greeting watts something like -- was something like, well, chuck, i had my glass of ethanol for breakfast. on another time he would say to me something he learned in iowa about advertising by john deere corporation: nothing runs like a deere. and of course being from iowa, i liked to hear that sort of greeting, and it was often that he said those things to me. as i stand here today with his
senate desk close at hand and draped in his honor, my wife barbara and i share our condolences with cindy mccain and senator mccain's entire family. senator mccain sacrificed so much of himself for his country, and we are grateful for his lifetime of service. now, mr. president, i rise on another matter that i have addressed the senate on quite frequently lately, and that is about judge brett kavanaugh. one week from today judge brett kavanaugh will appear before the senate judiciary committee for the first day of his confirmation hearing. after reviewing judge kavanaugh's very extensive record, i'm convinced that he's perhaps the most qualified person ever nominated to the
supreme court. some of my colleagues on the other side, including all of the democratic members of the judiciary committee, have asked that i delay judge kavanaugh's hearing. they've asked me to delay the hearing because of legal issues surrounding some of president trump's former associates. it's absolutely not clear to me what one has to do with the other, but this is, by my account, at least the third strategy democratic leaders have used to try to delay judge kavanaugh's hearing. liberal outside groups, if you recall, announced their opposition to anyone and every one of the 25 potential nominees before the president made his
decision. and those 25 potential nominees were for the most part given to the people of the country probably six months even before the president's election. no other president has told you the type of people he was going to put on the supreme court and give you those examples. now some democrats joined these outside liberal groups, and many others announced their opposition immediately after the nomination. the minority leader, before he even had a chance to meet with judge kavanaugh or review judge kavanaugh's record said that he would fight the nomination with everything he's got. democratic leaders' first strategy was to try to argue that the biden rule, which bars
the confirmation of supreme court justices in a presidential election year, also applies during midterm election years. this was a strange argument to make given that many of those senators argued in 2016 that the biden rule didn't even exist for presidential elections and outside observers widely rejected this argument. the historical record was clear, the biden rule has never applied during mid-term election years. the second strategy democratic leaders pursued was the attempt to bury the judiciary committee in irrelevant paperwork, mountains of it.
i have discussed the issue at length previously so i'll only give you a bottom line. the bottom line is that we have received more pages of documents from judge kavanaugh's time as an executive branch lawyer than we did from any previous supreme court nominee. in fact, we've already received over 430,000 pages of judge kavanaugh's executive branch legal records, which is nearly as many as the last five nominees combined. this is on top of the 307 opinions he wrote and hundreds more he joined as a judge on the d.c. circuit over the past 12 years. the public already has access right now to every one of these more than 10,000 pages of
judicial writings as well as the nearly 18,000 pages that we received in connection with his judicial questionnaire. those were supplemental to the 110 pages that he filled out in the questionnaire. and, by the way, that happens to be the most robust questionnaire ever issued to a supreme court nominee. democratic leaders now are asking me to delay judge kavanaugh's hearing because of some of the president's former associates' legal troubles. but this is just another obvious and on tiew nistic -- oner tiew nistic attempt. after all, both justice ginsburg
and justice breyer were confirmed while president clinton was under investigation for the whitewater controversy. in fact, justice breyer was confirmed while president clinton's personal documents were under grand jury subpoena. moreover, between june 1993 and february 1999, a period during which president clinton faced significant legal jeopardy, the senate confirmed 248 district judges and 50 circuit judges for lifetime appointments. it's clear then that democratic leaders' latest attempt to delay the confirmation is unsupported by law or history.
another reason democratic leaders have focused on these issues is to divert attention from the great record and abilities of judge kavanaugh. they know that judge kavanaugh is exactly the type of justice that the american people want because that's what the constitution calls for. somebody to interpret the law, not to be a super legislator. judge kavanaugh has served for 12 years on the d.c. circuit court of appeals, a court many consider to be the second-most powerful court in our country. during that time he authored more than 300 opinions and joined hundreds more. the supreme court has, in at
least a dozen separate cases, adopted legal positions advanced by judge kavanaugh in his opinions. and historians of the supreme court would say that that's a very impressive record. judge kavanaugh has demonstrated that he understands the proper role of a judge, that i also would say he sees himself as a judge and not a super legislator. in numerous opinions and in speeches and publications, judge kavanaugh has eloquently expressed that judges must find and apply the law as it's written, not how they wish the law were written, and if they followed how they wish the law were written, that falls into the category that i say a judge becomes a super legitimate
ledge -- ledge is later. so judge kavanaugh said this on that point. when courts apply doctorates that allow them to rewrite the laws, in effect, they are encroaching on the legislature's article of power. if you wonder why judges shouldn't be super legislators, that's because they have lifetime appointments. if you don't like what they do, you can't vote them out of office. whereas, if the legislating is done by the congress of the united states and you don't like the laws that the congress passes, you can vote those members of congress out of office. now, judge kavanaugh has also argued that judges must apply the same approach to all cases. he said this, quote, like cases should be treated alike by
judges of all ideological and philosophical stripes regardless of the subject matter and regardless of the identities of the parties to that case. that's the end of quote. judge kavanaugh's judicial record reveals that he follows his own advice. he decided cases based on his understanding of law as written, not his own personal policy preferences or who the litigants -- who the litigant is. in addition to his impeccable qualifications and record of achievement, judge kavanaugh has shown a dedication to public service, mannership, and diversity. he spent all three years of his legal career -- all but three years of his legal career in
public service. he volunteers his time to coach both his daughter's youth basketball teams and he serves meals to the homeless in catholic charities. judge kavanaugh is a proven mentor, mentor to law students and young lawyers. judge kavanaugh has taught courses at harvard law school on separation of powers and the modern supreme court since 2008. since the senate judiciary committee received a letter in support of his confirmation from his former students, and they wrote this, quote, we represent a broad spectrum of political and ideological beliefs as well as perspectives on judicial philosophy. we have differing views on political issues surrounding the
confirmation process but we all agree on one thing, judge kavanaugh is a rigorous thinker, a devoted teacher, and a gracious person. end of quote. but think -- this letter goes on with other things about judge kavanaugh, and i quote again. both inside and outside the courtroom, judge kavanaugh evinced a genuine warmth and interest in his students and their careers. he was exceptionally generous with his time, making himself available to meet with students not only to discuss the class but also to assist with their scholarly writings or to offer career advice. in many instances, he has continued to provide advice and support long after the class
ended by writing letters of recommendation and serving as a valued mentor. in our view, his genuine interest in helping young lawyers demonstrates a deep commitment to the legal community as a whole. end of quote from students of his of differing political views. federal judges also play an important role in mentoring the next generation of lawyers. a -- they typically hire four new law clerks each year to help them research and decide cases. a law clerk is like a judge's right arm. a judge's law clerk knows the judge better than anyone else. day in and day out, law clerks work closely with the judge in chambers every day on collection
legal issues. judge kavanaugh has clearly taken seriously his mentorship role with his clerks. his former law clerk submitted a letter to this committee strongly supporting his confirmation, and they wrote again, quote, it was a tremendous stroke of luck to work for and be mentored by a person of his strength of character. generosity of spirit, intellectual capacity, and unwavering care for his family, friends, colleagues, and us, his law clerks. he is unfailingly warm and gracious with his colleagues, no matter how strongly they disagree about a case, and he is well liked and respected by judges and lawyers across the ideological spectrum as a
result. he always makes time for us, his law clerks. he makes it to every wedding, answers every career question, and gives unflinchingly honest advice. that advice often boils down to the same habitats we saw him practice in the chambers every day. shoot straight, be careful and brave, work as hard as you possibly can, and then work a little harder, end of quote from his law clerks. one of the areas where judge kavanaugh has had a particular impact is his commitment to diversity. more than half of his law clerks have been female. indeed, during one year, all four of his law clerks were female, which was a first for the d.c. circuit. judge kavanaugh's female law
clerks sent the committee a letter. these law clerks wrote, quote, we know all too well that women in the workplace still face challenges, inequality, and even harassment. among other things, women do not enjoy a representative share of prestigious clerkships or hold high-profile legal positions, but this committee and the american public broadly -- and the american public more broadly should be aware of the important work judge kavanaugh has done to remedy those disparities. in our view, the judge has been one of the strongest advocates in the federal judiciary for women lawyers, end of quote. additionally, judge kavanaugh has a track record of recruiting and hiring diverse law clerks
from the best law schools. it's clear that he cares about expanding opportunities to unrepresented groups in the law. the legal profession should be open to anyone, regardless of where they grew up or where their parents emigrated from. judge kavanaugh's clerks reflect this important principle. in sum, democratic leaders committed one month ago to oppose judge kavanaugh's confirmation. they have shown a lot -- thrown a lot against the wall to try to delay his confirmation, but none of it sticks. judge kavanaugh will have his hearing next week, and i'm looking forward to it. and based upon my review of judge kavanaugh's extensive record, it appears that he is extremely qualified to sit on the supreme court.
he understands the proper role of a judge in our constitutional system, and he has devoted time to serving his community and improving the legal profession. i yield the floor. mr. sullivan: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from alaska. mr. sullivan: mr. president, i'm standing at a different desk this evening when i give my remarks because i want to be
actually in front of this -- or behind this desk in front of me, which is senator mccain's desk, draped in black, beautiful flowers signifying the loss that we're all feeling here in the united states senate. as we have heard from so many in this chamber all week, this evening in particular, senator john mccain's passing represents not only an incalculable loss to his family, his dear wife cindy and friends and a legion of admirers across the world, but to his colleagues here in the u.s. senate, democrats and republicans, and to the institution of the senate itself where he served as a modeled of honor and integrity and character for 31 years. now, mr. president, there are so many people who served with him much longer and knew him much better than i did, and i have
been watching the speeches, the wonderful, passionate, and emotional words from my colleagues like senator graham, lindsey graham, his best friend here in the senate, this afternoon senator whitehouse, a good friend of senator mccain's, a good friend of mine who i met through many trips with senator mccain, leader mcconnell, senator sasse. so many have been coming down to the floor. the tributes on the senate floor and in the newspapers across the country have been inspiring, and they have been true, talking about a man of courage, a steadfast patriot, american hero, a warrior of indomitable spirit who not only believed in american exceptionalism but inspired millions of americans and millions of people across the globe to believe in it as well.
as i have watched and listened, sometimes i have started to wonder what more is there to add? there has been a lot said, especially from a freshman senator who hadn't served with john nearly as long as most in this august chamber. but if senator john mccain taught us anything, it was to speak when you feel compelled to speak. and when it comes to him, i certainly feel compelled to speak. particularly as a newer member of this body who thought the world of this man and learned so much from him. john mccain was a leader. there is no arguing about that. and one of the qualities of leadership that's so important and sometimes gets overlooked that was a huge quality of this great senator was his ability to
focus on, give his time and willingness to mentor newer members of the senate. if you look at the arc of his three decades of service in the u.s. senate, one thing he always took the time to do was to take newer members under his wing, show them the ropes, travel with them, teach them, coach them, and of course this takes time, this takes effort, this takes energy. it takes initiative. and we're all busy here in the united states senate, but this was and is a really important hallmark of the mccain legacy. critical. and it's a bipartisan legacy, mr. president. just look at the senators who have come to the floor to speak about senator mccain. look at some of the newer senators who have come to the floor.
senator whitehouse, klobuchar, ernst, sasse, so many, many who have had that privilege, graham, of course. the great privilege of having john mccain take an interest in them and spending his precious time and energy on their well-being and careers here in the senate. mr. president, one of the true honors of my life was having john mccain as a friend and a mentor here in the u.s. senate. and you know at the time this happens, at the time this was happening, you don't always think about it too much, but now as we look here at his desk, i'm just so grateful that i had these experiences. like most things with john mccain, it wasn't a subtle experience. in fact, a lot of times -- a lot of the time, i didn't feel i had
a choice in the matter. my first month in the senate, in january, 2015, like a lot of the new senators, i was pretty clueless here, quite clueless. rules, faces, names, votes. and this lion of the senate, john mccain, pulled me aside on the floor of the senate on two different times that first -- the first month i was a senator. one was he was talking about an institution that really, really mattered to him, the u.s. naval academy. he said to me dan, you know what? under federal law, the chairman of the armed services committee, which he was, sits on the board of all the service academies or his designee. and he asked me if i was interested in sitting on the board of visitors for the naval academy. from john mccain. he went to the naval academy,
his dad went to the naval academy, his grandfather went to the naval academy. the name mccain and the naval academy are synonymous almost. he is going to be buried there, in fact. and i looked at the senator and i said yes, sir. and another time in the armed services committee, he mentioned to me that he had always taken a very strong interest in the asia pacific, in our force posture out there. what was happening in places like okinawa, and that he wanted the newer members of the senate to be part of that. reaching out to new senators, i want you to do this, i'm going to travel to the region, i want
you to come with me. i mean, unbelievable. and i said yes, sir, to that. so like so many here, we have talked about it, we went to these places. just a couple months later, i had the incredible honor of traveling to vietnam with senator mccain. with senator reed from rhode island, senator ernst from iowa, and that's a trip i will never forget. we actually went to the hanoi hilton where it's been talked about a lot this past week where john mccain suffered, was tortured. there is a tribute in that place of torture -- not really a tribute, but it's got pictures of him. we walked in, we looked at this, and there were americans, a couple of americans in front reading about this. and they turned around and saw john mccain, and two of them
just started crying. and, by the way, when you are in vietnam with john mccain, he's treated like a hero, a hero that he is by the vietnamese, by the vietnamese people, which is amazing. so these codel -- what we call codel here in the senate, where senator mccain has led them all over the world, has got an lot of attention. and of course they're very important. senator graham was talking recently in the senate. we focus a lot on foreign policy and national security, and you can't learn that from watching cable tv, but you can learn that when you go out into the world and travel and meet with leaders and meet with people and see the suffering, see the opportunities, see the challenges. john mccain took so many of us
, in his leadership, mentorship way, on these congressional delegations all over the world. you know, there's been some joking now about how with his energy and his focus, some members called these forced marches. by the way, nobody could keep up with him, even the newer members. and they certainly were intense. but back to the idea of mentorship on a codel with john mccain, he once again showed that leadership. he would be leading it. you'd be in a room with a world leader, and then he would take the time to name, introduce every member of the senate on the codel and have them ask questions, have them engage. he could have dominated every one of these conversations. he never d he was always asking the members, what do you think? do you have a question?
these codels, mr. president, were also a great opportunity -- and i know he did these for another reason, to bring senators together, democrats and republicans. when you're traveling overseas, partisan differences fade. if you're in a war zone or a poverty-stricken country or a dictatorship, you see that what unites success a lot more important than what divides us. so, bottom line -- he clearly saw part of his mission is to work with, mentor the next generation of senators for responsibilities that he clearly cared so much about. particularly on foreign policy and national security. now, i like to talk a little bit
about my class, the class that was elected in 2014. we had 13 new senators in that class. the presiding officer is a member of that class. it is a great class. a lot of energy, a lot of youth. of the 13 members of the class of 2014 who joined the armed services committee, if you look at it right now, there's eight who are on it -- eight. that's john mccain in action as the chairman of that committee, the former chairman of that committee, taking senators -- newer senators, getting them on that committee to focus and learn about the world. and there's been numerous articles and commentary that particularly in the realm of foreign policy and national security the passing of this great senator has left a huge void in the u.s. senate.
and i couldn't agree more. the combination of service and sacrifice and moral authority and military and combat experience and a deep, unabiding conviction about america's role in the world makes him a unique, unique u.s. senator. unmatched by anyone in this body. but one of the things about leadership, again, mr. president, senior is i belie senator mccain believed this. he's focused so much on the mentoring of senators, preparing senators whether on the armed services committee, whether as part of another institution he led for many, many years, the international republican institute, and making sure and
being ready that when this day happened, other senators who were taught and mentored and encouraged by john mccain would be focused on issues that he cared so much about, like the indispensable role of america and the u.s. senate in maker the world a -- in making the world a better place. a mentor is of course, almost by definition, a teacher t so many of us have learned so much from him. much has been said about this, and i'm sure that over the years we'll learn more and more about what senator mccain taught us. i'd like to highlight two areas where i personally learned so much from john mccain. first is how to fight for what you believe in. when you look at the arc of john mccain's life, his whole life, whether in the hanoi hilton or
on the senate floor, it was about fighting for what you believed in. now, pretty much everybody in this body. ms. hassan: a scrap with john -- mr. sullivan: now, pretty much everybody in this body has had a scrap with john. on the armed services committee, aid bit of a tradition with him. prior to the markup of the national defense authorization act, i would go and have a one-on-one meeting with him on some provisions that he might not like that i was trying to get in the bill. these were mostly behind closed doors battles, some of which got a little heated, fingers pointed, voices raised. i think won a few, lost a lot more than i won. but it was never personal for john mccain. he was a warrior and, as he often said, a fight not joined is a fight not enjoyed.
when he took a stand, he could be unwavering but he was always willing to listen to reasoning and to compromise when the reasoning was convincing and the principles sound, regardless of who was making the case, a democrat or republican. we are americans first, americans last, and americans always, he once said. let us argue our differences but, remember, we are not enemies but comrades together. in a war against a real enemy. mr. president%, he always fought with honor and he always kept his word. in his final memoir, "the restless way," it is a great book, he has an entire chapter called "fighting the good fight." it recounts a lot of his battles on the floor of this body. but when the fight was over, he emphasized the importance of
keeping your word, what he called the senate's principle virtue, and i always did that. and he taught others to do that. another thing i learned early on from senator mccain was how to have fun and not take life too seriously here in the u.s. senate. senator mccain's good friend, john leman, who was president reagan's secretary of the navy, recently wrote an op-ed about senator mccain's life entitled "a life of service with good-natured irreverence." and i think, for those of us who knew and loved john mccain, that was a great description of him. his wit was legendary, and after a while i learned that if you were a target of it, it was ultimately a term of endearment, although it could take some getting used to. senator s.a.s. was just on the
-- senator sasse was just on the floor talking about some of this, some of the barbs, some of your first engagements with the senator. i first met john mccain four years ago. i remember meeting like it was yesterday. i was a huge fan. i had read books about him. i had read books by him. i was here as a candidate for the u.s. senate, had recently won my primary, and i was meeting senators at one of our lunches. senator murkowski, my colleague from alaska, was taking me around, introducing me to a number of republican senators, and she said, oh, dan, have you ever met john mccain? i said, no, i'd be honored to meet him. so i walk up to senator mccain. of course i was a bit nervous. my colleague from alaska, senator murkowski, was introducing me and telling a little about my background and
said i was a marine and i was in the reserves commanding a battalion, and senator mccain looked at me and very serious said, wow, that's interesting, dan. i almost joined the marines. and i said, really, senator? he said, yeah, i almost joined the marines, but the marines told me i wasn't qualified. and i said, really? why weren't you qualified? and as i was asking this question of him, i notice other senators gathering around, all smiling, said why wasn't i qualified? because i knew who my parents were. of course everybody laughed. senator mccain laughed. i realized i and my beloved marine corps had just been insulted by john mccain in a first of what would be many jokes. only later did i know -- and senator gramm was talking about that -- that this marine joke was one of many in the mccain
represent -- repertoire. i have heard it many times now and since. it always gets a laugh. but these jokes are a great part of his wonderful personality. irreverent, wisecracks to keep people humble, keep them laughing, even about serious topics. i remember when i was in vietnam with senator mccain. we were actually at the lake in hanoi where he had been shot down and parachuted into this lake. and there is a statue -- there's actually a statue of john mccain coming out of the lake. and the language is in vietnamese, and he said, you know, i really don't like this statue. i can't stand it. you know why, dan? no, i have no idea, john. look at what it says.
john mccain -- major, united states air force. then he let a few choice words out that i can't say here on the senate floor. he says, i wasn't a major in the u.s. air force. i was a commander in the u.s. navy! even in the twilight of his life, the wit and wisecracks were as strong as ever. i had the honor of visiting senator mccain about six weeks ago in arizona with his wonderful wife, cindy. we were talking about the national defense authorization act that he was -- we were getting ready to sign -- we were getting ready to vote on that was named after him. and i was getting ready to leave and i said, john, i just want you to know all your senate colleagues really, really miss you. he hadn't said much during the
conversation. he looked at me and said, dan, that's a lie. again, after all he'd been three, he still had a lightness of being and wit and laughter. he still knew how to love the world, to appreciate it in all its humor, splendor and creativity. the story of john mccain is a story for the ages. care-free, somewhat reckless young man, a rebel searching for a cause who found that cause and love of country as a p.o.w. in vietnam. he underwent unimaginable suffering yet came back and loved america more for it and wanted most of all to pass that down, that love, that sense of service to the next generation. and he succeeded. let me close by quoting the same robert louis stevenson poem that senator mccain cited during
his father's funeral service. here he lies where he longed to be, home has a sailor, home from the sea, in the hunter home from the hill. to cindy mccain and the whole mccain family, please be assured of our continued prayers and deepest condolences for your loss. we miss john mccain so much, as we know you do. to my friend, john mccain, god speed, simple per fidelis, fair winds and following seas. it was an honor to serve with you. you will always be with us. i yield the floor. mr. casey: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from pennsylvania. mr. casey: thank you,
mr. president. i rise today, as my colleague from alaska just did so eloquently, to pay tribute to our colleague and friend, senator john mccain. i guess i have to start with a question -- where do i begin? where does anyone begin after all we've heard these last number of days and will continue to hear in the days ahead when we pay tribute in a more formal way in the next few days here in washington, in arizona and around the world? john mccain lived to serve his country, and his life could be best described by many words, but three come to mind: courage, commitment, and character. there's a line attributed to abraham lincoln where he said in the end, it's not the years in
one's life that counts. it's the life in those years. it's a loose translation, not exact. but when you consider the life in those years in the context of john mccain, what a life it was. a remarkable human being who was able to rise above the horror of being a captive and being tortured to achieve so much in his life after that, in the navy, as an elected official, and as a presidential candidate. and of course most especially as a leader. john mccain demonstrated a kind of courage that most people cannot even begin to imagine. five and a half years spent in an enemy prison camp in north vietnam. i was thinking as that was
recounted this week, five and a half years is just a little less than a senate term that he spent as a captive. given the opportunity to cut the line and be released ahead of his fellow prisoners because of the rank, likely because of the rank of his father as an admiral, john mccain said no, he would wait his turn and endure the beatings and sufferings that he had to endure. a few years ago a number of us retreated to the rare privilege to listen to john mccain talk about that experience. we had a lunch with both sides of the aisle in the caucus room in the russell building, and john mccain talked about some of his experiences as a prisoner of war. i will never forget those stories, and i'll never affordable care act how -- and
i'll never forget how he walked through those experiences with such humility. there is no recitation of facts that would lead to the conclusion that he was heroic, though he was. there was no self-aggrandizement, no effort to tell you how tough he was or how strong he was. he just told stories about what it was like. the daily suffering, what his captors, the pain they would inflict on him day after day after day. this experience obviously and certainly impacted his approach to foreign policy, his approach to military policy for the rest of his life, and especially it impacted his work as a public official in the united states house of representatives and in the united states senate. in his 2008 acceptance speech at
the republican national convention, john mccain said, and i quote, i fell in love with my country when i was a prisoner in someone else's. i loved it not just for the many comforts of life here. i loved it for its decency, for its faith, and the wisdom, justice, and goodness of its people. unquote. it is a rare soul of great courage who comes away from such a painful, searing experience with that outlook and with a deep desire to continue to serve. john mccain's life obviously was a life of action and a life of commitment. he was committed to this country that he served for 60 years in the navy, in the house of representatives, and in the senate. the senate, of course, for more than 30 after having been
elected in 1986. he was of course committed to bringing hope to the oppressed and the persecuted around the world, and people here at home as well. when i think of john, i'm reminded of the words, some of the words from "america the beautiful." the one line that is inspirational is that line that we've heard often: "oh beautiful for patriot dream that sees beyond the years." john mccain's life was a testament to that dream. not dream in a theoretical sense, but the belief, the belief that your work every day has to be geared towards the future. the dream of a patriot is not something abstract. the dream of a patriot has to be
a commitment to working on behalf of those who will come after you. that's why the line talks about seeing beyond the years. always working, as john mccain was, for the future, for more freedom, for more opportunity, for less oppression, for less suffering, for people here at home and around the world. so he had that dream that animated his life's work. john mccain of course would also be the first person to remind us that he was far from perfect. i'm not sure i ever heard of a public official recount or recite instances where he wasn't perfect or he didn't do the right thing. very few public officials are willing to admit that. but of course john was not the usual public official. but even when he would catalog
mistakes or things that he believed he did wrong, everyone who knew him, everyone who knew anything about his life or his work or his service would also conclude at the same time that without question john mccain had integrity. john mccain had character. and character must continue to matter in the life of a public official. if it doesn't matter, then we're not going to have much of a country. john mccain understood that. it's not good enough to be smart and committed to your positions on public policy. it's not good enough just to be there for votes and for debates. that's obviously critical, but character still matters, and john mccain was living proof of that. i remember one occasion where we had, he and i had an acrimonious exchange in the senate elevators
just a couple of seconds when the elevator went from the basement to the second floor. john was very heated. i was taken by surprise at how heated he was. yet as we've heard so many times over the past several days, john mccain never let a public policy disagreement impact personal relationships with his colleagues. a couple of hours later we were back on the senate floor, and i wanted to continue the argument, and i started to approach him on the floor to continue the argument. i guess i wanted to get the last word, which might be a mistake with john mccain. but as i got close to him, john mccain lifted up his arms and reached out to me, embraced me and said "i'm sorry" and he apologized. it is not common for elected firms in any government, at any level of government to apologize on a regular basis, but of
course it's not common, but john mccain was uncommon when it came to being a unique public official. john worked with so many of us on many issues. i didn't have the chance to work with him on a long list of issues, but i do remember one that had a particular impact on me, and that was his work as a vocal advocate for the people of syria who were still sufferingened the oppressive -- suffering under the violent regime of bashar al-assad. i worked with john to pursue a policy as to how the united states could best support the aspirations of the people for stabilities and a prosperous future. john mccain and i didn't agree on all national security issues, but i will always remember his courage of conviction when it came to standing with the
oppressed and vulnerable people across the world against tyrannical dictators or despots. and on this issue, we were on the same page, trying to get the policy right. whether it was international affairs or domestic policies, john worked to find common ground with his colleagues, though to do that we were trying to create, of course, a stronger country and a better world. and i'm grateful to have been included among those who can say that they worked with john mccain to try to enact good policy. mr. president, let me conclude with these words. in one of his final interviews, john mccain, when asked how he would like to be remembered, his simple response was, quote, he served his country honorably, unquote, with the final word added with some reservation, as if he still wondered if it was deserved. let's be clear, john mccain
did serve his country honorably, and his country is much better, much better for his service. we'll miss him in this chamber, but we should all strive to live up to his example of service and bipartisan work in the senate and bipartisan work, of course, for our nation. the words ring true for john mccain more than almost anyone else i can think of. oh beautiful for patriot dream that sees beyond the years. john mccain was always trying to be that patriot that would be thinking about the future, that would try to see beyond the years to make life better for those who came after him. and we are privileged to have served in the united states senate with john mccain. on behalf of my family, and i'm sure not just the family of pennsylvania but well beyond our
state, we offer condolences to john's wife cindy and their family and his many friends. may he rest in peace. god bless john mccain. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: i moved to proceed to executive session to consider calendar 1061. the presiding officer: the question is on the motion. all those in favor say aye. those owe posed no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the motion is agreed to. the clerk will report the nominations. the clerk: nominations. of securities and exchange commission, elad l. roisman of maine to be a member. mr. mcconnell: i send a cloture motion to the desk. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: cloture motion. we, the undersigned senators, in accordance with the provisions of with rule 22 of the standings of the senate hereby move to bring to a close debate on the nomination of elad l. roisman of
maine to be a member of the securities and exchange commission for ao term expiring june 5, 2023, signed by 17 senators. mr. mcconnell: i ask consent the reading of the names be waived. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the mandatory quorum call for the cloture nomination be waived. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that the injunction of secrecy be removed from the following treaty transmitted to the senate on august 28, 2018, by the president of the united states. amendments to the treaty on fisheries between the governments of certain pacific island states and the government of the united states of america. i further ask that the treaty be considered as having been read the first time, that it be referred with accompanying papers to the committee on foreign relations, and ordered to be printed and that the president's message be printed in the record.
the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the consideration of the following nomination. executive calendar 1060. the presiding officer: without objection. the clerk will report the nomination. the clerk: nomination, department of state, david hale of new jersey to be under secretary of state, political affairs. mr. mcconnell: i ask consent the senate vote on the nomination with no intervening action or debate. that if confirmed, the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table, the president be immediately notified of the senate's action, that no further motions be in order and that any statements relating to the nominations be printed in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. the question occurs on the nomination. all those in favor say aye. all those opposed, no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the nomination is confirmed. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the en bloc consideration of the following nominations: executive calendar 916, 917, 918, 919,
948, 949, 950, 1004 and 1005. the presiding officer: without objection. the senate will proceed to the nominations en bloc. the clerk will report. the clerk: stphogss, department of -- nominations departments of justice, charles l. goodwin of hawaii to be united states marshal for the district of hawaii. r. don ladner jr. of florida to be united states marshal for the northern district of florida. susan parmalo, katie s.soralta of florida to be united states martial for the southern district of florida. department of justice, john d.
jordan of missouri to be united states martial for the eastern district of missouri. mark s.sluff to be united states martial for the southern district of alabama. nick willard of new hampshire to be united states martial for the district of new hampshire. maria chapa lopez of florida to be united states attorney for the middle district of florida. richard e. junior of texas to be united states martial for the northern district of texas. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that the senate vote on the nominations en bloc with no intervening action or debate, that if confirmed, the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table, en bloc, the president be immediately notified of the senate's action, that any statements relating to the
nominations be printed in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. the question is on the nominations en bloc. the ayes appear to have it. the nominations are confirmed en bloc. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the en bloc consideration of the following nominations, executive calendar, 1066, 1067, and 1068. the presiding officer: without objection. the senate will proceed to the nominations en bloc. the clerk will report. the clerk: nominations, department of justice arian to be united states attorney for the southern district of florida. peter g.strassord of louisiana to be united states are attorney for the eastern district of louisiana, g. zachary telli wirch ligard to be united states foreign for the eastern district of virginia.
mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent, the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table, the president be immediately notified of the senate's action, no further motions be in order and any further statements relating to the nominations be printed in the record. without objection. the question is and 0 -- is on the nominations en bloc. the ayes appear to have it, the ayes do have it. the nominations are confirmed en bloc. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the en bloc consideration of the following nominations, executive calendar 995 and 996. the presiding officer: without objection. the senate will proceed to the nominations en bloc. the clerk will report. the clerk: nominations, united states tax court, elizabeth ann copeland of text to be a judge. patrick j.urda of indiana to be a judge. mr. mcconnell: i ask consent the senate vote on the
nominations en bloc with no intervening action or debate, if confirmed, the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table, en bloc, the president be immediately notified of the senate's actions, no further motions be in order and any statements related to the nominations be printed in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. the question is on the nominations en bloc. all those in favor say aye. those opposed no. the ayes apore to have it. the -- the eye appear -- the ayes appear to have it. the nominations are confirmed. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to executive calendar 101 a. the presiding officer: without objection. the clerk will report. the clerk: nomination, department of energy, karen s. evans of west virginia to be assistant secretary of energy, cybersecurity, energy security, and emergency response. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that the senate vote on the nomination with no intervening action or debate, if confirmed, the motions to
reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table, the president be immediately notified of the senate's action, no nurtsdz moarsz -- further motions be in order and any further statements to the nomination appear in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. all those may never say aye. all those opposed no. the ayes appear to have it. the nomination is confirmed. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the en bloc nomination, calendar number 832 and 834. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed to the nominations en bloc. the clerk will report. the clerk: nominations, united states postal service, robert m. duncan of kentucky to be a governor. david williams of illinois to be a governor. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that the senate vote on the nominations en bloc with no intervening action or debate, that if confirmed, the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table, en bloc, the president be immediately notified of the
senate's actions, and that any statements related to the nominations be printed in the record. the presiding officer: without objection, the question is on the nomination. all those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the nominations are confirmed en bloc. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the en bloc consideration of the following nominations, executive calendar 270, 1039, and 1040. the presiding officer: without objection. the senate will proceed to the nominations en bloc. the clerk will report. the clerk: nominations commodity futures trading commission, dawn deberry stump to be a commissioner. dan burke wits to be commissioner, james e. hubbard of colorado to be under secretary of agriculture for natural resources and environment.
mr. mcconnell: i ask consent the senate vote on the nominations en bloc with no intervening action or debate, that if confirmed the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table en bloc, that the senate be immediately notified of the senate's action, that any statements relating to the nominations be principled in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. the question is on the nominations en bloc. all those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the nomination is confirmed en bloc. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the consideration of the following nominations -- nomination -- executive calendar 869. the presiding officer: without objection. the clerk will report. the clerk: nomination. department of defense, james h. anderson of virginia to be an assistant secretary. mr. mcconnell: i ask consent the senate vote on the nomination with no intervening action or debate, that if confirmed the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table, the president be immediately notified of the senate's action, that no further motions be in order, that any statements
relating to the nomination be principled in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. the question is on the nomination. all those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the nomination is confirmed. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to legislative session for a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of s. res. 620 submitted earlier today. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: senate resolution 620, congratulating the national academy of inventors, and so forth. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. mcconnell: i further ask the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, and the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid on the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the committee on the judiciary be discharged from further consideration of s. res.
617, and the senate proceed to its immediate consideration. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: senate resolution 617, recognizing the american legion for 100 years of service, and so forth. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. mcconnell: i further ask the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, and the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the appointment at the desk appear separately in the record as if made by the chair. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
under the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today, it adjourn to then convene for a pro forma session only with no business being conducted on friday, august 31, at 10:00 a.m., and that following the pro forma session, the senate adjourn until 3:00 p.m. on tuesday, september 4, and that on tuesday, september 4, following the prayer and pledge, the morning business be deemed expired, the journal of proceedings be approved to date, the time for the two leaders be reserved for their use later in the day, and morning business be closed. further, following leader remarks, the senate proceed to executive session and resume consideration of the roseman nomination. finally, notwithstanding the provisions of rule 22, the cloture motion filed during today's session ripen at 5:30 p.m. thursday, -- tuesday, september 4. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: if there is no further business to come before
the senate, i ask that it stand adjourned 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