tv U.S. Senate Sen. Claire Mc Caskill Farewell Speech CSPAN December 28, 2018 8:32pm-8:46pm EST
production. exploring the history, productions and role of this uniquely american institution. be sure to go online at c-span.org/senate to learn more about the program and watch original, full links interviews with senators. view farewell speeches and take a look inside the senate chamber and other exclusive locations. >> next, farewell speeches from three senators who are leaving congress. we her first from missouri senator, claire mccaskill who lost her reelection bid. she is followed by arizona republican jeff flake speaking about his retirement. after that, nevada republican dean heller says goodbye to his colleagues and reflects on his time in congress. sen. mccaskill: it probably
won't surprise my colleagues to know that i don't like much the idea of a farewell speech. i haven't spent a great deal of time contemplating it over the years i have been here. i'm not a big fan of the concept. tradition,espect the especially since i have witnessed so many senate traditions crumble. best to get through this without breaking up. a traditional farewell speech in the united states senate is full of accomplishments. i'm going to skip half of that. i am extremely proud of my body of work over 34 years of public service. it is for others to judge. i won't dwell on it today, other than to say it is a long list
and a tangible demonstration of the value of hard work. the wonderful barbara bush said never lose sight of the fact that the most important yardstick of your success will be how you treat other people. your family, your friends, and coworkers, and even strangers you meet along the way. rather than talk about what i have done, i'm going to speak a few moments about my family. i have three different families i want to talk about. my family imily, like to call missouri. and my family here in the senate. first, my actual family. they are the most important. in the words of author andre,
without a family, man, alone in the world, trembles with the cold. i have been very warm my whole life. i have not trembled in the cold because i have always had my family. my parents taught me that caring about the committee around us was noble and good. officet holding public was an honorable endeavor, even a my parents were largely spectators and supporters and not candidates or officeholders. they just cared. they wanted me to care, too. risk of going down too many family stories, it may --lain a lot that my mother my dad fell in love with my mom when he saw her smoking a cigar and belting out "won't you come home bill bailey" at a party.
and that my mother said, i must is a trick-or-treat and vote for jfk when i was seven. my father insisted that i not only learn the rules of football, but that i also learned to tell a good joke and to learn to laugh at myself. siblings, my two sisters, my brother, they simply have been the port in every storm. we have a large blended family of many children and grandchildren that is close and loving. i enjoy them all, but i need to specifically mention my three children, austin, maddie, and lily because they were there from the beginning.
infants in car seats going to political events, toddlers sitting sometimes not so quietly while i gave a speech, and amazing troopers in the almost decade of my career when i was a single working mom, hauling them all around the state on campaigns. they now have forgiven me for the missed recitals and the missed field trips in the fact that i couldn't be the homeroom mom. today, they have grown into amazing, strong adults who make me very proud. howdy, those grandchildren. i have 11, going on 12. i can't wait until they are old enough to yell what my mom used to say to us when we were too slow getting to the car. last one in is a republican. [laughter] sen. mccaskill: and my husband joseph.
how lucky i am to have him as my best friend.we were married 16 years ago after he had achieved great success in business. he is proud and supportive of me didn't but he certainly bargain for the incredibly unfair treatment we got at his expense because of his business success. let the record of the senate now say what my republican colleagues did not during my campaign. thank you, joseph for your integrity, your honesty, your generosity and your heart, which is always directed you to do good as you do well. then there is my missouri family. i love my state. every corner of it, even the parts that are very crazy about me. my honor to work for missourians has been immense.
i am incredibly grateful to them for the opportunity i have had to get up every day and work my interesting,an challenging career of public service. so lucky to have made many good friends along the way. i am excited that i will now have more time for them. said family means no one gets left behind or forgotten. that is how i feel about missouri. that is why my office has tried very hard to help every individual that has come to us for help. every veteran, every senior, no matter who they were or where they lived or what their politics were. my staff family. unanimous consent that my staff names be entered into the record. my staff here and in missouri, in this job, my previous jobs
and many, many campaigns. richard bach said it best, the bond links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life. they have been my rock. compass, my inspiration and my coach. the best and the brightest looking not for money or fame, but just to make a difference. to my senate staff here today watching, and all the staffs in my offices of the prosecutor's office, the auditor's office, county legislature, state legislature, i respect each of you immensely. as you go forth in the world, remember the mccaskill office motto -- they could cite it for
you right now if i asked them. if you work hard, you can do well. but, if you are having fun, you'll do great. we were happy, and it made a difference. george bernard shaw said a happy family is but an earlier heaven. working with my staff was heaven. and finally, to all of my fellow senators and all the many people who work here in the senate. i be -- i'd be lying if i didn't say i was worried about this place. it just doesn't work as well as it used to. the senate has been so enjoyable for me, but i must admit it puts the fun in this function. dysfuncitnoction.-
peter morgan, an author, said no family is complete without an embarrassing uncle. we have too many embarrassing uncles in the united states senate. lots of embarrassing stuff. the united states senate is no longer the world's greatest deliberative body. and everybody needs to quit saying get until we recover from this period of polarization and the fear of the political consequences of taking tough votes. writing legislation behind closed doors, giant omnibus bills that most don't know what's in them. k street lobbyists knowing about the tax bill managers' package before even senators. that is today's senate. .nd no amendments solving the toughest problems will not happen without tough votes. we can talk about t the toughest
problems. we can visit about them, we can argue about them, we can we are not them, but quick to solve them without tough votes. it will not happen. my first year in the senate was we voted on 306 amendments in 2007. this year, as of yesterday, we 2007. voted on 36. that is a remarkable difference. something is broken, and if we don't have the strength to look in the mirror and fix it, the american people are going to grow more and more cynical, and they might do something craze -- crazy like elect a reality tv star president. i'm not kidding. that's one of the reasons this has happened. power has been dangerously centralized in the senate. we like to say, oh, we can't change the rules to be just like the house. we kind of our like the house, guys.
we kind of art. are.r -- a few people are writing legislation, a few people are making the decisions. we have to throw off the shackles of careful, open the doors of debate, reclaim the power o of members and committees, and most of all, realize that looking the other way and hoping that everything will work out later is a foolish idea. debate and work on amendments. all of the problems i have outlined, know that i love this place and you -- almost all of you. [laughter] sen. mccaskill: you have filled my life with interesting work and unforgettable memories. we have argued, we have saying, we have fought, we have cried and we have laughed together, just like family. you are family. and i will miss you terribly.
desmond tutu, a very wise man, said, god's dream is that you and i and all of us will realize that we are family. that we are made for togetherness, for goodness and for compassion. thank you very much. i yield the floor. [applause] >> the senator from arizona. president, ir. would like to begin today by noting that the people of arizona and america have been very lucky.