leader in the united states senate and later as vice president, you were first and foremost father and a husband. you and i and marcel talked about that this summer when you came to vermont for the cancer moonshot. and i told you what an important part of our lives you've been and hope we of yours. you've gone through tragedy and glory, but you've remained yourself throughout all of it. and the memories of those evenings when you let this irish-italian boy come in and
set as a member of the irish and we speak of our values, we speak of america, we speak of friendship. and that's why i admire you, mr. president, and i'm glad to be here on the floor with you. mr. president, i yield the floor. mr. mccain: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from arizona -- the vice president: the senator from arizona. mr. mccain: i join my colleagues in express ago few thoughts to the occupant of the chair to commend his long and honorable service to the united states and to thank him for his friendship. i know how much you enjoy me calling you "mr. president," you and i have served in this body for three decades. we've been friends for almost 40 years, since i was a navy senate liaison and used to carry your bags on overseas trips. i joked recently that i've
resented it ever since. [laughter] but that was part of my job description, escorting and handling logistics or senate co-dells, including making certain everyone's luggage arrived at our destinations. back then, some senators -- unlike the 100 egalitarians who occupy the senate today -- could be a little haughty and high-handed. some exceeded the esteemed that their colleagues and constituents held them in. if they paid a tenths to staff, it was only because we had annoyed them somehow. but not my friend joe biden. he was fair and courteous to everyone, even people who didn't always deserve it. he was always an example of how a powerful person with character and class treats anyone in a subordinate position. he treats them with humility, as god's children, with dignity
equal to his own. in the book "the nighin nighinge song," one military officer escorting a codel to athens. he joined some of the members in a tavern for a little after-hours merriment and was later observed dance on a table sm top with senator biden's lovely wife jill. i don't recall witnessing such an event myself and i can't testify to it having actually happened near the can i imagine the temerity of that rascal, whoever he was. he was lucky the senator whose spouse he made endure the awkward moves he euphemistically called dancing was joe biden. few other senators would have seen the humor in it. many years have passed and many veafntses have trans-spierksd personald and public, that
enriched our lives with the rewards and disappointments, blessings, and challenges. we were still young then when we came to the senate. we're old men now. and although you can't tell from looking at you the vice president is actually a little younger than me, though we both passed the biblical free scoring tent. this place -- this place, the united states senate, has been central to both our lives. here we work together on our quun's challenges. here we fought, argued over the country's direction. here we compromised and joined forces to serve the public interest. here we watched history made and made our small contributions to it. near the of us is the shy and retiring type. we both have been known to hold a strong opinion or two, and when circumstances warrant, we would rather make our points
emphatically than eliptyically. i know that -- eliptically. i know that joe appreciates the adage that i tried to follow in my public life: a fight not joined is a fight not enjoyed. when we've had differences over the years, we've managed to make our positions crystal clear to each other, perhaps in the persistent triumph of hope over experience, we both still cling to the expectation that we can persuade the other that he is mistaken. i think deep down we probably know better. in addition to being regularly mistaken, here's what i've also known about my friend and occasional sparring partner: he is a good and decent man, god-fearing and kind, a devoted father and husband, and a genuine patriot who puts kowrn before himself.
i know, too, that it has been a great privilege to call him my friend. mr. president, if i haven't made clear to you over these many years how much i aappreciated your friendship and have admired you, i beg your forgiveness. we both have been privileged to know members of this body who were legends in their own time and are remembered as important, historical figures. but i haven't known one who was a better man than you. you are an exemplary public servant, a credit to your family, the senate, and to the country. on behalf of the country and the senate, thank you for your lifetime service to america. thank you for your example of how to represent your constituents with honor and humility and how to remain the same good guy that you were when you first got here.
and thank you, most of all, for your friendship. my life and the lives of many have been enriched by it. thank you, mr. president. mr. durbin: mr. president? the vice president: the senator from illinois. mr. durbin: mr. president, there's a story about an irishman walking down the street. he passes two guys who were fighting and he asks them, is this a private fight or can anybody get moo it? -- get into it? well, you know a little bit about that, don't you, mr. vice president? in 40 years or more, you've always been ready to fight thor those who need -- fight for those who need add champion. never walked away from a good fight for a good cause. your career has been marked by so many amazing victories but also by unbearable losses and sorrows. you've had immense
accomplishment. the list of your achievements has been recounted on the floor today. one of them i'm sure you are most proud of is the violence against women act. you made a big difference in the lives of so many people you'll never meet. and protecting them and giving them hope in a hopeless circumstance. between 1993 when your bill passed and 2010, the rate of violence against intimate partners, almost all women, declined by 67% in the united states. we often wonder when bills we take to law are passed and signed by the president whether they can makes make a difference. we know that your unsparing effort when it came to violence against women made a significant difference. i had that in mind nine years ago when i was writing -- riding around florida in a recreational vehicle. it was with my fellow senator from illinois by the name of barack obama. he was running for president and
we were in the back of this r.v. as he was cruising through florida and we were talking about potential running mates, someone who could be his vice president. we went through a short list, and we came to your name, and i said to the president -- soon-to-be president, then senator, my colleague, he couldn't pick a better person than joe biden. i know his heart and you'd be blessed to have him on your team. he made that choice and even though at the beginning i'm sure both of you wondered, is this going to work? -- it did. it did for your purpose and for his and for america's. i'm reminded of that famous poet shamus haney, "don't hope on this side of the grave. but then once in a lifetime, the
long tidalwave of justice can rise up and hope and history rhyme." obama-biden, hope and history -- certainly did rhyme. the things you have been able to achieve with this president have made a difference in america in millions of lives. whether we're talking about exphg out of a-- coming out of a recession where we're losing 800,000 jobs a month, making sure that wall street didn't make the same mistakes again at the expense of families an businesses across america, or making sure that some father didn't face the heartbreak of a sick child with no health insurance, you made a difference in their lives and just this week the cancer moonshot. who know, mr. vice president, what will happen as a result of that investment in your son's name? but i sense that something good is going to happen for a lot of people around this country. and i'm glad that the biden name is closely associated with it.
mr. president, there's an old story, a joke, about the pope and the story goes that the day came when he said to his driver, us know, i -- you know, i haven't had changes to drive the car in a long time. why don't you sit in the back and i'll drive. the pope started driving the car and started speeding and got pulled over. this policeman looked inside the car and looked out again and looked back, said "ex-s us could me. "-- excuse me. he called the police station. i've got an extraordinary circumstance here. i've just pulled over a car with swrun important in it. he said, well who is it? i don't know who it is, but he's got the pope for a driemplet -- driver. the reason i remember that sthoar is that one time i was on air force ii with vice president joe biden and we flew you home to delaware and i was to catch an amtrak train at wilmington and i asked you to drop me off
and you said, no, i'm going to take umto the train. so we get up to the train and the train spuling into the station and you look what the i have for a ticket. you said, that ticket is not good. you need a real ticket. you grabbed it and took off running with the secret service trailing behind you as the train pulled into the station. and i'm thinking, am i going to make this train? is he going to make it back? you came running up the steps with the secret service trailing behind you. the train was stopped an and alf these passengers were looking as the vice president of the united states ranup to me, handed me a ticket, said go ahead and get on the train. the people on the train had no idea who i was. but they knew if the vice president was carrying my ticket, i must be somebody important. leet me say one personal word. you and your wife jill really embody what i consider to be the befort of public life. not only your commitment to people who are less fortunate around the world but your genuine sense of caring and your good heart -- both of you. i can recall when my colleague
marti russo had a son who was sick with cancer. there was one person who called every day to make sure that he was doing well. well, that's the way you not only build a friendship but you build a reputation as not just a glad-handing politician but as someone who really, really cares. i have been honored to count as a friend and i'm honored that the president that i love chose you as his vice president, and i'm honored that we've served in the senate together and i can tell my kids and grandkids. i wish you the best, whatever life brings you next. the vice president: the senator from georgia. dakota zach i rise to pay tribute to a person h's a had a tremendous impact on my life and my career in the senate and also a tremendous impact on my country, the united states of america. mr. isakson: i still remember to this day the time mitch mcconnell called me and said, hey, we got an opening for a republican on the foreign
relations and nobody will take it. will you take it? i didn't know if that was a benefit, a perk or whatever. i said anytime you're offered a gift, don't look a gift horse in the face so did i t two days later joe biden saw me and said irk i'm glared a joining our committee. i've got an opening on the africa subcommittee. will do you it? i aid, mr. biden, i've never been to africa. i've been to africa 12 times since. i give vice president biden a lot of credit for the influence he had on that. i also remember the day when the mock swearing-in took place on the second floor. i had my nine grandchildren here to watch me sworn in to the senate. the mock signing ceremony, joe stood there. we all raised our hand and repeated the mock ceremony we had done on the floor. then joe greeted each one of my grandchildren one by one as they walked by. when little jack, then 7 years old stopped, joe biden said, jack, what do you like about the capitol? and jack said, well, mr. vice
president, there's no lego store. joe said, the next time you come here, there will be one. i want to tell the vice president that he' he is i'm cog to see me swore in again. i'm going to tell him that vice president joe made sure he had legos when he came back to the capitol. the rear character and credit to a man is what spliewns he has on children. i can tell from you that story that's just one of many that joe biden has had. on me personally, i will never forget the day joe biden called me as vice president of the united states and said johnny, i have the mayor of baltimore going with me to panama city next week to look at the deepening of the panama canal. i know savannah's port is important to you. i know you have been fighting for the authorization you need. how about going and let's take a press conference together. i did and he did and we did and today the port of savannah is being deepened to 47 feet, there
will be sailing through it in four more years. i'm confident it would not have happened at the level of administration without joe biden, the vice president of the united states and more importantly my friend. joe, i don't have the words adequate to tell you how much i appreciate you as a person and a leader, but there is a little poem i know that says more about what you really are than i could say. i would rather see a good person than hear about one any day. i would rather have a good person walk with me than merely point the way. for my eyes are better pupils and more willing than my ear, and fine counsel is confusing but examples always clear. and the best of all the people are the ones that live the creeds and to see the good in action is what everybody needs. i'll be very glad to do it if you let me see it done. i will watch you in action but your tongue too fast in running. i would rather get my lectures by observing what you may do, because i may misunderstand you and high advice you give but i will never misunderstand the way you act and the way you live.
joe, you live the life of a patriot, you act like a gentleman. you're my friend. god bless you and your family. thank you for your service to the country and your friendship to me, and i yield back. mrs. murray: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from washington. mrs. murray: mr. president, and it is a pleasure to say that. some may know him as the guy in the a.f.c.iators deboarding air force two or the man in the 1967 corvette in the viral internet video, dpleeful as he had the rare opportunity to drive himself around in his favorite car. mr. president, it's so clear the american public has embraced this grinning, approachable, unstoppable life force known as vice president joe biden. but little do many americans know of the heart of our vice president. they have caught glimpses of it in 1972 when his wife and daughter were killed in a terrible car accident and his two sons severely injured. it's hard to imagine that kind
of devastation. and joe picked himself up and was sworn in to his first term in the u.s. senate from his sons' hospital room. or maybe they saw it last year when joe's son beau, following in his father's footsteps to be an extraordinary public servant and more importantly a wonderful father, lost a long and hard battle with cancer. i know as a mother and grandmother myself, i'll never understand what joe went through. mr. president, again, joe picked himself up and continued to serve our country as a strong, dedicated vice president in the midst of a raucous election season when americans needed him the most. joe's life, his commitment to his family, his struggles and his service encompass what it means to be not just vice president and a brilliant husband and a father but an american. joe grew up in a middle-class family who worked hard for everything they had.
he was just 29 years old when he ran for a seat in the united states senate. mr. president, he might have been young but he had already seen what divided people in delaware, but he also knew that people across the state also held the same hopes for themselves and their families and believed he could work through those despairities, and in an upset victory, he won a seat to the senate in november of 1972. since his swearing in, joe has worked every day on behalf of families in delaware and for the entire country, especially the last eight years. when joe lost his son to cancer, he launched a moonshot for this generation to end cancer as we know it today. he's now working on behalf of every family who ever lost a loved one to cancer to push forward on medical innovations and discoveries, and i'm so proud that joe's moonshot is included in the final cures bill that we just voted on this
afternoon. and even more so that the senate renamed the provisions to support cancer research in that bill to honor beau and calling it the beau biden cancer moonshot. we will now use those investments to fight to cure cancer so we can look forward to a world where no family has to go through what the bidens did and the devastation that millions of other americans have experienced after being touched by cancer. mr. president, back when i was serving with the presiding officer, joe, my friend, in the senate in 1994, i had the pleasure of working with him to pass the violence against women act, vawa, as we know it. it was a landmark piece of legislation that changed the way our country responded to domestic violence and sexual assault. joe has come out as a strong advocate for ending violence against women through his campaign one is too many, spreading awareness and working to help reduce dating violence
and sexual assault among students and teens and young adults. and it's on us -- and his it's on us campaign has been a wake-up call to the epidemic of campus sexual assault across the country. women are safer today in this america than they were 20 years ago, due in part to joe's fearless leadership on this issue that affects too many in our nation. despite everything he's been through or maybe because of everything he has been through, he gets back up, he fights on and he fights on behalf of every family in our country, and that's heart, that's heart. the way he always wants to make people happy, no matter what the circumstance. last time he was in seattle, he brought a little stuffed animal, a little dog to give to my granddaughter. now, she is very shy, but the second he smiled and handed her that little dog, she became his best friend ever. and she keeps it by her side,
joe. that's why he's going to be missed, by his colleagues, by this entire country, because of his humanity. that's the joe biden i know, and i want everyone else to know that, too. it has been an honor to call joe a fellow senator, mr. vice president, but mostly a great friend. i want to thank joe for what he's taught me and all of our colleagues through his service and thank him for his extraordinary and inspiring leadership throughout his life in the best of times and in the worst. joe and his aviators will be sorely missed. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. ms. collins: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from maine. ms. collins: thank you, mr. president. in 1974, a freshman senator from delaware named joe biden was identified as one of "time"
magazine's 200 faces for the future. that priestient pre-- that appreciateient prediction was before the decades of contributions that followed. joe biden served six terms in the united states senate and became vice president of the united states. but he is exactly the same person today as he was more than 40 years ago when he took that first train trip from wilmington to washington to be sworn in as a united states senator. he is everybody's friend but nobody's fool, and while joe biden changed washington, washington never changed him. it is an article of faith among
those of us who know and love joe biden that nothing is more important to him than family. it is therefore irony that this good and decent man has faced so many family tragedies during his long and fruitful career in public service. although he has been sorely tested by several wrenching losses, vice president biden's irrepressible spirit has never been broken. he is as optimistic about his country today as he was in 1972 when, as a county councilman, he defeated a long-serving senate incumbent and began the journey that ultimately led him to the second highest office in the
land. and with his cancer moonshot initiative, joe biden once again has turned personal tragedy into a public cause that undoubtedly will save lives. to know joe biden is to admire him. his warmth, his devotion to friends and family, his commitment to all things delaware, and his fierce loyalty to his party that somehow never alienated those of us on the other side of the aisle. perhaps that is due to the many thoughtful gestures that the vice president demonstrates every day. how well i remember bringing my younger brother to the white
house holiday party one year and running into the vice president just as he was leaving after a long day of work. he instantly stopped and asked if we would like him to give -- if we would like for him to give us a personal tour of the west wing of the white house, and for the next 45 minutes, instead of being driven home, the vice president of the united states took my brother and me on the best tour of the white house that anyone could ever have. i still remember the shocked look on the face of the marine at the situation room when we arrived there. another wonderful memory that i have was of the time that joe
biden and i were named irish americans of the year by the american ireland fund, and i thought it was so telling that both of us brought our family members to the celebratory dinner, and both of us talked about our irish mothers. now, i do remember that joe's speech was considerably better than mine, but mine was much, much shorter. in a time of almost suffocating partisanship, joe biden is a breath of bipartisan fresh air. people may disagree with joe on one or two or even ten issues, but nobody finds him
disagreeable. it is often said that if you don't love joe biden, it is time for some serious intro speck section. you may have -- introspection. you may have a serious problem. no one can say with certainty what lies ahead for vice president joe biden, but this much is certain -- he will face the future with unbridled enthusiasm, extraordinary energy and an unwavering commitment to his family, his friends and his country. i thank the vice president for his outstanding service to our country, but most of all, i thank him for his extraordinary friendship to me. i wish the vice president and
his wonderful family all the best. thank you, mr. president. ms. mikulski: mr. president? the vice president: the senator from maryland. ms. mikulski: thank you very much, mr. president, mr. vice president. mr. president, we all take pleasure in calling you that. mr. vice president, senator, foreign policy guru, the senator who was tough on crime but a soft touch when it came to compelling human needs. a long-time colleague, but most of you will, i know you as my friend, joe. my friend, joe. and it's not only that i know you as my friend, joe, the people of delaware know you as my friend, joe. the fact that your colleagues, both present and past, are here feel the same way about you, and so do the american people. you have a unique ability to
make a visceral connection to people. you actually connect to them. not only on the be a tracks of big -- on the be abstraction ofg ideas, but heart-to-heart. i think when you talk with people, that's why you have this visceral connection. sure, you can debate the great ideas, but it is that heart connection that you're able to make that has been, i think, one of your great, great signatures. weigwe in maryland know you as a neighbor, the delmarva gang from delaware, maryland, and virginia. and we also know you as amtrak joe. i think that's so fitting because not only have you been a champion of amtrak and rode the train so faithfully, which has now become the stories of fact
and fiction, but also "amtrak joe" is right, because really the way of a lived your life, conducted yourself in public service, you have kept america on track and going on the right direction because you knew what your destinations were. and i salute you for that. you've done a great job in everything you've undertaken. i know you because while others just go for the porch and they love the -- go for the pomp and they love the policy. if i hear one more "i'm going to go deep in policy," i'm going to shake my head. i believe we need policies that help our people, keep our nation safe, and make sure that there is an opportunity structure here. but we're here tog to be champions of the people and that's what you have done, whether a champion of the people
and you have been a steady friend. when i arrived in the senate, i was the only democratic woman and i've often said, though i was all by myself, i was never alone. i was su surrounded by the good mening of the senate, and particularly the democrats reached out their hands and helped me. of course, my very good friend paul sarbanes, who is here today, was here, who was my senior senator when i came, and was my colleague and my champion. but you were right up there at the top of the list, too. and i call the men who were just so incredibly helpful to me gallahads, because you help me in every way you can. in my time in the senate when i reached out to you, you were always there. when i reached tout fight for women to be included in the n.i.h. protocols, thrurp to help me -- you were there to help me. when i reached out to fight against the skim parliamentary
inquiry and smart money for breast cancer research, you were there to help me. when we organized the women of the senate, the democratic women, to fight then bush on the privatizing of the social security, when we said we shouldn't rely on the bull of political promises while we feared a bear market, you joined right there with us, side by side, shoulder to shoulder. whether it was equal pay for equal work or so many issues, you were always there when we called upon you. and you were always of such just tremendous help. and i was also there to try to help you. i remember a day in the mid-1990's when i got a call from you. maybe you remember that, but i remember that. you said you really wanted to stop violence against women. you knew of my social work background, my advocacy for what
was then called battered wivment and you you said, can you help me kind of go over this legislation to make sure that the money goes to people who will help those women and not to people who just want to get grants? so we worked together. we talked about the need for shelters. we talked about the reform of police and courts and so on. and then you came up with that fab lurks fabulous idea to have a hotline so whether -- it didn't matter whether you lived in delaware or in des moines or in san diego. there was always help on the other side of that line. i was so happy to work with you and to support you, as you led that battle through -- as only a good man could -- to stand up for women who were being battered in their own home and facing danger. i checked lately on the statistics on that hotline.
joe biden, since that hotline legislation passed, over 1.5 million have called that hotline. many of them were in lethal danger -- lethal danger -- and because of you, joe biden, there are thousands, if not tens of thousands, of women and children alive today because you had the foresight and the fortitude to create this legislation. that in and of itself would have been enough for a career but, oh, you did so many other things. and now we know that you're advocating the national cancer moonshot. you've been a champion on fide finding the cure for cancer for a long time. whether for women with breast skerred and others. i am so pleased that in that cloture vote we're going to include $352 million for that. in issue after issue and issue, we've been there.
now, i know you've been a great leader, but i also know that behind great men there's also very terrific women. and i think we owe a salute to jill, just a wonderful woman, a leader in her own right, a belief in higher education, a belief in working at the community college level so that people who might not -- who had big dreams in their heart but not a lot of money in their pocket could be able to go on to college, and what a champion she's been there and also what a champion she's been for our veterans and for our wounded warriors. wow, she's just terrific and i know she's been at your side. there are so many stories i could tell, but i want to wrap up with just one. i met your mother. she was spunky. she was feisty, a delight. if there's anything more spunky, fistier or delightful than an irish mother, it is a polish
mother. i wish you could have met mine. those two would have been kindred spirits. now, do you remember when the pope came to baltimore? so the pope was coming to baltimore and i told my mother i wanted to greet the pope in polish. my mother's response was "oh, my god." now, i grew up in a family that before world war ii was bilingual. i was bilingual as child but during world war ii we stopped speaking all foreign language. so my pronunciation is really awkward. so my mother made me practice polish words. how to say hello to the pope and how to say goodbye to the hope. you and i were at the baltimore washington airport. there goes the pope in his pope-mobile. he's heading up, getting on shepherd ii and you're saying, goodbye, goodbye your holiness. i say, no, say it in polish. you have a large polish community.
i taught you how to say one simple phrase. "stomacz." in the tongue of my ethnic hair tang, when you say that you say, "may they live 100 years." so, joe, stovat." the vice president: the senator from delaware. mr. coons: i just warr wanted to recognize the presentation in the chamber of five former senators, bayh, harkin, sarbanes and to thank other senators who have asked their comments be placed in the record. former senato senator kerrey has provided lengthy remarks. senator cardin has asked that his comments be entered into the record. we've five senators remaining who have asked to speak briefly. senator alexander, senator cardin, case circumstance kaine
and my senior senator tom carper will conclude the session today. i yield the floor to the senator from ten teen. mr. alexander: mr. president? the vice president: there is a reception coming up. i will try to set a good example. the author of roots once told me after hearing a speech, he said, "may i make a suggestion?" i said, yes. he said, if when you make a speech you would say, instead of making a speech, let nile story. someone might actually listen 20 what you have to saivment i've always remembered that. let me tell one short story about a vice president who knows thousand get things done. nearly two years ago you and president obama-and-invited senator corker and me to be to noville with you when the president announced his community college program. and before that we had lunch privately. and we talked about many things. but the president talked about his interest in precision medicine. he said, mr. president -- i said, mr. president, we're working on something we call
21st century cures. why don't we fold that into your precision medicine interest and we'll do it together. a year later at the state of the union address, the president talked about the cancer moonshot and announced that joe biden would be in charge of that. so i talked to you and said, we'll just fold that in as well. well, it wasn't moving along as fast as i like because as you know, it's full of difficult issues. f.d.a., safety, moving things through, drug companies incentives and then the funding issue on both sides of the aisle. so i called you and i said, joe, we're not moving like we should. and you said, wcialg le well, lt me sea what i can dovment you held a meeting of the democrats and republicans in the house, senator murray and me, and you moved us along pretty well and off we would g you didn't take credit for that. nobody knew much about it. you were the dhee that. -- key to that. then it got stuck again. i called you again.
joe, i feel -- i said, i've got the precision medicine, the cancer moonshot, we've got the brain initiative, the opioids money. but i can't get a response. i feel like the butler standing with the silver platter outside the oval office and no one will take the order. and you said, if you want to feel like a butler, try being vice president. well, the fact was, you went to work again, the president called, he went to work, speaker ryan went to work, senator mcconnell went to work, and today that legislation on which you worked so hard passed the senate with 94 votes. that's an example of a man who understands the issues, who knows how to get things done, and who has the respect of nrve this body. -- of everybody in this body. this is pearl harbor day. pearl harbor day reminds us of the greatest generation, men and women who cared about the
country, didn't care about the credit and resolved their differences and realized that diversity is important but turning that diversity into one america is even more important. you're not of that generation. but you show the same spirit as that generation did and your work on 21st century cures and the fact that the cancer moonshot section is not only something that is your initiative -- was 2345*eu8d named -- was named for your son, that's important not just to you but for all of us. we honor you today. we're delighted that you came down to let us tell a few stories about your fctiveness as vice president of the -- your effectiveness as vice president of the united states. mr. cardin: mr. president? officer. the vice president: the senator from maryland. mr. cardin: i also want to join in thanking you for your service. senator mikulski talked about a lot of things you have done. the two of us represent the state of maryland. there's no other senator other
than the two of us who has spent more time in maryland than the vice president. now, admittedly, most of that time has been spent on an amtrak train, but we consider you to be a resident of maryland. we've tried to find a way to tax you, but we'll let you get by. but we very much appreciate your interest in our entire region, in our entire country. when i was elected to the senate in 2007, i talked to senator sarbanes, the person who i was replacing in the senate, about committee assignments and we talked about senate foreign relations committee. and he says, get on the committee. joe biden is an incredible leader. anytime you can spend with him is going to be time well-spent. i talked to senator mikulski and she told me the same thing. and i was honored to be able to serve on the senate foreign relations committee and saw firsthand your extraordinary leadership on behalf of our country. but bringing us together, that committee, you didn't know who the dems and who the republicans were. we worked together as a unit for the best interest of our country
and that was -- was a model for all ever us. later i became rank member of the committee and we had some extremely challenging issues that could have divided us. and you helped me through that period. i just really want to thank you for that. your extraordinary leadership in helping us resolve some very difficult issues, you're just openness and willingness to listen, and your ability to find a way to go forward was incredibly helpful and allowed, i think, the senate to do the right thing on that issue as far as the oversight, and i just thank you very much. but that wasn't your only opportunity to help us resolve issues. you've heard members talk about the violence against women act and how important that was, the cancer moonshot is going to incredibly valuable, each one of our families have been affected by cancer. the and we know through
yiefortses we're -- and we know through your efforts we're going to find an answer for this dread disease. what you have done in so many different areas of law enforcement, the list goes on and on and on. last year i was in central america. i think there you could easily run for office and have -- they know what you have done. give them a hope to give them a future. and you take an interest in an area and find way to be helpful that i think has made our country stronger and you've given hope to people all over the world. you have a love for people. you hear that. you hear that often. it was will rogers who famously said he never met a man he didn't like. well, that's joe biden. and it's incredible. i remember when i was being sworn in the ceremonial, in the old senate chamber, you not only talked to the members of the senate, you talked to every member of our family. i don't know if you had the best staff work or not, but you know every member's family.
and my grandchildren to this day talk about the conversation that they had with you during that swearing-in ceremony. you really care about people. and that really shows. this is a family here, and you have really shown that to us. and myrna and i look at you and jill as just people that are part of our family. i have made my lifetime in serving in public life. you have made that profession an honorable profession through the manner in which you have conducted yourself, your integrity, who you are, the type of way that you bring people together, and i'm proud to have served with you here in this body. congratulations. a senator: mr. president? the vice president: the senator from pennsylvania. mr. casey: mr. president, it's an honor to be here today. i was thinking about what i would say today and make it as -- as brief but as personal
as i could, but i have to say on a day like today, it's difficult because we all have the privilege of being able to go to this floor on a regular basis to talk about issues, to talk about our country, to talk about the world, but we also have one of the great privileges to talk about those with whom we have served and for whom we have great respect. and this is one of those moments, and it's -- it's of great significance for me that i'm able to stand on the floor of the united states senate as a native of and as a resident of the city of scranton and lacawana county to talk about a son of scranton. and i know this is a pretty big day for delaware. delaware's number-one citizen, and on this historic day for delaware, but i have to say i'm so grateful to be able to say on behalf of the people of scranton and lacawana county in
northeastern pennsylvania how proud we are today to be able to pay tribute to vice president joe biden. there is so much to say about that history, so much to say about what it means to be able to stand on the floor and talk about his -- his record, his life, his achievements, but mostly to talk about who he is. when i consider what he has contributed to our country, to his state and to the world, it's difficult to encapsulate. i tried to -- to jot down a few notes to remind myself of how best to encapsulate that life. i decided to start with the word integrity. it may be a word that we take for granted, but a word that has to be part of the life of a public official. i would say in the case of joe biden, he he has the kind of
integrity that is uncommon, uncommon because -- not because it's -- not because it's a rare trait, integrity, but uncommon because it's so much a part of his whole life. he was a public official with integrity. we hope he is again when he might consider public office again. but he's also a person of great integrity when it comes to the -- the fights that he's had to wage on behalf of people without power, the work that he's had to do as a public official infused with that kind of integrity. at the same time the kind of integrity that you would expect from a family member and a friend. so i would start with that wound. certainly, the word compassion comes to mind. every one of us can tell a story. i was just hearing stories yesterday from a colleague yesterday about a phone call that the vice president made in the last couple of years to
someone who was grieving, who was in the depths of the darkness of grief, and the phone call that he -- that he made to that person. i've heard stories over the years about not just phone calls but visits with people, stopping in to a funeral home for a long lost friend who had lost a loved one. letters that he has written. i know a personal friend who lost his wife and his sons who lost their mom and what the vice president wrote to them just this summer. over and over again, he's demonstrated that kind of compassion. i can remember it in my own case in a very personal way. it was only an election loss. i ran for governor of pennsylvania in a primary. as many of you know, primaries are particularly difficult. i lost badly. no one called on wednesday after tuesday. one reporter showed up at my
door, and i opened the door and really couldn't say much to this reporter, but i was grateful she was there. but i got one phone call on wednesday. maybe a couple family members. i come from a family of eight. i think my wife was talking to me, but other than that, the only person who called me was joe biden. and he made some kind of grand prix dicks. i thought he was just being nice, that i would somehow come back. but you know what? he was right, and he made me feel much better that day, and he probably -- he may not remember i but i'll remember that for the rest of my life. i think certainly when we think about the vice president, we could center on another one worn abiding, an enduring commitment to justice. his whole public life could be -- could be summarized in that word, in the commitment that he's had to justice. we could quote from the bible,
blessed are they who hunger and thirst for justice, for they shall be satisfied. i'm not sure joe biden has ever been satisfied yet with justice. he's always pursuing it, always trying to bring justice to a problem or to a situation or to the life of a fellow citizen. we think of what st. augustin said about justice a long time ago, but it still bears repeating. without justice, what are kingdoms but great bands of robbers? that's what st. augustin said hundreds of years ago. joe biden has lived his life as a public official and as a man, as a citizen with that same burning desire to bring justice into the dark corners of our world, and he knows that without that justice, someone is, in fact, robbed of so much, robbed of their dignity, robbed of their safety, robbed of a full
life. but joe, i think i say maybe the best line, with all due respect to the scriptures and to st. augustin was one my father said. he wrote it down years ago, but he probably gave maybe the best description of what a public official should be about. and i'm not sure i have ever attributed this to anyone else but him. he said the most important quality a public official can bring to their work are two things. number one, a passion for justice, which, of course, joe biden has in abundance, and a sense of outrage in the face of injustice. that if you have both of those, on most days you're going to get it right, and his life as a united states senator for 36 years, as vice president for eight years and as a citizen for
all those years and more has been about that passion for justice and a sense of outrage in the face of injustice. we all know his record. we don't have to recite all of it. from the violence against women act, which we know is an acronym vawa. of course, an acronym doesn't do justice to the meaning of what that meant. and so many today have talked about how he saved the lives of women and families because of that legislation. so from vawa to a.r.a., the american recovery and reinvestment act. the act that helped dig this country out of the ditch it was and rescued and improved the lives of so many people. he not only worked to get it passed, but then he made sure it was implemented. it might be the most popular piece of legislation 25 years from now when people really appreciate what happened with the recovery act. from diplomacy to law
enforcement, to not just supporting our troops, not just working on legislation and supporting them, not only when his son was a member of our armed forces, but long before that. but what he did very specifically to protect our troops. we know the scourge of i.e.d.'s, which was the number-one killer of our troops in iraq, in afghanistan. a lot of those troops' lives were saved because of joe biden. armoring vehicles and doing all the work he did to protect our troops. so whether it was national security or security in our streets, whether it was protecting women who would be the subject of abuse or helping children or improving our economy. on and on, we can talk about that record, but just as you can't just list achievements in a record and encapsulate what it means, so the same is true of a 36-year career in the united states senate and then eight
years as vice president. lincoln probably said it best. lincoln said it's not the years in your life that matters. in the end, it's the life in those years, and that's, i think, true of joe biden as well. two more points. one of the best qualities of the vice president, as a man especially, but also as a public official, is his sense of gratitude. if you knew him for a half an hour or for your whole life, you know that almost always he's speaking about people in his life that made him who he was, made him who he is today. whether it's his mother and father or whether it's his family, his whole family, his brothers and sisters and his sons and daughters and of course jill. it's a -- it's a reminder of how grateful we should be. in so many ways when you hear
joe biden speak, his speeches tend to be on many occasions a hymn to gratitude, and that comes through all the time. we know how much he suffered with all the losses he sustained. i was talking to him recently at an event in scranton about -- about his son beau and his life and what a patriot beau biden was. i think today we can say the following about the vice president. this is a man who was a great, great vice president. this is a man who was a committed and very effective united states senator. but may be most important he's been a faithful son, a loving and proud husband and father and a patriot. thank you, sir, and god bless you.
mr. nelson: mr. president, these speeches were just supposed to go on for one hour, and we are already at the two-hour mark, but perhaps since we are honoring you, mr. president, this is most appropriate. mr. president, i would say to our colleagues and our guests you say the name among us of joe biden and a smile automatically comes to our lips. and that's because the vice president is a lover of people.
that's true, we know it's true. we -- and that's why we have this genuine affection today being expressed, and since the hour is late, my remarks are going to be very short, but i just want to highlight that it's very characteristic, i can even tell all of the stories of the biden family because i've heard them so much. it's also very true that if you are talking to joe and suddenly your wife comes up or your daughter comes up, all of a sudden joe is not focusing on you, he is giving his total attention to the ladies present, and that is most appreciated, and that, of course, is why he is such a big fan -- he is such a big fan of the nelson
household, not only of grace and nanellen, but also of bill jr. he always treats our children with respect and goes out of his way. or i can remember recently just absolutely cooking in north palm beach on the stage in the hot sun, and joe was always there making the case for whoever it was that he was standing up for.
and, of course, he always made you feel that you were welcome. so i remember one time we got off an airplane and he's going to his limousine and many a going back to -- and i'm going back to the gast van in the -- to the guest van in the back. he motioned that i'm goin to coe with him. i said, mr. veterans administration i never presume that i should come here. he says, i always want you here when we were traveling together. that's what makes him so special. finally, i want to comment about the moonshot. why is the effort at cancer research called "the moonshot?" it's because we achieved what was almost the impossible. when the president said, we're going to the moon and returned
safely within the decade, and america marshaled the will and in fact did that incredible accomplishment. that's why we're going to have the moonshot for cancer. we've already made so much progress, but now with the former vice president of the united states heading up all the efforts where we can keep the attention on n.i.h., so it doesn't go from a level rocking along about 24 billion, 25 billion and the stimulus shoots it up to in the first two years of the vice president's office, up to $30 billion a year, and then it drops down to $24 billion, $25 billion, and dr. francis collins has to
cancel 700 of the medical research grants that he has already issued. because we have the moonshot headed by joe biden, we are going to find the cure for all those kinds of cancers. that is the great legacy that the vice president of the united states will have. mr. president, i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the vice president: the senator from virginia. mr. kaine: mr. president, i rise in honor of your service, and i just want to tell my favorite joe biden story. this is a story that the vice president has heard me tell, but i want it on record because everyone should know this story. and it's a story of an interaction between our vice president on one of the most important days in his life and a young man from richmond, virginia, my hometown, on one of
the most important davis his lievment it was election day 2008 and i was governor of virginia and i was responsible for the running of the elections in my state on that day when senator joe biden was running for vice president with our president barack obama. i received a call in the middle of the morning -- there was going 0 to be a surprise visit to a polling place in richmond after having voted in wilmington, senator biden was going to make a stop in witch -n richmond and wanted to meet some voters to await the election results. we gave him the address an elementary school polling flaifs very near the richmond airport. and i raced there with my security dough tail to gleet a few minutes before he arrived for a surprise visit with voters who were going to love having the chance to meet the soon-to-be vice president. ace got there a few minutes before senator biden ariervetiond i saw a friend who had come to vote. i asked how he was doing and he
said, i'm doing great. many i'm really excited about voting today. tndz it is also a -- and it is also a special day because i have a nephew with sickle cell anemia and he is casting his first vote. he is so sick, he can't even get out of the vehicle, he said. i watched the election officials at the polling place take a voting machine from inside the school into the car so that his 18-year-old nephew could cast the first vote in his life. and i saw this young man the nephew of my friend that he was very, very ill. i said to my friend and his nephew, can you wait here for five minutes because i think we could do something really exciting. well, just wait. they said they would. and within five minutes, senator biden came up to meet voters and shook the hand of those in line. and i said, senator, there is a young man here and just as this day is very important to you, because i think you're about to
be elected vice president of the united states, for this young african-american male who is very, very ill but extreme. ly excited -- but extremely excited to get out of his house and cast a vote to elect the first african-american president, he is sitting there in that vehicle, will you go and visit with him? and i didn't even have to finish the sentence and put the question mark at the end before senator biden shot across the parking lot and went up to the vehicle and the press corps was following him. the young man was sitting in the back seat. joe just jumped in the front seat, closed the door, rolled up the windows so nobody could hear the conversation. and the press corps gathered around all four sides of the vehicle with their cameras taking pictures of senator biden in an extremely animated and somewhat lengthy conversation with the 18-year-old who had just cast his vote. to me, that will always be the quintessential joe biden story.
joe biden is the irish poet of american politicians. he and i share a passion for the irish poet, will william butler yates. yates like our vice president was not just a poet. he was a man of the public. he was a public official. people asked him to weigh in on political matters all the time. and once in the middle of the first world war, somebody asked yates to write a war poem. and he wrote a war poem and the poem was being titled this on being asked to write a war poem, and the poem says this, "i often think it better that in times like these a poet's mouth be silent, for in truth he has had enough of meddling who can please a young girl in the indolence of her youth or an old man upon a winter night." the meaning of the poem is i may be a public figure. i may have a public job to do. i may be asked to do a public job and to complaim -- claim
upon matters of public importance but sometimes even more upon the matters of public is the act to please a young -- is the ability to please a young girl or an old man, or an ill young man casting a first vote, an important vote. the fact that you took your time on that day of importance to you to shed some light and offer some joy to someone who was struggling, that's the joe biden that has us here for two hours offering these tributes. i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the vice president: the senator from connecticut. mr. blumenthal: thank you, mr. president. i never had the privilege of serving with you, mr. president, in this chamber, but like many of my colleagues, i have come to know you as a friend and a public
servant and a model and a mentor. and i have barely enough time to say a few words of tribute here, but i will add more to my remarks on the record. what i want to say very simply is that you have inspired so many of us beyond this chamber, beyond the people whom you've known directly and beyond the people with whom you've worked. countless young people that are involved in this noble profession because of your example. at a time when public officials and politics are often held in little repute and often challenged in their integrity, you have given us a good name. you've given politics a good name. and you have enabled so many of us to serve with pride in a
profession that is so vital to the continuance of our democracy. beyond the pieces of legislation, whether it's the violence against women act or the assault weapon ban or criminal justice, the list goes on, is that model of public servant. and i want to close by saying that as long as i've known joe biden, i really came to know him through the eyes of his son. i had the honor of working and serving with beau biden when he was attorney general at the state of delaware and i was attorney general of my state of connecticut. my ambition in life is to have my four children talk about me with the sense of admiration and love and pride that joe biden
talked about his dad. i'm very proud and grateful that we had the opportunity to vote today on a law that bears his name. as proud as his dad is of him, his pride in his dad is an example of all of us as parents parents, hope for our children to have for us. i'm proud to be in this chamber and to have been sworn in to this chamber by you, mr. vice president. and i hope that our paths will continue to cross, as i know they will with so many of us in this chamber and in this country. thank you for your service. a senator: mr. president? the vice president: the senator from missouri. mrs. mccaskill: me too.
the vice president: the senator from massachusetts. a senator: in 1972 i was a young man in my last year of law school. i decided to run for state representative. mr. markey: i had a cousin who worked at nasa. the older cousin, the smart one, the physicist at nasa. he said there is a young man in delaware, he's running for the senate. what's his name? joe biden. and so from that moment on i was following the career of this irishman, this latter day descendant of hubert humphrey, the happy warrior, the man who stands up for the common man and woman in our country. and in 1972, you had this great campaign team led by john matilla who captured your spirit, your soul, what you represented now in this
half-century of american politics. and in 1976 when i ran for congress, just four years later, saying i think i can run -- i walked into the office of this man john mattilla up in boston that looked like a museum to joe biden with all the joe biden messages on his wall. from that moment on through john matilla, larry rasky, ron clane, all the people who worked for me and worked for you, i have been privileged to be able to chronicle your journey of work and inspiration for our country. and i think it is really just perfect here that you are the commander in creef of -- commander in chief of this rocket ship to the moon to find the cure for cancer, because that is a mission that has the
right man who is going to be leading it. and i think that each and every one of us out here knows that one of the reasons this bill is receiving such an overwhelming vote today is because of you, mr. president. it's because of the respect that we have for you. it's the knowledge that when you were negotiating this bill, and at the end of the day you were going to put the american people first. you were going to make sure that that bill reflected the highest aspiration for every american. and so i want to speak briefly because there's a reception after this that many people are still waiting to say hello to you. i think every member wanted to come out here, and you inspired them to speak a lot longer than they may have intended on speaking, mr. president. but it's because of the incredible respect and admiration they have for you. my best to you. my wife susan's best to you.
there has never been a better public servant in american history. all my best. a senator: mr. president? the vice president: the senator from indiana. a senator: on behalf of all the people of my great state, we want to tell you how grateful we are to you for your service. for the extraordinary job you did as vice president to president obama. mr. donnelly: as you know, everybody is telling stories. i had the privilege of having you come up and put your arm around me. when everybody said there was no chance i could ever win, and you said you and i are a lot alike. and you can do this and you can win. i came back and what advice did president bide -- vice president biden tell you? he said he told me i could win. they said, well, he's right a lot. i don't know about that one. and you turned out to be right. we were blessed that your sons hujtser and beau often -- hunter and beau often came out to indiana during the summers.
you would then come out as well. and i'll never forget going to the coffee shop one sunday morning. and the lady at the coffee shop said to me, this has been an unbelievable day because the vice president came in with all his grandchildren and by the way, joe, he bought ice cream for everybody in the store and you've never done that. i said how story i was that i was never -- never did that. but she also said, you know, this is one of the greatest days of my life to meet somebody who's always looked out for working families, who's always looked out for us. that's how we see you back home. you've always looked out for us. you've always cared about us. and as a second generation irish immigrant, you've always been an example to all of us that we can accomplish anything we dream of. so god bless you and jill and your whole family. i'm so lucky to have been
touched by you. a senator: mr. president? the vice president: the senator from minnesota. a senator: vice president biden, earlier hubert humphrey's name was mentioned. you know the love the people of minnesota have for you. vice president humphrey was your mentor when you first got to the senate when you didn't know you were going to last a few months there. he was there for you. ms. klobuchar: and you have extended that kindness to so many since then. vice president mondale, another minnesotan has great affection and love if you and i'll report back to him tonight that i was here with you today. and when i first got elected to the senate and made one of my first speeches about police funding to a completely empty chamber and i thought even my mom wasn't watching on c-span, i walked out of this place and i got a phone call on my cell phone and it was joe biden, then a senator saying, that was a really great speech. and when you came to my state
and one of my best friends suddenly lost her husband and you heard about it, you did not know who she was. you just heard the story and two weeks on her first day back at work, she was driving home and she got a call from you. and you talked to her for 20 minutes. and when you were done and had given her all this wonderful advice, you said, we're not done. i want you to write down my phone number. and she said, i'm driving, mr. vice president. i can't do that. and you said, pull over. and she wrote your phone number on her hand. you did that for her, mr. vice president and you have done that for so many americans. so on behalf of our entire state of minnesota that has loved you forever, thank you. i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the vice president: the senator from delaware. mr. carper: mr. president, i sent up a few minutes ago a wrote to you that i hand wrote that said flattery won't hurt you if you don't inhale.
don't breathe too deeply up there. i also recall walking into a hearing with gina mccarthy over at the house of representatives, a joint house-senate hearing. a lot of people had been asking questions, like four hours. it came to my turn to ask a question. i said is there any question administrator carter you haven't been asked. she said, i wish somebody would ask me if i needed a bathroom break. there are 30 senators in the cloakroom that need to speak. if you need one, let us know. it's a joy to sit here and listen to all these stories. our congressman, governor-elect has come and gone, has gone back over to the house. i used to work for you. you're one of those great
mentors. i want to say to chris coons for pulling this all together and making possible just a wonderful tribute. this is the senate at its best. it's so wonderful to see some of our still young colleagues that have come back to visit us and to be with us on this special, special day. over the years people have asked me why i've had some success in my life and i say my sister and i picked the right parents. my sister and i picked the right parents. joe biden and his brother and sister picked the right parents. i've had the privilege of knowing both. your dad was sick in the hospital, spending time with him, just the two of us, just the two of us. joe, i just want to say for those who maybe don't know, they valued education. they made sure you got a good one along with his brother and sister. i want to say hi to val.
they valued education, people of faith. they're catholic. he doesn't wear it on his sleeve but no one believes in the golden rule and being treated like joe biden. nobody does a better reading of james -- show me your faith by your words. i will show you my faith by my deeds. he doesn't talk a whole lot about his faith but, boy, he sure lives it. from his family, from his mom and dad, he learned the importance of family, the importance of loyalty to his family and frankly to his friends, his multitude of friends. he learned there's a difference between right and wrong and figure out what it is and do it right. do it all the time. he learned a little bit about common sense. my dad used to say to my sister and me, we would do some bone headed stuff.
just use some common sense. i think your dad said that to you once or twice as well. and your mom used to say you to, you're knocked down, get up. the idea that you never give up. never give up. that is joe biden. people say to us in this chamber i'm sure every day that they wouldn't want our job. boy, i wouldn't want your job. and i know you've heard that a lot of times. i think we're fortunate to have these jobs and have these responsibilities to serve. but an even tougher job is to be married to one of us, to be married to one of us. several people have talked about jill, and -- your bride for how many years? almost 40? is that possible? i first saw joe biden, i was a graduate student just out of the navy at the university of delaware. i just happened to see her on campus. i said then and would say now one of the two loveliest people
i think i've ever seen and met. the other being martha carper. i -- not only is she just lovely as joe knows and the rest of us know, not just lovely on the outside on the outside, really lovely, really lovely on the inside, a person with deep caring, a person with incredible warmth and compassion, just a terrific educator. she taught in our state in our public schools. she taught in a hospital for folks with special needs, talked at delaware technical community college which was selected as the best community college, technical community college in the nation during a time that she was on the faculty there. she continued as second lady, continued to teach. but she started off in pennsylvania. there's a naval air station. i used to fly out of there.
i retired as a navy captain in 1991. she was just down the road growing up with her four sisters. jill jacobs and the jacobs girls. i'm sure they broke a lot of hearts. in the case of joe biden, she helped amend one. she helped amend one. as much as anybody, val, your family are hugely supportive and helped you get through a terribly tough time but jill, perhaps, made you whole. she is -- she got her undergrad i believe from the university of delaware. has two master degrees, ph.d., focused on increased retention at community colleges around the country. and she got those two advanced degrees while working and raising a family. three kids that any of us would be proud to claim our own. last week i happened to be in the classroom in the school where the vice president has probably been to, the elementary
school just down the road from the high school. i was in a classroom with a woman named wendy turner who is the delaware teacher of the year. i had a chance to be with her. her kids are grade schoolkids. we gathered around together and sat on a stool. i went around. there were about 25 kids. why is she a great teacher, wendy turner, teacher of the year. they said she loves kids. she loves us. they said she knows her stuff. she really knows what she's talking to us about. she knows how to make it clear why it's important, like when we leave school and why is it important we learn these things. she believes everybody can learn. everybody can learn. and i thought about her. i think about jill biden today. she's that kind of educator as well, continues to be that kind of educator as well. and a lot has been said today of the cancer moonshot that joe has been leading with great, great
skill and success, especially today. but before there was a cancer moonshot, there was joe biden's breast health initiative which has helped thousands of young women, thousands of young women to learn about the importance of early detection for breast cancer. beau went off into the military, the delaware national guard, deployed to iraq. some people, they would send cookies and packages and stuff to their kids and write or send e-mails, sciep with them. jill -- skype with them. jill decided she was going to take that experience and create delaware boots on the ground to look out for families and later on as second lady working with michelle obama to create something they called joining forces which focuses on education for military families, edition, employment opportunity -- education, employment opportunity, access to well nz services. she managed to write a book from a child's point of view of
having a loved one in the family deployed overseas in the military. and as i said earlier, just helped to raise three terrific kids, three terrific kids. sometimes i like to quote maya angelou who sang, i think, at the second inauguration of barack obama and joe biden and passed away not long ago. maya an lieu said -- maya angelou said something that's appropriate for us today. she said, people may not remember what you said. people may not remember what you do. but they'll remember how you made them feel. they'll remember how you made them feel. and one of the threads through everything that's been said here today really reminds me what maya angelou said because people
may not remember what we said. and they may not remember what we do. but there are literally, not just thousands, not just tens of thousands, not just hundreds of thousands, but there are millions of people in this country who will remember how you and jill made them feel. cared for, important, loved. and i know our vice president likes music, and later on -- there's a british group. i forget -- i think it might have been the beatles and maybe the best rock 'n' roll record ever abby road ends with these lirrics, the last part, side two was largely written by paul mccartney. the last words on the abby road were these words, the love you
take is equal to the love you make. you're going to take a lot of love with you and jill as well, far from here for the rest of your lives. god bless you. and with that, mr. president, i always wanted to call you mr. president, with that, mr. president, i note the absence of a quorum. the vice president: the clerk will cal the roll. -- will call the roll. a senator: mr. president? the vice president: the senator from delaware. mr. coons: i ask the proceedings of the quorum call be vitiated. the vice president: without objection. mr. coons: i would like to vft all my colleague -- invite all my colleagues to join us for a reception in honor of the vice president and i look forward to our presenting a bound copy to the vice president. thank you for your service. we look forward to hearing from you at the reception.
mr. isakson: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from georgia. mr. isakson: i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. isakson: mr. president, this is one of those weeks where every two years, six years or four years we pause to pay tribute to those who have been elected to the senate, served with us and have been retiring or possibly were defeated in the last election. i want to rise to pay tribute to two of our members tonight and i'd like to ask unanimous consent that that at the apprope time in the record my remarks be divided by senator. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. isakson: first i want to talk about senator kelly ayotte from new hampshire. her leaving the senate is a great loss for all of us but i remember the day kelly ayotte became a rising star on the horizon of republican politics
but more importantly on the horizon of the united states senate. in her election six years ago we would get phone calls saying have you heard about kelly. everybody knew who kelly was, attorney general for the state of new hampshire and was catching fire. she did catch fire and she won. she's a great lady with a great family and she's dpon a if he the senator he -- done a phenomenal job. our united states forces are better because of her efforts and hard work. today we passed the agreement to go to final passage of the authorization of the military appropriations. kelly ayotte in large measure was behind that. we decided on our policy for interrogation and our policy on torture. it was kelly ayotte who was on top of that. every significant decision we made in the last six months dealing with our military, our policies or our process, she has been at the forefront of those decisions and she's done a phenomenal job. i want to wish her the very best in her career in the future and thank her for the service she's given to our country. as a son of the south and
georgia, we love our new hampshire and any time we can get one, they are the best. they have the best lobster, best clams and best senator. i'd like to divide in the record my remarks and pay attention to barbara boxer from california. a lot of my colleagues are going to say, wait a minute, why are you talking about barbara boxer? you're a republican. she's a liberal. you're a conservative. she is a great ?ror. barbara and i served on the ethics committee for ten years. later on i succeeded her as the chairman and she's still a member until she retires. the ethics committee is the assignment no one wants to get but when you get it you want to have somebody who will do what's right. regardless of their party they will do what's right for the member, the institution and the constitutional responsibility we have in the senate. in the last few years i worked with barbara boxer on any number of complaints against members of
the united states senate, unequity cal conduct or conduct unbecoming a senator. we've admonished some, cleared some and recommended the expulsion of some and some resigned because of our investigation. i take no pride in anyone leaving the senate because of the actions of the committee but i take great pride in the fact that no one in nine years questioned the integrity of the united states senate ethics committee or the job it has done. i give large credit for that to barbara boxer. she is a liberal democrat. i'm a conservative republican but when it comes to calling balls and strikes we call them down the middle. that is a credited to institution, a credit to her and to the ethics committee. i want to pause at this moment and say to my retiring friend barbara boxer thanks for your service to the country, thank you what you meant to the state of california but thank you what you meant to the institution of the united states senate and the commitment to the ethical behavior by our members. thank you for making it a standard that you stood for and i stood for. it was a pleasure for me to serve with you and be called one of the members of the odd
. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from north carolina. mr. tillis: mr. president, thank you. about a month and a half ago i came to this chamber to talk about the disaster that occurred in the aftermath of hurricane matthew. it was two months ago to the day that hurricane matthew hit eastern north carolina. i don't think many people, even in the state it is hard to conceive of the damage that matthew caused. even people in the middle part of the state, charlotte, so i know it's difficult for those who may be in other states and didn't see the local news
coverage. but matthew took 28 lives. it displaced tens of thousands of people in the near term and now thousands of people are still without homes. it's damaged businesses, its infrastructure, miles of interstate 95 were under water and bridges have been washed out. we have a lot of damage that we have to recover from. i've seen communities -- we have one community that was washed away by hurricane floyd and was washed away again just about 17 years later with hurricane matthew. neighborhoods completely under water. i was in fayettville. there was a habitat for humanity neighborhood that had 90 homes. six are uninhabitable now. there were areas in flood plains. this was a thousand--year rain event, a 500-year flood event. in other words, this is not likely to happen again in our lifetimes, maybe not even in the pages' lifetimes. it's just an incredibly -- it's
an incredible event that's going to take a lot of time and effort to recover from and resources. the human and economic toll we're still trying to tally. the disaster is going to take probably decades to fully recover as we're seeing with floyd. but we will recover because that's what north carolinians do, that's what americans do. to begin the long rebuilding process, though, we need federal assistance, and that's why governor pat mccrory requested a disaster assistance package and why we very quickly got a team together, my staff who led the effort working with congressman price, members of the delegation, senator burr to try and figure out what we needed to do to provide assistance to north carolina so that they can begin their recovery. so over the past weeks we've worked very closely with the appropriations committee. i want to particularly thank the leadership of the appropriations committee.
they've done an extraordinary job of working with us, advising us on what we need to do to make our request clear, to make it more likely that we would be able to get some resources for north carolina. i specifically want to thank two of my staff who worked very hard. they were literally working on the disaster plan after the rains fell and before the river started cresting. and that's towers mingledorf and calef from my office. i'm proud of the work they've done on our behalf and on behalf of north carolinians. now, at the end of the day, we now have a continuing resolution as a result of their hard work in cooperation with the appropriations committee. we have a provision in the continuing resolution to allocate some $300 million to north carolina for immediate needs to assist the recovery effort. this is a beginning. we'll continue to work with the federal agencies that that money will be directed to and ultimately down to the state so that we can find out what
additional needs. but i think it's extraordinary that eight weeks to the day we were able to work together, get the support of the members of this body, and get the support of the appropriations committee to at least begin the process. we've got to help these north carolinians get back to their normal lives. we've got to get people back in their homes and allow businesses to recover and get people back in and back to their daily lives and working. and we're going to do it. we also need to help the farmers. there are thousands of acres of land that were affected by the floods. in some cases the flooding was so extensive that these farms, many of them were already readied for next year's crops. some of them still had crops in the field covered by sand and sediment. they'll need to be cleared. in other cases there are washed out bridges. there are ditches and drainage areas that all will have to be cleared out so we can get the ninth largest agricultural state
in the nation ready to produce crops next year. and i know we'll do it. i know we'll do it because we've got the support of this body and we're going to be able to start sending that money and that desperately needed support to north carolina. but in the coming weeks and months, we'll also spend time figuring out what more we can do. i want to in the meantime, mr. president, let anybody know in north carolina if they need help, they should contact my office. they can reach me online at senate -- at tillis.senate by gov and we'll do everything we can to help them to recover and to get back to their daily lives. again, mr. president, thank you and thank the members of this body who supported our efforts to provide this much needed aid and i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from illinois. mr. durbin: mr. president, i want to introduce the senate to a young man i met last friday. his name is luke wang. luke was born in korea. his parents brought him to the united states in the fifth
grade. they took him to new jersey and luckily he'd taken some classes and was able to speak evening lirk. he grew up in palisades park. he said it didn't take me long to adjust to a simile because my school offered bilingual class classes. going above and beyond to serve the unique needs after diverse community. this is an amazing young man. he started off with this passion for science. he was accepted into the math and science magnet school called burton county academy ranked by "newsweek" as one of the top five public high schools in the united states. at the academy, luke won several awards at regional science fairs. he volunteered as an emergency medical technician in the local ambulance corps as a high schoolkid. because of his academic achievements, luke was accepted as a university scholar in the
mccallly honors college at the city college of new york. in 2013, luke graduated assume cup laudee with a -- summa cum laude with a bachelor's of science in chemistry. he received an award for the highest grade point average of any chemistry major in the school. this brilliant young man is currently a ph.d. candidate in chemistry at the university of chicago. he worked as a researcher at the university. in his spare time he volunteers for the chicago korean american resource and cultural center, an organization that tries to help poor people in that community. here's the kicker. luke is undocumented. brought to the united states in the fifth grade, turned out to be one of the smartest chemistry students in his high school, in his college, and now in his graduate program. when i met him last friday, he's a very quiet fellow. i said what do you want to do,
luke? i'd like to teach. that's what i'd like to do, research and teaching. here's the problem. he's undocumented. he's not legally in the united states of america the his family brought him here. they didn't file the papers or if they could have, they didn't file the papers. whatever the case, this young man grew up here in the united states, took advantage of the best schools in new jersey, and now is going to one of the best colleges, universities in the united states and is destined to do great things in his life. maybe he'll teach. maybe he'll start a company. maybe he'll just come up with some breakthrough achievement in chemistry that will change the lives of many people. what are we going to do with luke wang? well, there are 744,000 people just like him. these are young people who are undocumented that president obama gave a chance to stay here in the united states after they went through a criminal background check, after they paid their filing fee, and he
said you can stay and study in the united states of america. we won't deport you. you can travel to another country and come back without being arrested, and you can work in this country if you wish if you have a work permit. 744,000 of them under what's called the doca program. well, the new president says that he's going to eliminate that program and eliminate the only thing that's keeping luke wang in the united states. that is, the doca program protection against deportation. we can't let that happen. why would we do that to this young man brought here as a fifth grader? why would we walk away from his talents? why would we say despite all that you've achieved with the highest grade point average in chemistry america does not need you, luke? of course we need him. and many more just like him. i'm trying to find a way to give people like him a chance to stay in the united states without being deported, continue their
education in medical school, in law school, in graduate programs, and in so many other different fields. well, there's a breath of hope today. the president-elect was interviewed for "time" magazine. here's what he said about dreamers, people like luke. quote -- and i'm quoting president-elect donald trump. "we're going to work something out that's going to make people happy and proud. " they got brought here at a very young age, donald trump said. they go to school here. some are good students. in have wonderful jobs and they're in the never neverland because they don't know what's going to happen. that statement by the president-elect gives me some hope that i can give luke some hope and others just like him. we can straighten out this immigration system in this country, but let's not do it at the expense of these young people. let's do our job but in the meantime let's protect them. let's let them continue their
educations. let's let them achieve what they want to achieve for themselves and for america. we'll be a better nation for it. senator lindsey graham and i are working on a bill. whether you're for immigration reform or against immigration reform, join us in the basic proposition that we need to protect young people like this while we debate this important issue. that i think is the right thing to do. it's certainly the right thing to do for this young man. some day he's going to do something very important in this world. i'd like to have it happen in the united states. mr. president, i ask that two other -- three other statements that i have here be placed in the record in separate locations. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.