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tv   U.S. Senate John Mc Cain on Regular Order in the Senate  CSPAN  August 26, 2018 3:49am-4:09am EDT

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gave his first floor speech since being diagnosed with brain cancer after he voted to move forward on a bill to repeal the health care law. he said he voted for the motion to proceed to allow debate and amendments, but he would not support the bill as it is in a final vote. he also talked about the roles of the senate, saying they were deliberately intended to require broad cooperation, and called for a return to bipartisanship. this is 15 minutes. >> the senior senator from arizona is recognized. senator mccain: i thank you, mr. president. i have stood in this place many times and addressed many presiding officers. iny have been addressed when sat in that chair, and that is the closest i will ever be to a presidency. [laughter] it isr mccain: un-honorific we are almost indifferent to.
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in truth, presiding over the senate can be a nuisance, and it is usually relegated to the more junior members of the majority. i stand here today, looking a little worse for the where i am sure. i have a refreshed appreciation for the protocols and customs of this body, and for the other 99 privileged souls who have been elected to this senate. i have been a member of the senate for 33 years. i have had a long career before i arrived here, another profession that was profoundly rewarding in which i had experiences and friendships that i revered. but make no mistake, my service here is the most important job i have had in my life. and i am so grateful, so grateful to the people of arizona for the privilege, for the honor of serving here, and the opportunities it gives me to play a small role in the history of the country that i love.
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men andnown and admired women in the senate who have played much more than a small role in our history, true statesmen. they come from both parties and various backgrounds. their ambitions are frequent in conflict. they have different views of the issues of the day, and often had very serious disagreements about how best to serve the national interest. heartfeltter how their disputes, no matter how keen their ambitions, they had an obligation to work collaboratively to ensure the senate discharged their constitutional responsibilities effectively. our responsibilities are important to the continued and theof our republic, roles and customs are intended to require broad cooperation to function well.
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the most revered members of this institution accepted the necessity of compromise in order to make incremental progress on sovereign america -- solving america's problems and defend her from her adversaries. that principle mindset and the service of our predecessors come to mind when i hear the senate referred to as the world's greatest deliberative body. i am not sure we can claim that distinction with a straight face today. not alwayst was deserved in previous eras, either. there have been times when it was, and i was privileged to witness some of those occasions. our deliberations today, not just our debates but the exercise of all our responsibilities, authorizing government policies, appropriating the funds to implement them, exercising our advice and consent role, are
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often lively and interesting. they can be sincere and principled, but they are more partisan, more tribal than in any time that i can remember. our deliberations can be important and useful, but i think we all agree they have not been overburdened by great list -- by greatness lately. right now, they are not producing much for the american people. both sides have let this happen. let's leave the history of who shot first to the historians. i will suspect they will all find -- find that we all conspired in our decline. we have all played some role in it, certainly i have. sometimes i let my passion rule my reason. sometimes i made it harder to find common ground because of something harsh i said to a colleague.sometimes i wanted to win more for the sake of winning than to achieve a contested policy. incremental progress,
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compromises that each side criticized but also accepts, muddling through to chip away at problems and keep our enemies from doing their worst isn't glamorous or exciting. it does not feel like a political triumph, but it is usually the most we can expect from our system of government, operating in a country as diverse and quarrelsome and free as ours. cruelties inflicted by autocratic governments and how corruptible human nature can be, the problems solving our system does make possible the fitful progress it produces, and the liberty of justice it preserves is a magnificent achievement. our system does not depend on the ability. it accounts for our imperfections and gives us an order to our individual strivings that has helped make
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ours the most powerful and prosper -- prosperous society on earth. it is our responsibility to preserve them. even when it requires us to do evenhing unsatisfying, when we must give a little to get a little, even when our efforts managed just three yards and a cloud of dust while critics announc -- denounce us for timidity. humility can rely on and the need to cooperate on our dependence on each other, to learn how to trust each other again, and by so doing better serve the people who elected us. stop listening to the bombastic loudmouths on the radio and television and the internet. to hell with them. [applause] they don't want anything done for the public good. our incapacity is their livelihood. let's trust each other. let's return to regular order.
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our wheelsn spinning on too many important issues because we keep trying to find a way to win without help from across the aisle. that is an approach that has been employed on both sides, mandating legislation from the top down without any support from the other side, with all the maneuvers it requires. we are getting nothing done, my friends. we are getting nothing done. and all we have really done this year is confirm neil gorsuch to the supreme court. the health care insurance system is a mess. we all know it. those who support obama care and those who oppose it. something must be done. republicans have looked for a way to replace it with something else without paying a political price. we have not found it yet, and i am not sure we will.we have only managed to make more popular policy that wasn't very popular when we started trying to get rid of it.
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i voted for the motion to proceed to allow amendments. i will not vote for the bill as it is today. it is a shell of a bill right now, we all know that. i have changes that must be included to earn my support of final passage of any bill. you will have to see the bill change substantially before you support it. we tried to do this by coming up with a proposal behind closed doors in consultation with the administration, and springing it on skeptical members, trying to convince them it is better than nothing. it is better than nothing? asking us to swallow our doubts for unified opposition. i don't think that is going to work in the end, and probably shouldn't. the administration and congressional democrats
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shouldn't have forced it through congress without any opposition support, social and economic change as massive as obamacare. and we should not do the same with hours. white -- we should not do the same with ours? why don't we try the old way of legislating? this process ends in failure, which seems likely, unless we turn to regular order. let the health education and .ommittee hold hearings [applause] senator mccain: something that my dear friends on the other side of the isle did not allow to happen nine years ago -- on the other side of the asile did
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not allow to happen nine years ago. [applause] let's see if we can pass something that is full of compromises and not butactive to other side, provide solutions that americans are struggling with today. what have we to lose by trying to work together to find those solutions? we are not getting done much a part. i don't think any of us feels very proud. we are preventing our political opponents from doing what they want isn't the most inspiring work. preventt them agreements that abandon principles, agreements made in good faith, that help to improve lives. the senate is capable of that. we know that. we have seen that before.
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manye seen it happen times, and the times when i was involved even in a modest the proudest moments of my career, and by far the most satisfying. this place is important. the work we do is important. our strange rules and seemingly eccentric practices, that insist on our cooperation, are important. our founders envisioned our senate as a careful body that operates at a distance from the public passions of the hour. we are an important check on the powers of the executive. forconsent is necessary pointing jurors powerful officials and to conduct policy. whether or not we are of the same party, we are not the presence -- president's
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subordinates. we play a vital role in shaping and directing the judiciary, the military, and the cabinet in supporting foreign and domestic policy. our success in meeting these obligations depends upon cooperation among ourselves. the success of the senate is important to the continued success of america. this country, this big, boisterous, brawling, restless, gooding, bountiful, brave, , and magnificent country needs us to help it thrive. that responsibility is more important than any of our personal interest. we are the servants of a great nation, a nation conceived in to the and it dedicated
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proposition that all men are created equal. people are free come and live free and prosperous lives here than in any other nation. we have acquired unprecedented wealth and power because of our principles, and because our government defense those principles. america has made a greater contribution than any other nation towards international , that has liberated more people from tyranny and poverty than ever before in history. we have been the greatest example, the greatest supporter, and the greatest defender of that order. we are not afraid, we do not covet land or wealth, we do not hide behind walls, we breached them. we are a blessing to humanity. what greater cause could we hope to serve than keeping america the beacon of liberty and defender of dignity for all
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human beings and their right to freedom and equal justice. us, is because that binds so much more powerful and worthy than the small differences then divide us. what a great honor and extraordinary opportunity it is to serve in this body. it is a privilege to serve with all of you. many of you have reached out with your concern and your prayers. and it means a lot to me. many say niceo things that i think some of you must have me confused with someone else. [laughter] word,eciate it, every even if much of it is not deserved. i will be here for a few days, i hope managing the floor debate which, i'm proud to say, is a product of bipartisan cooperation and trust amongst
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the members of the senate armed services committee. after that, i'm going home for a while to treat my illness. inave every interest returning here and giving many of you cause to regret all of the nice things you have said. i hope to impress upon you again that it is an honor to serve the american people and your company. thank you, fellow senators. i yield the floor. [applause] announcer: you have been
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watching a program from the c-span archives with arizona senator john mccain, who has died at the age of 81. the six term senator is survived by his wife, seven children, and his 106-year-old mother roberta mccain. john mccain has died at the age of 81. he was first elected to congress in 1982, serving four years in the house of representatives before becoming a senator, a position he held for the last three decades. twice, thepresident first time in 2000 and again in 2008, becoming the republican nominee. mccaino his career, spent more than 20 years with the u.s. navy before retiring in 1981 as a captain. his service included bombing missions during the vietnam war, where he faced injury and captivity when his plane was shot down other -- over northern
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vietnam. in hisisoner of war early 30's, john mccain subjected to torture and solitary confinement while being held in various prison camps, including one commonly referred to as the hanoi hilton. he was released five and a half years later. condolences are pouring in from around the country, including from the president and first lady, the book -- of isolating president, and his colleagues in the house and senate. c-span's washington journal, live every day with business and policy issues. coming up, christian science monitor white house correspondent linda feldman discuss the future of the trump presidency. and then, the red policy researcher rebecca zimmerman
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discuss the future of afghanistan. be sure to watch c-span's washington journal live at 7 a.m. this morning. join the discussion. q&a,ncer: tonight, on national constitution center president and ceo talks about his biography of william howard taft. >> he never learned politics. who served aide before as an intimate aid that "i will not play a part for popularity." he has this madisonian view. his heroes are james madison, alexander hamilton, and john marshall. madison and hamilton believed that majority's should rule, but only slowly and thoughtfully over time. so that reason, rather than passion, could prevail. systemlieved the entire
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was set up to slow the direct expression of popular passion so that people could be governed in the popular interest, rather than faction, which are moms -- mobs. tonight at 8 p.m. eastern. the white house did not release an address by president trump. maryland congressman elijah cummings, ranking member of the oversight and government reform committee delivers the democratic weekly address. he talks about the trump administration. senator cummings: good morning. i am congressman elijah cummings from the seventh congressional district of maryland. i serve as a senior democrat on the committee of oversight and government reform. this is been a shopping and disgraceful week for our nation. one that will tarnish our history books for generations. attorney michp's ael


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