tv Washington This Week CSPAN December 21, 2014 3:00am-5:01am EST
naval reserves. ten years in the house of representatives and 30 years here in the united states senate. now, i think anybody looking at that would say that is a remarkable and distinguished record of public service. after 40 years of representing iowans in congress, my friend tom soon will leave behind the halls of the u.s. capitol. he also will leave behind a legacy of fiery floor speeches, passionately delivered on behalf of individuals with disabilities. also for iowa farmers. also for the elderly. also for child laborers, and for many causes that he championed, such as early childhood education, nutrition and wellness, conservation, renewable energy, and the
environment, and probably lots of others, but those are things that everybody knows that he has worked hard on. throughout the years tom and i have served side by side in washington for the good of our home state. for three terms we worked together in the u.s. house of representatives. it was here in the senate our shared commitment to give rural america a voice at the policy making table was sown. and for many years we worked together on the senate agricultural committee looking out for the millions of americans who choose to work and earn a living in rural america. we worked together to advocate for rural infrastructure and investment, access to health care, housing technology and transportation. for the last three decades we have served alongside one
another here in this distinguished body, the united states senate, an institution that both of us hold near and dear to our hearts. although some of our silver tongued critics over the years may have described tom's views as a bleeding heart liberal or mine mischaracterized as that of a wholehearted conservative, we both -- tom and i -- know that our hearts have always been in the right place. neither of us was born with a silver spoon in our mouths, and we learned early on to appreciate the work ethic of our parents and grandparents. each of us raised our families with the hopes that our children and grandchildren would achieve the promise of america's prosperity and grow up to enjoy
the pursuits of happiness. as iowa's u.s. senators, we have worked to keep alive the dream of hardworking iowa families. now, of course, it's true that we have vastly different views on the government's influence on america's ladder of opportunity. however, we do wholeheartedly agree that it is an honor and a privilege to serve the people of our state. for some reason our respective reelections every six years have actually confounded political observers. many couldn't seem to square the notion that iowans would continue to elect two u.s. senators from opposite sides of the political spectrum for the last three decades.
so, mr. president, to explain, i think i don't have to because it is widely understood that iowaans aren't casual political observers. our electorate takes pride in retail politicking and it's first in the nation political caucuses. we certainly have given iowa voters a night-and-day choice between these two u.s. senators. so while we may not see eye to eye on politics and ideology, we do see eye to eye when it came to working for iowa's best interests. although our voting records may reflect night and day positions on some public policy, you wouldn't see the light of day between us when we worked together on matters that are
most important to iowans, including but not limited to natural disasters such as the tremendous floods of 1993 and 2008, and iowa farmers and agriculture notably recovering from farm crises, renewable energy and rural infrastructure has been our mutual interest. we have also enjoyed welcoming economic development leaders and constituents to the nation's capital, between the famous sioux land steak dinner here in washington and the harkin state fry in indianola, there is no doubt tom will mistaking out iowans po discuss politics and policy. however, i have no doubt that my home state colleague will continue championing the causes for which he has devoted a
lifetime of public service. in fact, i read in the news media about his retirement of what he intends to pursue, and so i have no doubt that he's going to pursue out of the senate what he's pursued in the senate. to his credit, my colleague's legacy reflects the priorities that he set out to achieve decades ago: to make a difference for those on the down side of advantage. so, mr. president, my wife barbara and this senator extend our warmest wishes to tom and his wife ruth and, of course, to the entire harkin family, as you start life's next chapter. and i see my colleague is here, so i can look at him. as you start life's next chapter, may you enjoy the
blessings of hearth and home, health and happiness. although tom is retiring from public office, i'm confident he's not retiring from serving the public interest. from one constituent to another, i thank you for your lifetime of public service, and i wish you good luck and godspeed. i yield the floor. mr. harkin: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from iowa. mr. harkin: mr. president, first let me thank my friend and colleague for his characteristic lifetime casket -- lifetime characteristic of him being gracious and very generous in his remarks. chuck grassley and i have served together since 1974. i like to tell people that in 1974, that was a big wave of democrats came in. they called us the watergate
babies. we came in in a big wave, won a lot of elections and things like that. and in fact, in iowa that year elected a u.s., democratic u.s. senator, and every house seat -- i think there were six at that time, six house seats all went democratic except one, and that was the seat that chuck grassley won that year bucking the trend, bucking the tide in 1974. so it's kind of a funny thing, chuck. i speak to my friend across the aisle here, that a lot of times people this year have said all you watergate babies are gone now, you and max baucus and chris dodd and then on the house side george miller and henry waxman.
so this is the last of the watergate babies. i always have to remind them, i say there's one left. who's that, they say? it's a republican. a republican? who's that? my colleague from iowa, chuck grassley is sort of, i say, the last man standing from that class of 1974. i think it's again, a tribute to senator grassley that through all these years he has won the hearts and minds of the people of iowa, been elected and reelected. he came to the senate before i did. he came in 1981 and i came in 1984. so i'd like to think that we at least share in common at least bucking the trend a little bit or the tide because in 1984 someone said harkin, you had a run for the senate in 1984 because there will be a big democratic landslide here. so i ran and whoa, boy, the tide
was just the opposite. it was a reagan landslide here but i was fortunate enough to be able to win elections. so i think the the two of us share sort of bucking the tide, so to speak, to get into office when we ran. but it's been a great association through all these years. as i stand here today on my 75th birthday, i guess when you're this age, i think you think of -- i have two kind of emotions. one, i wonder where the heck did all the years go and how come they went so fast. sometimes i wish i can turn the clock back and do it again. the other side is the irish side of me. any time you're on this side of the grass you have a good day. i want to say since that time we took our oath of office
together, i think it was january 4 of 1975, we have served together both in the house and in the senate, and a lot of time on the same committee, agriculture committee, working a lot on different agriculture bills. i remember back in the 1980's working on the credit bill at that time when so many farmers were under water. so as the senator said, it's been a great honor and a privilege to represent the people of iowa. as he mentioned, we belong to different parties. we have different philosophies of approach of government. but i like to think that we share a down-to-earth, common sense iowa way of looking at the world. iowans, we're not all monolithic out there. we're not all one philosophy or the other philosophy. sometimes i find conservative friends of mine in iowa may have a more liberal view of one thing and then i find liberals in iowa
have a more conservative view of something else. so people in iowa, as my friend said, they think a lot of about these things and they take these tingz -- things into consideration. a lot of people say how can someone elect someone who is conservative and someone who is liberal in iowa? i think there's common strains where there's a cross confluence of maybe a conservative approach and a liberal approach. so, again, i just say to my friend, i value his friendship and his counsel through all these years, even though, again, as my friend said, we approach things maybe from a different philosophical standpoint. that's fine. that's okay. but we've never, we've never let a disagreement on philosophy ever be the last word between us or the final word; anything like that.
it's always well, that's that. what's next? the one thing, i really appreciate what my friend said, and that is when it comes to iowa, you don't find any daylight, when it comes to disasters, what we can do for iowa and iowans, we have had a wonderful relationship through all these years and it is one that i have cherished very much. i heard my friend -- i was making snoats -- making notes, say sometimes they say he's a cold hearted conservative and i'm a bleeding heart liberal. chuck grassley is not a cold heart the conservative. he cares deeply about the people. he cares deeply about the people of iowa. i hope i'm not a bleeding heart liberal. i hope i'm sort of a liberal that believes in individual responsibility. individual responsibility. so my friend has been a very
caring conservative through all these years. i think together we've achieved important things for our state: chick -- economic development, rural development, all these things we worked together for iowa. i'm proud of the fact that iowa right now produces 25% of our energy comes from wind energy in iowa and we produced the blades, the turbines and everything in iowa and all these jobs there. that's something we have worked together on through all these years. so again, people ask me about leaving the senate. well, it was my decision. but i said at the time, almost two years ago i said i wasn't running again. i said i will not -- you'll never hear me ever say bad things about the senate or denounce the senate or saying things -- i love the senate. this is a wonderful institution. yeah, we have a few bumps in the road once in a while but that's
what to be expected in a legislative process representing 300 million people in this country. but i.t. the friendships you form here, the alliances, the friendships, the working together. i've often said that as a progressive, i wanted to go this far this fast and the conservatives want to go this far this slow. but together, working together, you can make progress -- you can make progress. and that's what i think both senator grassley and i have worked together on, to try to make progress. but especially for the people of iowa. and so i thank him for his kind words. i thank you. i know we're not supposed to say this on the senate floor. we're always supposed to speak in the third person. but i never wanted to follow all the rules anyway, so i can speak directly and say, thank you very much, chuck grassley, for friendship, for counsel, for working together through all these years.
i'm going to miss that relationship and working on the senate floor, but i will be in iowa. i'll be working again with the harkin institute at the university. i'll be spending a lot of time on disability policy and advancing the cause of people with disabilities in some way, shape, or form -- i don't know exactly house, but in some way, in that way -- and i hope -- i just want to say this to my friend. i hope that at some time, since this is a nonpartisan institute, we have a great board of directors -- in fact, the former chair of the iowan republican party is on the board of the institute -- we want to keep it nonpartisan. i would like to ask my friend to come and speak at and be -- perhaps lead a discussion sometime at the institute at university. i would be honored if my friend
would do that, if sometime down the road -- i don't know when. we can work it out. i think you would be well-received and i think young people at drake need to hear the conservative side of the story as well as the liberal side of the story. they need to have that kind of input. so i hope we can work that out. let me just say again that i know in the future that you and your wonderful wife barbara, a great, wonderful person, that you and barbara and ruth and i will maintain friendships and will maintain our connections as we move into the future, and any way that we can ever work together for the benefit of iowans, just let me know and i'll be glad to be your lieutenant -- or something out there in the field out there in iowa sometime. but thank you so very much for so many years of counsel and friendship and
>> tom harkin is best known for authoring citizens with the disabilities act. it is landmark legislation that preserves the rights of americans. last week, senator harkin gave his farewell speech on the senate floor. this is over 30 minutes. harkin: mr. president, almost two years ago i announced i was not going to seek a sixth term in the united states senate. that decision and that announcement didn't seem all that difficult or hard at that time. after all, two years was a long time off. since then i've been busy with having hearings and meeting constituents and getting legislation to the help committee and working on appropriations. but now, knowing this will be my
final formal speech on the floor of the u.s. senate, now knowing that in a few days a semitruck is going to pull up to the hart building and load hundreds of boxes of my records of 40e -- 40 yeerks -- 40 years, 30 in the senate and 10 in the house and haul that off to drake university and civic and public communications in des moines, iowa, now seeing my office at the hart building stripped almost bare and the shelves clean, now when i will soon cast my last vote, now when i will no longer be engaged in legislative battle, when i will no longer be summoned by the senate bells, now when i will soon just be number 1,763 of all of the senators who etch -- who ever
served in the united states senate, now, now the leaving becomes hard and wrenching and emotional. and that's because i love the united states senate. i love my work here. it's been said by a lot of pundits that the senate's broken. no, it's not. the senate's not broken. oh, maybe a few dents, a couple of scrapes here and there, banged up a little bit, but there is still no other place in america where one person can do big things for good or for ill, for our people and our nation. i love the people with whom i work. this is a deaf sign, i-l-y.
it means i love you. senators, staff, clerks, congressional research service, doorkeepers, restroom, police, congressional employees, yes, the pages, especially to those who labor outside the lights and cameras and the news stories who make this senate function on a daily basis, i thank you. i particularly want to thank my wonderful hardworking dedicated staff both present and past, both personal and committee staff. when i say committee staff, i mean the appropriations, subcommittee on labor services which i've been privileged to chair since 1989. also the committee on agriculture on which i have served since 1985, which i chaired twice for two farm bills, once in 2001 and 2002 and the second one in 2007 and 2009.
the committee on health, education, labor and pensions which i shared since the untimely death of senator ted kennedy in 2009. i first heard pat leahy say this, so i always attribute it to him. he once said that we senators are just a constitutional impediment to the smooth functioning of staff. this is truer than most of us would probably like to admit. also in thanking my staff, i don't just mean those who work in washington. i would never have been reelected four times without the hands-on, day in day out constituent service of my iowa staff. the casework they have done in helping people with problems is every bit as important as any legislative work done here in washington. in 2012, our office marked a
real milestone. the 100,000th constituent service case that we've processed since 1985. i cannot count the number of times iowans personally thanked me fofer -- for something my staff has done to help them. there is a story out our way that i've heard for a long time. it goes like this, if you're driving down a country road and you see a turtle sitting on a fence post, you can be sure of one thing. it didn't get there by itself. i can relate to that turtle. i didn't get here by myself. my staff helped. so i thank my staff of past and present who have so strongly support immediate when i was right, so diplomatically corrected me when i was wrong, and who all labored in a shared
commitment to provide a hand up, a ladder of opportunity to those who had been dealt a bad hand in the lottery of life. i ask consent, mr. president, to list of names of my staffs so they will be forever enshrined in the history of the united states senate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. harkin: but most of all, i thank my wife ruth, the love of my life, my wife of 46 years. you have been my constant companion, my soul mate, my strongest supporter, and my most honest critic. you've been my joy in happy times and my solace when things just didn't go right. so i'm looking forward to more adventures and love and excitement with you in the years ahead. to our two beautiful, smart, caring and compassionate
daughters amy and jenny, i thank you for always being there for your dad, for giving me such wondrous joy in being a part of your growing up. i am so proud of both of you. and to my son-in-law steve and to my grandkids, daisy and luke and nequaid, look out, here comes grandpa. there is so much i want to say but i want to be respectful of those who have come to share this moment with me. my staff, here and there, my family and friends and fellow senators. but i want to state as briefly as i can why i'm here. what has propelled me? what has been my guiding philosophy for all these years? it has to do with that ladder of opportunity that i just mentioned. you see, there's nothing wrong in america with being a success.
there's nothing wrong with having more money and having a nicer home and a nicer car and sending your kids to good schools and having nice vacations and a great retirement. that is a big part of the american dream. but i believe that when you make it to the top and you make it to the top and you make it to the top and i make it to the top, one of the primary responsibilities of our free government is to make sure we leave the ladder down for others to climb. now, mind you, i said ladder. i didn't say an escalator. an escalator is a free ride. don't believe in that. but if you follow my analogy a little bit more, with a ladder you still have to use energy and effort, initiative to get up.
but in order to do that, there must be rungs on that ladder. that's where government comes in. to put some rungs there. the bottom rungs, everything from the child health care programs, the head start, the best public schools, the best teachers, affordable and accessible college, job training sometimes -- sometimes people fall off that ladder. sometimes they have an illness, they have an accident. that's why we have a safety net, to catch them. things like disability insurance and work men's compensation, job retraining programs to get them back up on that ladder once again. 35 years ago we looked around america and we saw millions of
people that no matter how hard they tried could never climb that ladder of success. no matter how hard they tried, could never do it. these are our fellow americans, our brothers and sisters with disabilities. so what did government do? we built them a ramp and we called it the americans with disabilities act. now again, we didn't build a moving walk way, did we? you see, with a ramp you still have to exert energy and initiative to get up. i've often said there's not one dime, not one nickel in the americans with disabilities act given to a person with a disability. what we did is we broke down the
barriers. we opened the doors of accessibility and accommodation and we said to people with disabilities, follow your dreams. and in the words of the army motto, "be all you can be." i can remember standing here leading the charge on the americans with disabilities act. once again i feel a lot like that turtle. i had a lot of people helping. when i think of the americans with disabilities act, i think of people like senator lowell weiker, senator bob dole, senator ted kennedy in the senate. in the house tony convey low and steve bartlett and steny hoyer. in the executive branch at the head of it all, president george herbert walker bush. attorney general dick
thornburgh, boyden gray. and on the outside, people like ed roberts and marko bristo, bob kafka and the indomitable justin dart. and here, the one person who worked his heart out to bring it together, it's that staff again i tell you about. that staff. bobby silverstein. it would have never have happened without him. and so i believe that government must not be just an observant bystander to life. it must be a force for good, for lifting people up, for giving hope to the hopeless. you know, i've never had an "i love me" wall in my office. what i did have were two items on the wall by my door when i walk out to go vote or go to a committee meeting or whatever. one is a drawing of the house in which my mother was born and
lived until she was 25 years of age when she emigrated to america. that small, little house was in yugoslavia. it is now sluha slovenia. that little house had a dirt floor, no running water. that was my mother's house. the second item on my wall is this: it's my father's w.p.a. card. it says notice to report for work on a project, w.p.a. form 402. it is to patrick f. harkin, cuming iowa. you're asked to report for work as a laborer for $40.30 per month. the date is four months to the
day before i was born. get this picture. my father was then 53 years old. he had worked most of the time in the coal mines of southern iowa. not in the best of health. there were no jobs. no jobs. life looked pretty bleak. things looked hopeless. and then my father, who only had a sixth grade education, as he told me later, he always said i got a letter from franklin roosevelt. he always thought franklin roosevelt sent this to him personally, you see. he got that letter from franklin roosevelt and i got a job. it was important for a lot of reasons, not only for the money and the dignity of work, but it gave my father hope, the hope
that tomorrow would be better than today, that our family would stay together. we had five kids and a sixth one on the way, me. and it gave him hope that his kids would have a better future. i often think that the project he worked on is called lake aquabie. my friend, senator grassley, knows about that lake. it's a state park with a lake, recreation. people still use it today. every federal judge who is sworn in takes an oath to -- quote -- do equal right to the poor and to the rich, to do equal right to the poor and to the rich. can we here in congress say that we do that, that we provide equal right to the poor and the
rich alike? our growing inequality proves we are not. maybe we should be taking that oath. there are four overriding issues that i hope this senate will address in this coming session and in the years ahead. number one, as i mentioned, the growing economic inequality in america. it's destructive of lives, it slows our progress as a nation and it will doom broad support for representative government. when people at the bottom of the economic ladder feel that the government is not helping them, and in fact may be stacked against them, they will cease to vote or they will turn to the siren song of extreme elements in our society. history proves this to be true. now, i don't have a cookie cutter answer or solution, but it must include more fair tax
laws and trade laws, more job training and restraining, rebuilding our physical infrastructure and manufacturing. and i believe it must include some things seemingly unrelated like quality, free early education for every child in america. the answer to closing the inequality gap must include rebuilding labor unions and collective bargaining. if you trace the line over the last 40 years of the growing economic quality in america and also put that over another line showing the loss in the number of union workers, they are almost identical. i do not believe it is a stretch to say that organized labor, unions, built the middle class in america, and they are a part of the answer and strengthening and rebuilding of our middle class.
another part of the answer, i believe, is raising the minimum wage to above the poverty line and indexing it for inflation for the future. we need more flex time laws, especially for women in our work force. we need to strengthen social security as in senator brown's bill. not cutting, not raising the retirement age but strengthening social security. we need a new retirement system for all workers in america. not another 401-k but a system in which employers and employees contribute and which can only be withdrawn as an annuity for life after one retires. i ask you to look at what the netherlands has, that type of retirement system. lack of a reliable retirement is one of the most underreported, underexamined crises on our national horizon and it's a big part of our growing inequality. finally, we must continue to build on the affordable care act. the cost and availability of good health care has in the past
widened that inequality gap, and we're now starting to close that element of the inequality. i believe we need to add a public option to the exchange as another choice for people. and we must continue support for prevention and public health, moving us more and more away from sick care to real health care. the second overriding issue confronting us i believe is the destruction of the family of man's only hope, our planet earth, through the continued use of fossil fuels. we know what is happening, the science is irrefutable, the data is clear. the warning signs are flashing in neon bright red, stop what you're doing with fossil fuels. we must shift massively and quickly to renewable nir, a new
smart electric grid, retrofitting our buildings for energy efficiency and moving rapidly to a hydrogen-based energy cycle. the third issue i commend to the senate for further development and changes in existing laws is the underemployment of people with disabilities. as you all know, ensuring the equal rights and opportunities for people with disabilities has been a major part of my work in the senate for the past 30 years. we have made significant strides forward in changing america to fulfill two of the four goals of the americans with disabilities act. those two are full participation and equal opportunity. we've done all right on those. the other two goals, independent living and economic self-sufficiency, need more development. i ask you all in the next congress to do two things, to advance these two goals of independent living and economic
self-sufficiency. first, help states implement the supreme court's decision in the olmstead case, to more rapidly deinstitutionalize people with disabilities and to provide true independent living with support services. this will save money, and individuals with disabilities' lives will be better and more truly independent. secondly, we must do more on employment of people with disabilities in competitive integrated employment. you know, we all get the monthly unemployment figures every month. last month, unemployment held steady at 5.8% officially. my friend leo henry has better calculations to show that the real rate is probably about twice that figure. also, we know that the unemployment rate among african-americans is about twice that, 11.1%. how many of us know that the unemployment rate among adult
americans with disabilities who can work and want to work is over 60%? yes, you heard me right. almost two out of every three americans with a disability who want to work and who can work cannot find a job. that is a blot on our national character. thankfully, some enlightened employers have affirmative action plans to hire more people with disabilities. employers are finding that many times these become their best employees. they're more productive. they're the hardest working, the most reliable workers. i ask you to meet with greg watson, the c.e.o. of walgreens and randy lewis who is a senior vice president there, now retired. walgreens has hired many people with disabilities in their distribution centers, and now mr. watson has set a goal of 10% of all of their store employees
will be people with disabilities. this needs to be emulated by businesses all over america. there are others making strides in this area. i mention a few. best buy, lowe's, home depot, i.b.m., marriott. some of the other large companies that are moving forward, hiring people with disabilities. we need to learn from them what we, the federal and, yes, maybe the state government could do to help in this area. and we also need to implement policies to help small businesses, small businesses employ more people with disabilities. now, i dwell on this perhaps because i feel i haven't done enough on this issue of employment for people with disabilities, and we just have to do better. i will say, however, that our help committee passed this year,
president obama signed into law a new reauthorization of the old work force investment act, now named the work force investment and opportunity act. in this law, there is a new provision that i worked on with others to get more intervention in high school for kids with disabilities to prepare them for the workplace through things like summer jobs, job coaching, internments. however, this is just starting and funding is tight, but it will do much for people with disabilities to enter competitive, integrated employment. and i want to thank all members of the help committee for their support of this bill but especially senator murray, senator isakson for taking the lead to get this bill done, along with senator enzi, senator alexander and me. and while i'm mentioning the help committee, let me thank all members of the help committee for a very productive last two years during which we passed 24 bills signed into law by the
president. important bills dealing with things like drug track and tracing, compounding drugs, the work force investment act i just mentioned, the child care development block grant, newborn screening act, and many more. and i see him here on the floor, and i want to publicly again thank senator lamar alexander for being a great partner in all these efforts. senator alexander will be taking the helm of this great committee in the next congress. senator alexander certainly has the background to lead this committee, but he also combines that background with a keen mind and a good heart, and i wish him continued success as the new chairman of the help committee. the fourth issue that i hope future senates will take care of
concerns the u.n. convention on the rights of people with disabilities. i don't think anything has saddened me more in my 30 years here in the senate than the failure of this body to ratify the convention on the rights of people with disabilities. or the crpd, as it's known. it's been ratified by 150 nations. it's modeled after our own americans with disabilities act. it has broad and deep support throughout our country. supported by the u.s. chamber of commerce, the business roundtable, veterans' groups, every disability organization, every former living president, every former republican leader of this senate. senator dole, senator lott, senator frist. in november, we received a letter of support from the national association of evangelicals supporting it. and i also want to point out,
senator dole has worked his heart out on this. you remember, he was here on the floor two years ago this month right before we brought it up, and i thought we had the votes for it. in our constitution, it takes two-thirds. we failed by six votes. but bob dole has never given up on this, never. well, i hope the next senate will take this up and join with the rest of the world in helping to make changes globally for people with disabilities. so i came to congress, the house in 1974 as one of the watergate babies. with my retirement and retirement in the house of congressman george miller and congressman henry waxman, we are the last of the so-called watergate babies. with two exceptions. among all the democrats elected in that landslide year of 1974, there were a few republicans,
and one is left, my senior colleague from the state of iowa, senator chuck grassley. i have the greatest respect for and friendship with chuck. several weeks ago here on the floor, he said some very gracious things about me, and i thank him for that. i especially appreciated his observation, though, that even though he and i are like night and day when it comes to political views, there's no light between us when it comes to iowa. we have collaborated on so many important initiatives for the people of iowa. i think we made a heck of a good tag team on behalf of our state. so again, i salute and thank my friend and colleague of nearly 40 years, chuck grassley. carry on, chuck. and the other i mention is my
lifelong dear friend rick nolan, who was in the 1974 class. voluntarily left congress after three terms, returned to the house in 2012 and was recently re-elected. so 40 years later, this watergate baby has grown up, gray. i came to the senate 30 years ago as a proud progressive, determined to get things done. as i depart the senate, i can say in good conscience that i've remained true to my progressive roots. i have worked faithfully to leave behind a more vibrant iowa, a more just and inclusive america, and a stronger ladder and ramp of opportunity for the disadvantaged in our country. you might say that my career in congress is the story of a poor kid from cumming, iowa,
population, 150, trying his best to pay it forward, saying thank you for the opportunities i was given by leaving that ladder and ramp of opportunity stronger for those who follow. if i have accomplished this in any small way, if any americans are able to lead better lives because of my work, i leave office a satisfied person. so i am retiring from the senate, but i'm not retiring from the fight. i will never retire from the fight to ensure equal opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency for every disabled person in america. i will never retire from the fight to give a hand up and hope to those who have experienced disadvantage and adversity. i will never retire from the fight to make this a land of
social and economic justice for all americans. let me close with a single word from american sign language. on july 13 of 1990 i stood here and gave an entire speech in sign language. confused senator kennedy who was -- senator kerry, sitting in the chair, dent know what to do and the recording clerk didn't know what to do, either. but then i had to give it verbally. well, i didn't want to do that today. but there's one sign that i want to leave with you that says something. it's powerful. powerful. one of the most beautiful signs in american sign language. and might i teach it to you? take your hands and put them together like this. put your fingers together. put your fingers together. put your hands together like that and you kind of close and
it looks like an a when you do that. and move it in a circle in front of your body. that's it, pages. you got it. this is the sign for america. think about it. think entity. all of us interconnected, browned together in -- bound together in a single circle of inclusion, no one left out. this is the ideal america toward which we must always, always aspire. and with that, mr. president, for the last time, i yield the floor. [applause]
mr. chambliss: mr. president, as my service in the united states senate comes to an end today to say thank you to some of the wonderful people who've been a part of a great ride for over 20 years. we as americans are fortunate to live in the greatest country in the world, a country where the american dream is still alive and well, a country where, in spite of all of our problems, we are the envy of the free world.
a country where a preacher's kid from rural southern georgia can rise to be elected to the u.s. house of representatives and then to the united states sena senate. we, as members of the united states senate, are fortunate to have the opportunity to serve and we are blessed to be able to work in such a historic venue as we are in this afternoon. as we come into our offices and into this building every day, there are some things that we take for granted. so to the entire capitol hill work force, from those who clean our offices to those who change the light bulbs, provide our food, maintain our subways, keep us safe and secure and all those inbetween, i say "thank you. you're very professional at what you do and you always do it with a smile." to the floor staff and the cloakroom staff for both the
majority and the minority -- thanks for putting in the long hours, listening to often boring speeches, reminding us when we have not voted, for scheduling floor time, reminding us of the rules and making sure that you'rourmistakes are at a minim. i have been fortunate to be surrounded by great staff during all of my 20 years in the house and senate. mostly young people from varied backgrounds who are the brightest minds that my state and my country have to offer. they're committed patriots and loyal to the core. to those current and former members of my staff, thank you for your service to me and to the state of georgia. i have been served by four chiefs of staff -- rob liebern, kristin holiday, charlie harmon and camilla knowles.
every office plan that each put together starts with better constituent service than any other member of the house or the senate. i'm extremely proud that our record shows that we achieved the goal of doing just that. i've even had government agency personnel call my office asking for guidance on cases from other offices. i've often said that my greatest satisfaction from this job comes not from negotiating major pieces of legislation but from being able to help georgians with difficulties they're experiencing and having a positive impact on their lives. i am particularly blessed to have three members of my staff who have been with me for all 20 years. my deputy chief, theresa irving, debbie cannon and bill stembridge have walked every mile with me and have been so valuable. thanks, guys. my greatest support comes from my family. my wife, julie anne, my daughter
leah, my son bo along with our grandchildren, john, parker, jay, kimbro, anderson and ellie, have all been somehow involved on the campaign trail. come the 28th day of this month, julie anne and i will have been married for 48 years, having met at the university of georgia a couple of years before that. for tolerating a husband who had a 24/7 job for 20 years, for being a single mom part of that time and understanding why i could not get home until christmas eve some years, i say thank you, sweetheart. i am privileged today to represent almost 10 million georgians who are the most wonderful people god ever put on this earth. i lost my first primary election and went on to win each of my next seven races. i won every one of those seven
races because i shared the values of my constituents, i outworked each of my opponents, and i had better ideas and the best advisors and staff. thanks, tom and paige. thanks to senators nunn and miller for their regular advice and counsel. thanks to my three leaders -- senator lott, senator frist, and senator mcconnell, each of whom provided me with strong leadership and always listened to me even when i had ideas that might have been different from their ideas. i'm often asked what i will miss most about the senate and the answer is very easy. i'll miss my friends. and the relationship that we have developed over the years. senator isakson and i entered the university of georgia 52 years ago in september and became friends immediately and
we have been the dearest of friends ever since. he is without question the most trusted friend and advisor i have and i will miss our daily conversations. my three best buddies from my house days -- speaker john boehner, congressman tom latham and senator richard burr, along with senator tom coburn, have been legislative collaborators, dinner partners, golfing buddies, confidants and numerous other things that should not be mentioned on the floor of the of the united states senate. senator lindsey graham is like a member of my family. we have traveled the world together many times, learning a lot. i have no plans to write a book but if i did, lindsey graham anecdotes would fill a chapter. senator feinstein has been a great chairman and partner on the intelligence committee. i will miss her leadership, her
wisdom, her friendship and those late afternoon glasses of california wine. my most productive time in the senate has been spent with my dear friend, senator mark warn warner. our work with the gang of six, which included senators durbin, conrad, coburn, crapo and then later senators johanns and bennett, represent the very best of everything about the united states senate. we spent literally hundreds of hours together debating ideas and trying to solve major problems and we came very close. senator warner's insight, his wanting to solve problems, his political inspiration are lessons that i will carry with me forever. as the senate now goes forward under new leadership, i have two comments. first, the senate should return to regular order. senator mcconnell has
indicated that will be the case and it should be. the rule change by the current majority changed the institution of the senate in a negative way. i hope the rule is changed back to require 60 votes on all issues including judges and nominees. some of those vocal favoring the rule change lost their elections and while the rule change did not cost them their election, it is very clear that the american people wanted a change in the leadership that changed the rule. regular order will help in restoring trust and confidence to the world's blows deliberative body. second, it is imperative that the issue of the debt of this country be addressed. just last week our total debt surpassed $18 trillion. we cannot leave the astronomical debt our policies have generated up to our children and grandchildren to fix. it is not rocket science as to
what must be done. cutting spending alone, i.e., sequestration, is not the solution. raising taxes is not the solution. as simpson-bowles, domenici-rivlin and gang of six agreed, it will take a combination of spending reduction, entitlement reform and tax reform to stimulate more revenue. hard and tough votes will have to be taken, but that's why we get elected to the united states senate. the world is waiting for america to lead on this issue, and if we do, the u.s. economy will respond in a very robust way. the gang of six laid the foundation for this problem to be solved, and it is my hope that we do not leave the solution for the next generation. i close with what i've enjoyed most about congress, and this is the opportunity i have had to
spend with the men and women in uniform and those in the intelligence world, all of whom are willing to put their life in harm's way for the sake of our freedom. whether it was robbins air force base, kabul, jalalabad, or due by, i always get emotional telling the men and women how proud of them i am and how blessed we americans are to have them protecting us. they are special people who sacrifice much for the sake of all 300 million millions americans. let us remember and be thankful for the families of those military and civilian personnel who likewise make a commitment to america. as we head into another christmas season, many of those families will not have at home their spouse, their parent, their son, or their daughter. may god bless them, may god bless this great institution, and may god continue to bless our great country. mr. president, i yield the
floor. the presiding officer: the senior senator from california recognized. mrs. feinstein: thank you very much, mr. president. senator chambliss, my remarks are personal. we have worked together for the past eight years on the senate select committee on intelligence. for four years, we have worked as chair and cochair. we have exchanged views, we
have negotiated bills, we have shared information, we have been there through very tough times, and some very pleasant times. and it's very hard for me to see you go. i've learned to trust you, i respect you. we have worked together in ways the committee put together a benghazi report, we worked very hard, we found areas of agreement, and senator collins is here on the committee, senator warner is here, and -- am i missing anyone else from the committee? senator burr, who will be the new chairman, senator coats, senator coburn. and we were able to come together and put together a report unanimously, and it was really because of your leadership. and as i watched what became very apparent is that maybe your side isn't as fractious as my
side is, but you were able to say yes, we can do this, or no, we can't do that and you reflected your members. and that made it very easy for me, and i am very grateful. yesterday we disagreed, and it really -- you know you have never taken a cheap shot. we worked to the at the same time to move our intelligence authorization bill. there was one last glitch which you worked out, and that bill passed unanimously last night. we together have worked to put together an information-sharing bill for what is probably our number-one defensive issue, which is cyber, and the attacks that have taken 97% of our businesses into difficulties. you have compromised, i have compromised. unfortunately, on our side we
have some unsolved issues, so hopefully i will be able to pick up with senator burr where we left off and we will be able to get that job done next year. what i want you to know -- and i said this to you in another way -- that it was such a wonderful experience for me to work with you. and this is the hard part. we're only here from an instant in an eternity, and the only real matter is what we do, the only thing that matters is what we do with that instant. and i guess what i want you to know is you have really done yeoman's work in that instant, and i am very grateful to have the pleasure of working with you. i have learned from you, and i wish you all good things. thank you very much, senator chambliss.
the presiding officer: the senator from georgia is recognized. mr. isakson: mr. president, i rise to pay tribute to my friend, saxby chambliss. i will have to admit to you this is a speech i never wanted to make. i never wanted to make it because we've had a wonderful relationship in this body for the last 10 years, we've done everything together, he's had my back, i've had his back, he's a great friend and i'll miss him. but i'm not a selfish guy. he married one of the finest women i've ever known, julianne, one of the best friends my wife has. i know he's leaving us and i'll miss the crutch i've used. she is getting her saxby back and she and her family and those grandkids he loves so much, that's exactly what saxby wants to do. georgia has had some great senators. richard russell, really the master of the senate, zell miller, the former governor of georgia, a friend of mine and mentor to our state and sam nunn one of the finest in national defense and foreign policy our
state ever offered. saxby will be the fourth on the mount rushmore of georgia senators who served georgia with distinction and with class. i want to tell saxby this personally. for ten years we've done a joint press conferences, we've messed up twice and when i messed up he covered my back and when he messed up, i covered his. in fact, in 2008 when he almost lost a race and got got into a runoff, in december in georgia i rode a bus for 21 stimulate days introducing him three times a day and eating barbecue every day for dinner and lunch. that's a price to pay only friendship friendship will bring out of anybody. but he's a dear friend and i love him very much and i love his family etch very much and i could talk all fay-day but i wanted to open up and close by saying saxby, i love you, the state's going to love having you back, the country will miss you but my grandchildren are safer, my state is better and our relationship has never been
stronger. may god bless you and your family in every endeavor you take and may god bless the united states of america. the presiding officer: the senator from west virginia is recognized. mr. mr. manchin: when i came, i look, my friends on the republican side and i didn't come here looking at what side you were on, i looked at basically the person i was dealing with. there was a person that befriended me almost from the first day, knowing that the transition was a challenge, and he stepped up to the plate with a few of my other friends over there, i see senator coburn behind him, that basically took me under their wing and said we can work together and get along.
what we do here is bigger and for the greater good than what we do for ourselves. saxby not only showed but but basically i was able to follow and watch how he did this --this chamber should be filled right now, it really should be, from all sides but the bottom line is you're loved by everybody. i've neverrered an ill word said about saxby chambliss and the distinction you carry as far as the united states senate but as a human being with our family your priorities are correct, your moral compass is working and working well. i can only tell you thank you from someone from the other side of the aisle that is a fellow colleague and fellow american, you are an installation -- inspiration to us all. there won't be another saxby but i'm glad they gave you me this short time for four years. i envy johnny for 52 years he's been you have close friend, your partner in crime back
there, senator burr. we hope he doesn't tell it all when he gets up but with that being said there are so many people that have a relationship that's unmatched and that's with you and because of you. so i say my dear friend, my hat's off to you. thank you and god bless you for what you've done for the united states of america, for georgia but most importantly for all of us. thank you, sir. mr. burr: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senior senator from north carolina is recognized. mr. burr: mr. president, this moment is bittersweet for me. i've spent more time with saxby than i have my own wife for the last 20 years. we've done everything together. those vacation spots he mentioned -- kabul, baghdad, i was right beside him. we've traveled to areas of the world that others wouldn't venture to, and there was a
reason he was there. he was concerned about america's future, he was concerned about his children's future, and he was in a position to have an impact on it to make it better for them in the future. that's why he served. it's obvious to all of our colleagues that he's a lot older than i am. but, you know, he's worked just as hard as the youngest member of this institution. and even though we've seen each other's children grow up and now we've seen them all married off, he deserves the time to go home and spend some time with grandchildren and more importantly, to get to know his wife again. i want to say, senator feinstein, i like red wine just as much as saxby does. i probably can't be bought as
cheaply as he could. but i do look forward to continuing to work with you and more importantly, to continue to do the work on the intelligence committee that really does build on what saxby started in the year 2000 as we went on the house intelligence committee together. mr. president, i think there's only one way to sum up saxby chambliss. he's a true southern gentleman. he is absolutely a statesman. but i think the one thing that everybody that meets saxby understands is this -- he's a great american. he loves his country, he loves this institution, and some piece of him will remain here when he leaves at the end of this year, and he will have an impact on what happens even though his presence may not be
here. we wish godspeed in life after. who are senator mr. president? the presiding officer: the senior senator from indiana is recognized. mr. coats: mr. president, i'm a bit out of order here. i was waiting for some of my colleagues who have spent more time here than i have recently to speak, but i want to take this opportunity to add my sincere thanks to saxby chambliss for the kind of person he is, the kind of leadership he's provided, the kind of example that he has set during his time here in the congress and in the united states senate. i was privileged to be able to come back to the senate and join a group of people who share the
same deep concerns that i had shared, and the reason i did come back:threats to our country from abroad and the fiscal plunge into debt that is going to affect our nation dramatically in the future if we don't deal with it. but having the privilege of being with the people who have set such an example has been a great privilege for me. now, if i were a producer and a director of a movie that i wa ws going to come out about the united states senate, i would want saxby to be the leading man. first of all, he looks like a united states senator, and he has that southern calm presence that most of us envy, and he just seems to fit the profile.
and then he -- the next choice would have to be for the leading a lady, and you couldn't find a more gracious, beautiful, supportive leading lady than julian chambliss. together they make a stunning couple. i have had the privilege of traveling with them and seeing them in different places and in different situations, and just what a tremendous gift it is to be with the both of them. so the united states senate -- and many of us here -- all of us here are going to dearly miss saxby chambliss. he comes from a line of distinguished senators representing the state of georgia, and as senator burr said, he fits right into that long list of people who -- whose tenure here has been remembered for decades and will continue to be remembered for decades.
and his commitment to our men and women in uniform, his service to the agriculture community, but particularly in my experience his leadership of the intelligence committee has just been leadership that this country has needed in a time of dire circumstances. his work with chairman feinstein in dealing with the daily pressures and weight of responsibility that falls on the leadership -- and all of us on the committee but particularly the leadership -- has probably been as great in the last several years as anytime in history. very heavy decisions have had to be made. and i know i sometimes stagger out of that committee thinking, this is more than i can get my mind around. this is more than i can get my arms around in terms of how do
we deal with some of these threats and some of these challenges that have popped up all over the world in various manifestations. and yet the solid leadership on the republican side of saxby chambliss has united us in a way that has forged a real bond and a desire to work on a nonpartisan basis to live up to our responsibility to provide oversight for the intelligence community and to be a part of helping make those decisions that are so important and so formative in terms of how we deal with these particular issues. so i just want to thank saxby for the person that he's been, the person he is, the personnel continue to be, for the section -- the person that he will continue to be, for the example of his leadership and for his extraordinary leadership. and i know that the refrigerator will be stocked with coca-cola. there will being georgia peanuts
in his pocket, maybe a little bit of bourbon in a drawer somewhere, and he'll have a tee time at augusta anytime he wants. so i just wish him the very best as he and julianne go forward with their life. he's left his mark here and he's certain will i left his mark on me. mr. coburn: mr. president, a lot has been said about saxby already, but i have an observation that i've noticed over the last ten years since i've been here, and it's about leadership. we see elected leadership on both sides, but then you see real leadership. you see the person that people go to for advice. you see the person that people go to for counsel.
you see the person that people go to for wisdom and judgment. that's what i've noticed the last ten years. more than anybody in this body, whether it's from the other side of the aisle or this side of the aisle, the person that -- whose counsel is most sought is that of saxby chambliss. that's earned real leadership, and it needs to be recognized and honored for what it is, because p what i what it says is leadership that comes without judgment on the person that's asking the question, what's condemnation of a opinion that may be different of his. it is giving of himself to the benefit of the rest of us. here, here, my friend from georgia. i yield the floor.
nor senator mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from nebraska is recognized. mr. johanns: mr. president, today it is an honor for me to stand here and pay tribute to saxby chambliss. i think the first time that i really got to work around saxby i was nominated to be secretary of agriculture, and i think the first hearing saxby chaired as chairman of the senate ag committee might have been that hearing. i arrived in washington. i was scared to death. i had no idea what to expect. and i met with saxby, and i knew immediately that when i was in that hearing, i was going to be treated with dignity and respect because heious wouldn't have it any -- because he just wouldn't
have it any other way. that's the way he did business. fortunately, i was confirmed and that started a working relationship. in those years, i won't try to argue that we agreed on every knenuance of farm policy. i'm positive there were times that saxby was convinced that i didn't understand a thing about southern agriculture, but he was patient and he was determined to represent all of agriculture, whether it was south, mi midwes, west -- his goal was to be a chairman of the ag committee for all of agriculture. it was in that time that a farm bill was written, and he was a tough negotiator. he had a mind in terms of where he was headed, and he was going to stand up for his people, and i came to respect him so much. it was in the senate, though,
where i really began to understand his talent. i can't tell you how many times, mr. president, that we've been in a caucus meeting and somebody would ask the most intricate, difficult question relating to intelligence and national security, and, invariably, we would turn to saxby. saxby would stand in that quiet and forceful way that he has and walk us through the intricacies of the issues on whatever the topic was and explain it in a way that literally everybody in the room understood, got it, and walked out better-prepared to be senators with the information he had given us.
but what has impressed me so much -- and i know i speak for my colleagues what when i say - is you could do the same thing with the most intricate issue relative to farm policy or ag policy or finance or the federal budget, and he could do the same thing. the breadth of his knowledge is absolutely unbelievable. i just want to thank you, saxby, for the many times where you probably disagreed with me immensely but treated me thoughtfully and respectfully, listened to my opinion, and i saw you do that with other members in this body. and i thank you for your servi service. as one of the retiring members, i look forward to the opportunity to spend more time with you. i hope our paths cross many,
many times in the future because i know i will be the better for it. god bless you, my friend. best wishes. nor senator mr. president? the presiding officer: is noter in ohio is recognized. mr. portman: the junior senator from ohio. the presiding officer: your words. mr. portman: us a hear mr. portman: ace as you heard, m coburn talked about leadership. they leave a huge void. goit to know saxby when he came to the house of representatives. we game friends. -- we became friends. he and julianne embraced jane and me and i got to know his son and great family but i didn't eelly get know him. i really got know him when i was u.s. trade representative and my
job was to try to open up markets for u.s. agricultural products around the world, and that required looking at something called subsidies, agriculture subsidies. this is a dangerous area in terms of politics. and mike johanns was very well aware of this, having been at my side during of many of these negotiations. but my job was to come to the senate ag committee and talk about what we were up to and try to find out how much flexibility there was for us to get these market openings that were so important for our farmers and our ranchers but entailed considerable political risk. and i learned a new saxby chambliss there. that's when i saw perhaps that leadership that was talked about earlier. saxby was willing to be not just constructive but to take that risk and to be totally discrete and confidential in dealing with some very sensitive issues, and came away with a whole new level of understanding about saxby and, therefore, respect for him.
and his character and his willingness to do what was right. more recently, of course, we've seen his leadership on other issues, standing up for our men and women in uniform. ladies and gentlemen, to me, he has been the guardian at the gate, giving us all comfort as ranking member of the intelligence cheat. we fiscal cliff a dangerous, volatile world, and knowing that sax p by was there, clear-eyed, disciplined, discrete, and able to tell it like it was and tell it like it is today, i think he's given not just us but our families and all americans considerable comfort, and i appreciate your service there and finally, his willingness to step up on this issue of our national debt. this is, again, not an easy issue, and he joined with some colleagues here to promote some proposals. again, my colleagues who are leaving have all done this -- tom coburn in particular and mike johanns -- but i will always have a great deal of
respect for the way he's hand that issue as well. -- for the way he's handled that issue as well. perhaps his greatest accomplishment has yet to be mentioned. and thats fact that he played golf with the president of the united states and managed to hit a hole in one. now, the press report from that day says two things that are interesting. first, it says he hit the hole in one on, of course, the south course. a son of the south chose to use the south course for his hole in one. imu, second, it says, "he was choking up on a 5-iron." now, taking nothing away from this hole in one, because it sounds like it wasn't as long a shot as he's explained to me, it might have been choking up on a 5-iron makes no sense for saxby chambliss. there is nobody more poised, more smooth. i have never seen him choke on anything.
but, saxby, we're sad to see you leave. but we're happy for you to spend more time with julianne, the kids and your beloved bulldogs, and godspeed, my friend. i yield back. ms. ayotte: madam president -- mr. president. i apologize. the presiding officer: the senator from new hampshire. ms. ayotte: mr. president, i rise to just thank my friend, saxby, chambliss. senator coburn spoke about leadership and we are very much going to miss senator coburn, senator johanns and their leadership in this body. but what he say said is very tr. because as someone who has only served here for four years, one of the people that has been most welcoming to me and really a mentor and a role model and someone who i have sought guidance from is saxby chambliss. us a look at this body -- as you
look at this bo this body and yk at people that you can emulate as role models, he is one of those role models. not only is he incredibly knowledgeable on the issues that are so important to this nation -- and i can say having served with him on the armed services committee, he is one of the most knowledgeable people in this country -- not only on what we need to do to keep the country safe because of his role on the intelligence committee but also what we need to ensure that our men and women in uniform have the very best to keep our country safe, saxby has a deep, deep understanding and very much loves our men and women in uniform and has stood up for them in ensuring that they have gotten what they need to keep this country safe. from my perspective, he is someone that is going to be so missed in this body because he
has understood that you can stand on principle as he has for the important challenges facing this nation, whether it's keeping us safe or addressing the national debt that threatens not only our security but the prosperity of america, but he has also done it in a way that he's been able to build relationships, relationships within our own conference in the republican caucus where he is a go-to leader, where people like me seek his advice on how to get things done, but also as you can see here, relationships across the aisle. and as we go into the new congress, i hope as saxby goes on to do other important things with his lovely family and julianne and his children and grandchildren, that we will follow the example of saxby chambliss of what it means to work together, of what it means
to be respectful of each other, to get things done for this country and to address the great challenges that saxby has done so much important work on, including keeping our nation safe and making sure that america remains strong. so, saxby, i just want to thank you for being so welcoming to me, for being a role model and for being someone who i think is an example of what it means to serve this country with distinction. thank >> as 14e comes to an end we
can enter the new year with confidence that america is making significant strides where it counts. the steps we took nearly 6 years ago to rescue our economy helped make 2014 the strongest year for job growth since the 1990s. over the past 57 months our businesses have created nearly 11 million new jobs and in a hopeful sign for middle class families wages are on the rise again. our investments in american manufacturing have helped fuel its best stretch of job growth since the 90's. america is now the number one producer of oil and gas. the auto industry is on track for its strongest year since 2005 thanks to the affordable care act about 10 million americans have gained health nsurance and since we -- i took office we have cut our
deficit by two thirds. we are leading the coalition to destroy isil. we are leading the fight against ebola in west africa. to address climate change including our announcement with china. we are turning a page with the cuban people. in less than 2 weeks our combat mission in afghanistan will be over and our war there there come to a responsible end. today more of our troops are home for the holidays than at any time in over a decade. still, many of our men and women in uniform will spend this christmas in harm's way. as commander in chief i want our troops to know your country is united in our support and gratitude for you and your families. the 6 years since the financial crisis have demanded hard work and sacrifice on everyone's part. but as a country we have every right to be proud of everything
we have to show for it. more jobs, more insured, a growing economy, shrinking deficits, bustling industry, booming energy. pick any metric you want. america's resurgence is real. and we now have the chance to reverse the decades long erosion of middle class jobs and incomes. we just have to invest in the things we know will secure even faster growth in higher paying jobs for more americans. we have to make sure our economy, justice system, and government are working for all of us. i look forward to working together with the new congress next year on these priorities. we'll disaon some things and have to compromise on others. i will act on my own when it is necessary. but i will never stop trying to make life better for people like you because thanks to your efforts a new foundation is laid. a new future is ready to be written. we have set the stage for a new
american moment and i am going to spend every minute making sure we seize it. on behalf of the obama family i wish all of you a very merry christmas. thanks and have a wonderful holiday season. >> good morning i'm mike kelly and i have the trepts privilege of representing pennsylvania's third congressional district. today i'm offering president obama a lump of coal for christmas not because he's been bad this year although i will get to that. i'm offering the president a lump of coal because this product right here holds the potential for a 21st yentry economic revival. coal is our most abundant and valuable resource. it lights our home keeps our bills low and puts food on the table for countedless families. more than 40,000 jobs in my state alone are tied to coal. but this isn't just about coal country. it is about our whole country. because no other nation in the world has been blessed with such abundant affordable and
accessible resources. and with all it's given us we shouldn't be trying to just eep up with the pack we should be leading the world. if only we had a president who is willing to seize this opportunity. now he is for all of the above but leaves out what's below. he has spent his presidentty trying to bankrupt the industry. he has forced two plants to close and hundreds more are set to shut down around our country. he has put up so many road blocs to american energy that all our production is coming from state and private lands. even when the president's own party stopped him from imposing his cap and trade tax he said it was just one way of skinning the cat and then he directed the e.p.a. to do his bidding for him. instead of forcing our workers to live with less the president
should let us use our god-given resources and talent to help americans get back to work and make our nation be an energy super power it can be and quite frankly that it needs to be. so whether stopping these regulations, expediting infrastructure or expanding production there's so much more we can do to encourage the development of all forms of american energy. now, these aren't just republican solutions. these are common sense american ideas that have support in both parties. you are going to see them again in the new congress starting with a vote to approve the keystone xl pipeline because manufacturing things making things and doing it better than anyone else in the world that's what america has always been about. that's how we built such a robust and dynamic economy. if we all pull together we can make 2015 the year we restore our nation of builders. that's next year. right now we're getting ready
to celebrate christmas. as we do i hope you will set aside a moment to remember all those who gave their lives this year for the cause of freedom and pray for those spending this holiday season away from their families and loved ones. merry christmas, and may god continue to bless the united states of america. >> next, a discussion on the future of coal and energy policy. then actor seth rogin talks about political humor in movies. and live at 7:00 a.m. your calls and comments on worl.
>> i think it's crazy that we're doing substantive work on the 17th of december. i can't imagine that we'reholding conferences here the week before christmas but we are because there's so much to talk about. thank you all for being here. my name is john. i'm the president of csis. i want to say a special thanks to julio freedman. we have known each other for many years. he is fortunately in town serving in government more directly. he's a government guy. he's out at lawrence liver mor labs but we are so pleased that he can be here leading at a crucial time when we need to be thinking through a lot of important issues. for very strange reasons recently, i've been doing some personal reading on the history philosophy and was recently reading about thomas robert moltast. he was a british cleric who in
the early 18th century who was a very provocative philosopher because he had very dark views about the future of humanity. you now know him as an adjective. people talk about a mall thusian problem. this is robert. he had this very dark view that the population was growing much faster than the capacity of the world to feed the population and people were doomed to die of starvation. he took it over the edge by saying therefore we shouldn't help poor people because they're going to die anyway and so let's not give them anything to help them through this. pretty bleak and dire sort of a philosophy. which is why he is now known by the adjective. not known himself. and i thought about it that it
was relevant for our conversation today. molt as was wrong because he didn't understand one crucial thing. and that is that in -- where the supply and demand curve intersects it's not static. and the supply coy changes with technology. so back in his day when he was writing in 1820's, 30's, you know, there were 2-1/2 billion people in the world. today we have 7 billion people in the world. so we have three times as many people same size globe probably a lot less space devoted to agriculture and we still have hungry people. i'm not minimizing that. but technology has allowed us to address a mall thusian problem and to find a solution. and i thought that's a little it good context for today. we are -- we have a lot of
people in the world talking about a very, very dark future because of climate change. and that may be true. i'm not commenting one way or the other on climate change. but what i'm saying is we have to understand that technology is giving us new alternatives. new solutions all the time. and so we are going to spend some time together today to really explore that. what is technology giving us in terms of clean coal? ow, in one sense you can't get around the central dynamic that in coal there's four carbon athomas for every one hydrogen atom. in natural gas you have only one. so there's an irreduceable quality to coal as producing more hired carbons than putting them in the atmosphere or carbon atoms putting them in the atmosphere. but there is an enormous
possibility for greater efficiency. i think that's part of the landscape that we're going to be talking about today and we're going to be spending a little bit of time digging into hat. >> the world is constantly evolving and giving us new options and new choices and instead of locking ourselves into just a rigid position that something is possible something is not possible, let's spend the afternoon thinking together. are you going to kick this off for real? why don't you come up. and thank you all for coming today. [applause] >> well, thank you very much. and doctor, you sort of outdone yourself because on the one hand you tease us for doing
something substantive, on the other hand you start off with an introduction that has a mall thusian and carbon change. so thanks for the good introduction. i'm the director here. thank you all very much for coming today. we're really excited to have this conference today for many of the reasons that dr. henry highlighted. but because we've been doing so much work on different fuel sources around the world, natural gas and oil in particular because of the sort of renaissance in unconventional oil and gas production, what's that meant for the economies around the world. and sometimes i think it's actually a good friend of ours charlie who is going to be involved in the session today and as well as the head of the world energy outlook at the iea, reminded us that sometimes we forget about coal. and yet most of the world has not forgotten about coal. there is a significant sort of coal market dynamics drivers
both for the production and consumption of coal. and also a significant focus on how to make it cleaner and more efficient so that it is compatible with climate change goals and needs. so we were very, very pleased when our sponsors for the event provided us with the opportunity to put together a longer than normal session today on dynamics. so we're very pleased to spend the afternoon with us today. before we get started and i want to be conscious of julio's time. one quick reminder. we will have a reception following this. so we do hope you will be able to stay and participate in the discussion that will be part of that reception. now, to kick off today's event want to invite dr. freedman
dr. freedman and as such run's dough's rd program and advanced fossil energy systems. large demonstration projects and clean coal deployment. >> thank you sara and dr. doctor, i'm just absolutely delighted to be here. for those who don't know me i'm highly confident i'm the only julio freedman you will ever meet. there is one other works in chile. weirdly he works in austin. so go figure. i feel compelled given the introduction to mention not
the physicist calculated the age of the earth defensetively laid out the earth could not be older than 10,000 years based on the e-flux. there are things he didn't quite know at the time and as we learned things, things change. in that context we enter this space with a certain amount of humility, certain amount of object tivity as we get into this. we like to lead from the basis of fact and that is what i'm going to talk to you today. based on where coal is at where e see an global role continuing into the future. one of the thing that is most people sort of instinctively understand but don't explicitly understand or state is that we
are in an era of fossil energy abundance right now. that was not obvious ten years ago at all. ten years ago there was a lot of discussion around peak oil. ten years ago we had imagined a nation in a world in steep natural gas decline. a kind of not that way any more. the united states is having record oil and gas productions for both in fact natural gas is now i think about 60% unconventional production something like that. we're now the number two oil producer in the world. we're going to eclipse saudi arabia sometime next year. that's a little different. from many perspectives this is very welcomed news. there's a lot of good news in this. not so much in terms of the atmosphere. not so much in terms of the global climate system. i will be spending more time talking about that but from a number of perspectives. from economics, geopolitical, a number of things. this abundance is not only
important to recognize but to sort of internalize as we go thinking about our business. thankfully we're not the only people who did this. i never thought i would see coal on the cover of wired mag zi but it is. and it gives a sense of the fact this is starting to enter into the site a bit that the presence and abundance of coal, the role that it plays, its persistance is one of those things that has to be sort of recognized and in some context managed. because in fact the future of sumplete fossil demand and global demand sees an awful lot of fossil use and dole use specifically. under most scenarios the default scenario, 75% of global primary energy is still fossil. majority of that coal, about to surpass oil as the number one energy fuel worldwide. even with robust natural gas growth, coal remains a major fuel in the u.s. everywhere.
in the context of the united states, even given sort of robust scenarios of low priced naltral gas and high abundance we're still looking at 25% coal use for the indefinite future. that is a lot of coal and a lot of emissions with that. fossil energy remains a dominant power supply. it's always a mix of coal and gas up to 70% in the united states again that is expected to be that way for a very long time. with that continued use we will continue to see greenhouse gas emissions grow as well and that is in fact the hard part. coal has come a very long way. the first use of the phrase clean coal is somewhere in the 1830's. people were talking about the fact that clean coal was about getting your linens dirty, that because coal was dumped into people's house clean coal meant it wouldn't get into your apron. and i think the industry moved quite a bit since then. we've had in the past couple of
decades something in the order of 90% reduction in sox and knox. we've been able to figure out technologies to manage mercury emissions. carbon is the hard one. and it's the central issue in terms of what will the role of coal be in the united states, how do we think about that and how do we manage it. for the rest of the world, coal use is till there. continues to grow in china and europe and japan. europe i think may have been a surprise for some. it is in fact the fastest growing coal market in part because germany is shutting down nuclear power plants and gas wasn't what it used to be in europe these days for a number of reasons. so they find themselves using more coal. the same thing in japan with the closure of the nuclear power plants japan is building gas plants and coal plants and expects to be using them for a while. there is increased trade in export and coal and there are new energy security concerns. this is a central issue in the
way that china thinks about its work. for them domestic energy security is a big issue and coal is a big part of how they see their robust energy infrastructure. the same thing in eastern europe. it's not just poland. poland romania, ukraine. hungary, a number of eastern european countries and adjacent countries really rely heavily on coal for their energy supplies. and of course with all that dramatic increase in carbon dioxide emissions. in that context if we are in an era of fossil energy abundance carbon capture storage, carbon capture utilization and storage, this is the key technology for an era of fossil fuel energy abundance. if you want to deeply reduce emissions if you want to stabilize, that's one of the things you need to do. this is recognized, in fact it is literally central if you
open the middle of the document that's where the ccs piece is. and there's a number of thing that is have throwed from that. there's a certain amount of controversy running the e.p.a. draft regulations new and existing sources. ccs is listed as compliance option for both of us. and people are businessly going about trying to figure out whether or not that makes sense for their region. there's important technical findings. the most is that climate change is real and continues to be a persistance issue. the panel's report has doubled down and said we really understand this and it's very, very dire. in addition to that we are starting to recognize that there are new challenges associated with things like resilience. some of that is resilience in the face of weather threats or climate threats of various kinds but some of that is resilience that has to do with new renewable loading. that's a good challenge. we've been adding renewables to
the grid and we've learned a series of things from that. in doing so though how you actually maintain resilience as part of the mix is a new and important question. the department of energy has not been idol about this. my program has put -- idle about this. my program has put $6 billion into this since president obama took office. it is a massive investment trying to keep it a clean energy future. and part is carbon capture and storage. for those not fam already it's not that hard. there's two parts, carbon capture and carbon storage. capture is you take carbon dioxide from thrute streams, 12%, 14% from a coal plant, maybe 3 to 7% from a natural gas plant and you have to concentrate it up to 95%. the reason why is for storage. you inject it deep underground. it has to be highly concentrated for it to work properly. but once it goes down it stays down. the earth's crust is well
configured to store carbon dioxide. we have a huge body of knowledge to know that now. it's not rocket science, it's rock science. there's a lot that we know about that. to a first cut the united states is not just the saudi arabia of coal, it's kind of the saudi arabia of everything these days for oil and gas but also for co2 storage volume. we've got somewhere between i think 1600 and 32 00 billion tons of storage. we have a huge natural ry source for storing carbon dioxide in the united states. and that's really great news because it means that we have an option that we will want to consider as part of what we do under an all of the above scenario. and i can't state this enough. i'm not here to be a tub sum ber for coal. i think it has an awful lot of benefits to it and those are manifest in terms of low coast, low supply, a whole number of things. but if you're really going to be serious about climate change you do need to do all of the
above. all of the above includes coal but it is not just coal. very row bust finding from these models. be is the eia's but could any group's. if you look at 13 different basees for these kind of models around the world you get a very similar result which is you always do efficiency, you always do renewables, you always do nuclear and you always do carbon capture and storage and fuel switching. you always have all those things. and the numbers are surprisingly robust. it has it at 14% but that's a very robust result typically between 12 and 20% of the solution set is ccs. one of the things the iea, international energy agency, made a point of in their 2014 outlook was to say we've come a long way on a whole bunch of other things. we could go even farther and there's grounds for it. one of their ways of thinking about it is this.
if you look at all those different models and then you say what does it take to hit a 450 target for atmosphere stabilization, if you take ccs off the table half the models don't convernl. they actually don't solve the roblem at all. a typical estimate the cost of hitting that target goes up about 150%. so more than doubles. and the international panel on climate change has actually put more emphasis on this, and this is from david victor at u.c. san diego. if you're trying to hit a 550 target and take it off the table the cost goes up about 50%. it really goes up between 30 and 80%. if you want hit a 450 target the cost triples. it goes up between 200 and 4020%. that's a lot of money -- 400%. that's a lot of money. because in some markets coal
and ccs is the cheap option. not everywhere. maybe not california or arizona but in a whole bunch of markets and places in the country and around the world ccs with coal is the cheapest option. if you get rid of that you have to replace it with something more costly or less efficient. he good news is we've made pro gress on this. it's built and operating or will be operating soon because it's being built. so right now here at 2015 we're putting about 50 million tons of carbon dioxide a year underground. that is a decent volume. that's real abatement. that was co2 going into the atmosphere and not any more. by the end of this decade we should be at 100 million tons, roughly twice that. right now we've got 20 large projects worldwide we're on track to have another 20 or so by the end of this decade. that's awesome. we want the technical findings
that come from that kind of an undertaking and advises decisionmakers very, very well. this is an important one. this was the birth of a new species and i was happy enough to witness this october 1 boundry dam up in canada became the first place where someone's retro fit a coal plant to capture the emissions. using basically counter technology, similar to mitsubishi's technology, similar to the norwegian technologies for u.s. companies. it's an aiming solution and basically the steam coming up up top means it's operating. it was venting 1.1 million tons a year. it's not anymore. it's going underground now. they like the idea of doing another one or two of these. they already learned enough to cut the costs by 30% on the second project. that is a very important finding. it's something we find is