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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  December 8, 2014 5:31pm-8:01pm EST

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session to consider the following nominations, which the clerk will report. the clerk: nominations: nuclear regulatory commission, jeffrey martin baran of virginia to be a member. national labor relations board, lauren mcgarity mcferran of the district of columbia to be at that member. department of energy, ellen dudley williams of maryland to be director of the advanced research projects agency. the presiding officer: flr now two minutes of debate prior to a vote on the baran nomination, equally divided. who yields time? mr. leahy: yield back on this side. the presiding officer: all time having been yielded back, the yeas and nays have been requested. is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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vote:
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the presiding officer: are there any senators wishing to vote or wishing to change their vote? if not there are 52 yeas, 40 nays. the nomination is confirmed. under the previous order, there
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will be two minutes of debate prior to a vote on the mcferran nomination. who yields time? without objection, all time being yielded back, the question occurs on the mcferran nomination. is there a sufficient second for the yeas and nays? there is, there appears to be. the yeas and nays have been ordered. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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vote: vote:
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the presiding officer: are there any senators wishing to vote or wishing to change their vote? if not, the ayes are 54, the nays are 40, and the nomination is confirmed. under the previous order, there will be two minutes of debate prior to a vote on the williams nomination. without objection, all time is yielded back. and the question occurs on the williams nomination. all in favor say aye. all opposed, no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the nomination is confirmed. under the previous order, the motions to reconsider are considered made and laid upon the table and the president will be immediately notified of the senate's action. under the previous order, the senate will being i be in a perf morning business for debate
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only. the presiding officer: the senator from florida. mr. rubio: are we in morning business? the presiding officer: yes. mr. rubio: thank you, mr. president. yesterday in events all around florida and across the country, america marked the 73rd anniversary of the attack on pearl harbor, a day known for its traj dip but also for its role in shaping the destiny of what has become to be called the greatest generation. it's a generation that faced
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challenges unlike any seen before or since. it saw a decade of widespread prosperity crumble into the deepest depression in american history. and it saw the deepest depression in american history give way to the deadliest war in human history. the scope of hardship, destruction, and wickedness they faced was exceeded only by the strength and valor with which they responded. theirs is a generation that truly saved the world. i don't think any other generation at any time can have said that of them with the same bluntness, can have that said of them with the same bluntness. today that generation passes its stories on to us. they are our parents and our grandparents, our ancestors and our heritage. their stories are emblems of strength that inspire us as we meet our challenges in this new century. yesterday we honored the almost 2,500 americans that were killed on that day of infamy 73 years
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ago. therthey were unsuspecting serve members, innocent men and women. but today we have the chance to honor the sacrifices made in response to that attack. it was on this very day 73 years ago that president roosevelt famously came before congress to ask for a declaration of war and he expressed his confidence that the american people would rally to defend their nation, sayin saying -- quote -- "the people of the united states have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation." and he was right. in the days that followed, 5 million americans dropped everything to volunteer for the armed forces. no one asked them to do it. they just did it. tens of millions more entered the draft or assisted the war effort at home, and the american people became the arsenal of democracy almost overnight.
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in the latter years of his life, i had the honor of meeting and working with a man who was at pearl harbor. he was in pearl harbor that day and who fought on foreign battlefields in the years that followed, even losing a limb. i'm speaking, of course, of the legendary leader with whom we are all familiar, senator daniel inouye. he was born and raised in hawaii and was 17 years old on december 7, 1941, when the attack on pearl harbor occurred. he rushed to the scene to help treat the wounded. he enlisted in the army the first chance he got and he went on to receive the medal of honor for his valor. and when the smoke of world war ii had finally cleared, his legacy of service was just beginning. he would go on to serve hawaii in both the united states senate and the united states house. and by the time of his death, senator inouye was the second longest serving senator in united states history. and i was privileged to count
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him as my colleague, though for too brief a time. like senator inouye, i've also had the privilege of representing many veterans of world war ii, including some who survived the attack on pearl harbor. at last count, there are over 140 pearl harbor survivors living in florida and i'd like to tell you the stories of three of those men. one is sergeant-major william braddock of pensacola. i recently had the privilege of hearing his account of what happened that sunday morning in hawaii. major braddock had joined the marine corps the year prior to the attack and that morning, he was in the mess hall preparing for duty when he heard the first explosion. he ran outside and he was met with pandemonium. ships that had been stretched out peacefully in the sun moments before were now engulfed in flames, blanketing the harbor in black smoke. he watched the torpedo drop in the water and seconds later explode into the side of the
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u.s.s. oklahoma. he described the stain of oil on the water, the way flames shot up from itment and th and the hf watching sailors trapped in the fire. amidst the confusion and the shouting of orders, he recalled how little he could do to save lives. and how helpless he felt. following the attack, major braddock went on to fight bravely in some of the key battles in world war ii. he fought in the battle of iwo jima and remembered vividly the day the iconic flag was raised above the island. he was in the occupational forces in japan after the devastation of the atomic bombs. but despite all the horrors he witnessed, major braddock didn't retire from the armed services the first chance he got. on the contrary, he went on to 27 years of distinguished service in the marine corps. i can't help but be humbled hearing such a story. major braddock is a man who
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fought out of duty and out of love for his country. he saw himself as a citizen soldier, even recalling that the way he experienced that -- that the way his experience hunting rabbits in the fields around his house as a boy actually prepared him for iwo jima. he is humble regarding his role and he says he tries not to give too much thought to it when he doesn't have to. that same modesty is the hallmark of another story, the story of a pearl harbor survivor who lives in palm beach county today. his name is wayne myrick and he was a chief machinist mate on the u.s.s. blue at the time of the attack. within seconds of the first explosion, chief petty officer myrick had rushed to gather ammunition and help operate the guns aboard that destroyer. but as the chief machinist, his attention soon turned to other matters. the captain of the u.s.s. was eager to get the ship out on
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open water but the boilers beneath deck were off line. so under intense gunfire, chief petty officer myrick and his crew members scrambled to get the boilers working and eventually managed to give the ship the maneuvering speed to move out out. with his help, the u.s.s. blue was one of the first vessels to make it to open water and was able to down five enemy aircraft and at least one submarine. chief petty officer myrick recalled how important his oath was to him that day. he and every one of his shipmates took an oath when they enlisted that commanded them to follow their orders and defend their country from all enemies and he viewed that oath as a solemn and sacred one. because it was a reminder that service to one's country is about more than just self. he had a simple but powerful message he wanted me to share today. be very proud to serve your
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country. and finally, i'd like to share with you the story of commander hal sullivan of jacksonville. commander sullivan joined the united states navy when he was 23 years old. he was on the bridge of a destroyer that sunday morning tasked with operating the sonar equipment and helping to sweep for mines. when the first explosion rocked the harbor, he looked up to see a japanese plane bank sharply overhead. in fact, it was so close to him that he could see the expression on the face of the pilot. he even recalled wrightly that he could have thrown a poe pay toe righpotatoright into the cod one handy. before he could process what was happening, gunfire swept over the deck and struck the sailor next to him. commander sullivan hoisted the man up and helped him to a medic. he spoke of looking up and seeing the u.s.a. arizona rolling over with its belly up in flames as the flames shot out from its sides.
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and he saw sailors struggling in the water. commander sullivan insists that his job isn't worthy of fame and that his contribution that day was simply the execution of du duty. but through that humility, i can't help but see a hero, a man as selfless as he is brave. a man who put the lives of others above his own. not just that day but for decades to come. you see, commander hal sullivan went on to serve in both the atlantic and the pacific and he didn't retire from the navy until almost 30 years after the attack on pearl harbor, on the exact same week that his son entered west point. and even now, at age 96, hal says he'd still be in the navy if they'd let him. and i'm touched by that. because the truth is, hal's country still needs him. maybe not on the deck of a ship, maybe not risking his life in the middle of the pacific, but
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we need him all the same. because it's through hearing stories like his that our generation will find the courage to face its challenges, a courage that is uniquely american. pearl harbor wasn't just a day of infamy. it was also a day that revealed the greatness of our ancestors, people like major braddock, chief petty officer myrick and commander sullivan. its their blood that flows in the veins of this country, that serves as our heritage and reveals our destiny. i believe it's true, as shakespeare famously wrote, that some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them. but for the greatest generation, it was all three. pearl harbor was the day their greatness was thrust upon them. but it was over the years that followed that their greatness was achieved.
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the only way greatness can be achieved -- through blood, toil, tears and sweat. and their toil did not stop after the war was won. the world still looked to america, to our industrial power, our political leadership and our military might to restore global balance and maintain order while the wounds of mankind healed. as pope pia s approximate xii said following the war -- quote -- "america has a genius for great and unselfish deeds. into the hands of america god has placed the destiny of an afflicted mankind." well, i believe america still has that genius. i believe mankind remains afflicted and that its destiny remains largely in our hands. all around the world, those who yearn for freedom still turn their eyes towards our shores. they wonder if we see their suffering. they wonder if we hear their cries.
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i am confident that our own generation will achieve greatness in this century. we will do so by remaining the world's beacon for freedom. that means preserving and extending the promise of american dream here at home and standing against evil, and oppression where it rears its head around the world. like the greatest generation, our men and women in uniform today fight for a greater cause than themselves. major braddock said if he could tell today's troops one thing, it would be don't give up, do what's right and above all else be proud of the work you are tasked with carrying out. i second that sentiment because our children and grandchildren will stand on the shoulders of our generation. they will live in the world we leave behind. the same way we live in the world that was left for us. so as we mark the 73rd anniversary of the attack on pearl harbor, i was grateful for all the tributes that took place throughout florida over
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the weekend. and it is my prayer that america will take a moment to reflect on the meaning of that day, its meaning is not a relic of the past. it doesn't just belong to the greatest generation. it belongs to all of us. it was america's solemn call to action, not for a generation but for all time. a powerful reminder of our duty to our nation, to each other, to our children, and to an afflicted mankind. mr. president, i yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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quorum call:
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quorum call:
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quorum call:
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the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the call of the quorum be terminated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i now ask that -- are we in morning business now? the presiding officer: the senate is in morning business. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to calendar number 564. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 564, s. 2521, a bill to amend chapter 35 of title 4-united states code to provide for reform to federal information security. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent that the carper-coburn substitute amendment which is at the desk be agreed to, the bill as amended be read a third time and the senate proceed to vote on passage. the presiding officer: without objection. hearing no further debate, all
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in favor say aye. all opposed, no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the bill is passed as amended. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent that the motions to reconsider be considered and made and laid on the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call: mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the call of the quorum be terminated.
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no. mr. reid: i ask that the. appear separately in the record as if made by the chair. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to
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h.r. 1281. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: h.r. 1281, an act to amend the public health service act to reauthorize programs under bart b, title 11 of such act. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection. mr. reid: i further ask the bill be read a third time, passed, the motion to reconsider, with no intercession. i ask the homeland security committee be discharged of h.r. 4939 and i ask that we proceed to these en bloc, h.r. 1707, h.r. 1778, h.r. 2112, h.r. 2223, h.r. 2678, h.r. 3534 and h.r. 3550. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection the committee is discharged.
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mr. reid: the first i read was h.r. 4939. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection the committee is discharged and the senate will proceed to the measures en bloc. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the bills be read a third time, passed en bloc, the motions to reconsider be made and laid on the table en bloc with no intervening action or debate. i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: without objection. the clerk will call the roll. quorum call: mr. reid: i ask consent --. the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: there are two bills at the desk due for first reading. the presiding officer: the clerk will read the titles of the bills for the first time.
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the clerk: h.r. 57 a 59, an act to establish a rule of construction clarifying the limitations on executive authority to provide certain forms of immigration relief, h.r. 5771 an act to amend the internal revenue code of for technical directions and for other purposes. mr. reid: i ask for a second reading but object to my own request. the presiding officer: objection having been heard, the bills will be read for a second time on the next day. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to calendar number 401. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 401, s. 2142, a bill to impose targeted sanctions on persons responsible for violations of human rights of antigovernment protestors in venezuela and so forth and for other purposes. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection. mr. reid: i ask consent the
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committee reported amendments be agreed to, the menendez report amendment be agreed to, the bill be read a third time and the senate proceed to vote on passage of the bill. the presiding officer: without objection. hearing no further debate, all those in favor say aye. all opposed, no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the bill as amended is passed. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the motion to reconsider considered made and laid on the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent when the senate completes its bits it adjourn until 10:00 a.m., december 9, following the morning business, the journal of proceedings be approved to date, the time for the two leaders reserved for use later in day, following the leader remarks, the senate be in morning business for gate only until 10:30 as provided under the previous order, the senate recess from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. to allow for the weekly caucus meetings. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: there will be two roll
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call votes at 10:30 on cloture on the lodge and walter nominations. if cloture is invoked, the confirmation votes will occur at 6:00 p.m. if there is no further business to come before the senate, i ask that it adjourn under the previous order. previous order.
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with no legislative work in the senate today a number of minute members came to the floor to pay tribute to their colleagu leaving the body at the end of the year. among them harry reid spoke about to long-term democratic senators carl levin and jay rockefeller both of whom decided to retire after this term. this is 20 minutes. >> i am very happy to be here today to talk about a couple of
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my friends. i should say the senate's friends. i have received a lot of gifts while i have been here. my colleagues over the years have given me things here in the senate. one gets stands out really strongly in my mind. my desk not far from here i have a big painting. it's a very famous in the national portrait gallery of mark twain. mark twain and i tell people was born in nevada which is really true. samuel clemons wasn't that mark twain was. clemons was chosen as a territorial secretary of nevada
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and he told his younger brother samuel, sorry mr. president. he told his younger brother, come rest and i will find you a job. he came west with his brother but his brother couldn't find him a job so he bummed around for quite a while and without belaboring the story too long the fact is mr. president that mark twain finally went to virginia city which was booming at the time, went to the territorial enterprise newspaper and got a job as a reporter. that was his first writing he had done.
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that is where he started his fame. he would have stayed longer but someone challenged him to a dual for some of the things he wrote so being the smart man he is he didn't didn't want the duel. he left town and went to california where he wrote two best-selling books which were his experiences bumming around nevada until he found a job. these were bestsellers. these were great books. so the point of the story though, he went to virginia city as samuel clemons and took the name mark twain. that is where the name came fr from. it's a riverport -- riverboat term. so this means a lot. it's a story that i tell many times when people come to my office.
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so carl levin, the wonderful kind and thoughtful man that he is, said can i said can i comments see it and i said sure. he brought -- i guess it's the most, one of the rare double signatures of simon clemons. there may be others i just have never heard of one and this was in a club in hannibal missouri. the club's name was hannibal spelled backwards and mark twain in 1902 new how famous he was so he re-signed its samuel clemons, mark twain and wrote through the whole -- he didn't want anybody else's name on it. he just wanted his son. that was the gift that he gave me and i mean that was so fitting. it fits my office perfectly and
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it means a lot to me. carl levin brought with this a handwritten note. i got this at an auction 10 years ago, not knowing why. it just dawned on me, best new year, carl. that was so nice of him to do that. it's hard to explain to him my appreciation but i'm trying to do that by outlining here what a wonderful human being carl levin is. what he did for me as an example of who carl levin is, how he thinks the people. he remembered a story that i told him about mark twain and he said i got this thing i got 10 years ago. i will just give it to the senator, his friend.
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so he gave me that plaque just because that's who he is. he has always been attended to the interests of the people of michigan and our country. he is the longest-serving senator in the history of the state of michigan. 36 years. his legislative accomplishments are significant. i would say they are unmatched by almost anyone. he has stood his ground and that is an understatement. he is thought to give americans, average americans a fair shot at what's going on in the world. he has always spoken with a clear voice, speaking for justice, equality and fairness. mr. president if you want something done the presiding officer is a lawyer and i'm a lawyer but i'm not sure i would be the best person if you gave me a document to look it over to make sure in that document, and
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that was what you wanted in it. but carl levin, that is who you would want. i call him my nitpicker. he is so good at making sure everything is right. every i is dotted and every t. is crossed. bring in carl levin and you will have something you really need, something to look at and think it through. he was a prominent lawyer as was his dad in michigan. his dad served as a member of the michigan corrections system. after graduating from high school his father was an assembly line worker. carl levin also knew how to work with his hands that he followed in his father's footsteps by being an extremely hard worker. he attended college at swarthmore. he had at bath chiller of arts degree there and attended harvard law school and received
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his degree for law school. he is a jurist doctorate from harvard. he practiced in the private sector for a while. he began his public career as the first general counsel for the michigan civil rights commission. he was elected in 1968 to the detroit city council. he served there until 1977. he was elected to the senate in 1978. his function in this body as a levelheaded mediator was guided for protection to the people of michigan and our country. in the past 36 years carl has canceled overt 26,000 votes. some of those votes were hard, not always popular. they were carl levin boats. he did what he thought was rig right. when general motors and chrysler in the last few years faced a potential collapse he recognized
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that their bankruptcies would devastate the people of michigan and have a detrimental effect and that is a gross understatement to this country. he pressed the incoming obama administration to support the companies with loans. the cry of people that oppose that saying that is the wrong thing to do, levin is wrong, obama is wrong but mr. president they were right. look what it has done to energize, revitalize the state of michigan the whole detroit metropolitan area and our country. tens of thousands of new jobs as a result of his efficacy. as i said it wasn't a popular position of the time but carl knew what was good for michigan and good for our country and he has been vindicated 100 times over. carl has been the chairman of the senate permanent subcommittee on investigations for 10 years.
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during that period of time he has done some unusually important things for our country through this committee. corporate money laundering, 1999 he delves into that very deeply. carl levin is not a headline hunter. carl levin is a substandard legislator. he could have held a lot more hearings but he held them about every six months because he wanted his hearings to be carl levin hearings whereas i repeat every i was dotted, every t. was crossed and they were very powerful hearings. gasoline price manipulation, enron scandal. he delves into that very deeply. misconduct in the united nations oil program. tax haven banks and offshore corporate tax evasion. he has talked about that and talk about that. his notable legislation resulted in the work is done, wall street
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reform, consumer protection act, credit c.a.r.d. act, patriot act. carl levin is a very fine legislator. he fought for wall street reform when others were afraid to do so and helps restore the broken financial system that held powerful institutions accountable for their actions. carl's persistence earned him a spot in "time" magazine's best legislators, i'm sorry that those united states senators. they called him the bird dog or. mr. president that is what he is. put him on an issue and he will come back. he is very good. he never stops. he is a sharp eyed overseer of the united states defense policy. he spent his entire career promoting defense policy that protects america's interests at home and abroad while safeguarding the men and women who serve. he's the chair of the senate defense committee and during the
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nations most trying diplomatic times he hasn't done a remarkable job to make sure that the military is protected. but even though he was chair of this big powerful committee, defense committee he felt so strongly and he foresaw what a lot of us didn't see mr. president. he saw the disaster that would accompany an invasion in iraq. accordingly the talk about it and voted against it. carl levin was right in a lot of us were wrong. i've i have said before on this senate floor all the votes that i have cast during the time i have been in government and the worst was voting for that iraq war but i did. carl levin didn't. for all of his accomplishments in congress his greatest achievements reside in his home. carl and his wife have three beautiful dollars.
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kate, laura and erica. they are part of a book club and they have had a wonderful relationship over these many years. as carl retires from the senate i know he is going to cherish the time. he is going to spend with his family. but also carl and i have had a long, long ongoing conversation. he and his brother sandy formed about 100 acres. they have had it for a long time. carl levin is not a man of wealth that he and his brother bought this 100 acres. it has nothing on it that trees. he calls it his tree farm. .. senate. by all of us, but he'll be
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missed more by his older brother sandy, who is a ranking member on the ways and means committee in the house. they have served together in congress for 32 years. i've said this on the floor before, i'll say it again -- i remember carl levin for a lot of things. i was in the house. i came over to visit with him. i was thinking about running for the senate. i said carl, you know, i came to the house with your brother sandy. he looked up at me. he said sandy, you know, is not only my brother, he's my best friend. that speaks well of the person that carl levin is. it's really been a privilege and honor to serve with carl. i'll miss him so very, very much. i'll miss having somebody to take the difficult issues to him to get his view as to what we should do, how we should handle it. hi v

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