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Mitch McConnell
  Senate Majority Leader Mc Connell Pays Tribute to Departing Colleagues  CSPAN  December 7, 2016 12:19am-12:41am EST

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interventions partisan politics aside and morality aside what happens after the party is over and what are the aftereffects of war and what are the human and financial costs on both sides? i went to all these places and of course we call it some form of eyes but i went to all these places with an open mind again trying not to much understand what a partisan point of view might be or be validated but to look at was the mission accomplished and what were the cause on both ends? >> several senators will be retiring at the end of the
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current term in january. today their colleagues in the senate honored some of the retiring members with four speeches. who he attributes to senators dan coats, mark kirk, barbara mikulski and barbara boxer. this hour in 15 minutes portion includes senator coats final floor speech.o >> mr. president. >> the majority leader. >> yesterday the senate voted overwhelmingly to take the next step to pass the 21st century bipartisan legislation to bolster medical innovation. this legislation promotes critical investments and research and treatment of elements that help cut through unnecessary regulation would hinder the development of cures while also protecting safety. it builds upon the process of innovative therapies in regenerative medicine. this legislation puts patients
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first print helps strengthen ths research and treatment needed to cure the most devastating diseases and that includes mental health programs and provides funding to help fight opioid abuse. i've heard from health officialm across my state who have expressed the impact this legislation can make from my kentucky hospital association to the university of eight, our states largest research university. this bill as the president says reflects the support for increased investment in research that addresses the compelling questions of our day. i will be pleased to welcome president allude to the capitol this morning. it is one example he says of how the university will be better left to improve the lives of those in our commonwealth. chaia it wouldn't have been possible
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without chairman alexander's mem ceaseless effort along with representative murray to drive it for everything from both as well as senator corker in senator hatch and senator cassidy who of all endeavor to make the bill the strongest it could be.rday for i also want to recognize my friend vice president biden who joined us yesterday for his efforts that include his cancer moonshot initiative in the package. this is an issue that hit close to home for the vice presidentfo as we all know he's been a leading voice in strengthening cancer research and to find a cure. so i'm please will pass this legislation soon so we can begin to put its provisions to work on behalf of american families. se, now on the other important issues before the senate i spoke to the speaker number of coalminer retirees like those i represent a kentucky had been insistent this year include a
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position to address that issue so retirees don't use their -- lose their health care benefits at the end of this year. we also have a bill to share with senator thune and we look forward to returning to it as soon as possible after house action.king to we are also working to wrap up a number of conference reports including the defense authorization bill and a water resource development bill. last night i took the next step on the defense conference reports and we could pass it this week. this legislation will provideelp more of the fuel servicemembers need to take on national security challenges, help strengthen our military posture and support our men and women in uniform with the benefits and the pay raises they have earnedc i hope the senators will take the next upon the water development resources conference report. this conference report will invest in our waterways infrastructure enhance commerce and support safe and reliable
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water source is to prevent future situations like the one we saw in flint, michigan. fam to that point this bill includes a system for families like those in flint who have argued that po impacted by lead poisoning. >> mr. president we all remember where we were on september 11th, 2001. as the man we honor today certainly does. he was in berlin. he had only just begun his second day in germany and everything changed. planes smashed into the world trade center, terrorists attacked the pentagon where his
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son-in-law worked. his family thankfully emerged on broken that day. others were not so fortunate. ambassador coats found himself thrown into a role he couldn't have foreseen a day earlier a role in which he would excel, the one that would forever change him. those who know dan coats say that day in september affected him profoundly. should give nasa a father, a sharpened him as a policymaker,e clarified mistakes and his sense of responsibility. he may not have known it then but he would feel the tug of that responsibility many years later and answer the call. senator coats have enjoyed ao successful congressional career when he decided to retire in 1998. he earned a reputation for working hard getting things accomplished, becoming an indispensable member of his
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conference. seek in fact after dan announced his, decision not to seek re-election majority leader trent will -- trent lott rang him up and he said he can't leave. i can't go forward in the senate without you. dance learned the legislative ropes working for an up-and-coming congressman named dan quayle. he applied that knowledge as he progressed as quayle staffer to quell successor first in the house and then in the senate. it was evident whether dan was focused on rebuilding the military after the cold war bringing opportunity to low-income families and children even dissecting the finer points of american garbage policies. yet garbage policy. toward the beginning of dance time in the senate future landfills while filling with new jersey trash and hoosiers were
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fed up. in came dan with a warcry. don't dump on us and just the right blend of determination legislative know-how and humor captured the attention of colleagues and the hearts of constituents.n some were amused in d.c. or transcend the back in indiana,on hoosiers were over the moon. thi too many their first t introduction to the plug-in is senator came through is famous trash at. the coats were sent a commercial featured a cigar chomping garbageman from new jersey earned him a place in the hallowed halls of campaign election and perhaps a ticket back to the senate. lott when senator lott may not have been able to persuade dan to run for re-election eight years later he did offer this prophetic statement as he bid him farewell. dan coats is leaving the senatee
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he said that he is not leaving l us. i've a feeling he's going to have a real influence in many ways for the rest of his life and he's going to stay close to all of us. how right he was. a fast-forward to over a decade later former senator coats looked out and saw a country in crisis, a drift on the world stage, stagnant at home, sliding into despair. dan was deeply unsettled. he shared his concerns with his wife marcia. he realized he had two choices. he could sit back and watch for he could do something. dan coats chose to do something. the election was hardly a sure thing. he pulled through anyway. when he returned to the capital he put his head down and got right to work.
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dan can be a man of few words. he doesn't always feel the need to speak up but when he does people pay attention. it's a true mark of distinction in a body like this with its big egos and sharp elbows. people listen to the formerol ambassador when he explained the ins and outs of foreign-policy. people listened as the veteran of the previous health caref debate when he talked about the problems of obamacare and with this fiscal expert shares his waste of the week, people paid attention. l it's how we learned taxpayer dollars are being spent on swedish massages. it's how we discover taxpayer money was being wasted to determine whether hunger plus ps anger is a real thing. senator coats knew he wasn't going to solve all of ourur nations problems it as one
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senator and one term but he understood the importantuld contributions he could make. in the responsibilities to make them. in the process he cemented his legacy that will long outlast him here in the senate.e. .. n to achieve great things, from former white house chief writer gerson to incoming indiana governor eric holcomb is as long as it is impressive. i know dan is looking forward to spending more time at wrigley field after he retires. here is the tweet dan dan sent t last month. "a century in the making. we fining aolly made it -- we finally made it.
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what a great day to be a cubs' fan." it is hard to overstate the importance of moment for him. i mean, this is the guy who spent part of his honeymoon -- his honeymoon -- at wrigley field. so i wonder if maybe, just maybe, he was able to see a so i wondered if maybe, just maybe he was able to see himself in his favorite team. maybe like the fellow universitr who stepped away for a season and then came back and picked up where he left off without a hitch when his team needed him most. it's not the first time or the second time or the third that said.
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should the people call out for a hero yet again and i hope our friend will suit up one more time because if nothing else, we are really going to miss them. i will miss you my friend.
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>> mr. president, mark kirk has never been one to be intimidated by a challenge. he's willing to work hard even when the going gets tough and never shies away from a debate and always comes prepared. five years ago he suffered a debilitating stroke one thathr threatened to end. in the blink of an eye kirk went from juggling the committee hearings to buying in a hospital bed wondering if he would walkin again or talk again. if he decided to just quit the senate and focus on the recovery
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he never lost hope or gave up. we were there to witness his triumphs several years later came in his hand and smile on his face, joe manchin on the one side, joe biden on the other. 1 foot in front of the other he claimed to be co. climbed and climbed and ascended each of thi capitol steps to the chop of the chamber as we all cheered him on. he rest assured no one would let him fail or fall that they and senator manchin could rest
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assured he wouldn't have to go another day waiting for his buddies returned. after the stroke senator manchin hops ohop on a flight to check s friend in person and saw firsthand the challenges he had to overcome in recovery but he never doubted his wealth,, determination and desire to get back to work. j he said he's like the energizer bunny he just keeps going andht going. joe manchin and kirk might seem like an unconventional pair. one is democrat, one republican. senator manchin is a -- as the senator from west virginia. they clicked from day one and quickly became the best of friends.
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now they go boating together, meet for lunch every other thursday and support each other. good friends like senator manchin has been critical to the dramatic recovery. a few weeks after his stroke, a stroke survivor from illinois wrote senator kirk to share his own story and some words of encouragement. all the hard work is worth it. ps, he said, i think that kids should get paid to do this. they became penpals and joined a sport of tar time -- tower se climbing.
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last year he invited him to visit washington and be his guest at the state of the union. he may have never made it back for that address at all without the support and kind words. the support he received from his home state senator didn't go s unnoticed. how after the stroke senator durbin visited and offered to help out however he could. senator kirk reminds us that can be more than a place of work it can actually be a family. in his words the things that divide politics are infinitesimal compared with the dignity of our humility. senator kirk says america's men and women in unifor uniform rept the fourth of dignity on earth. he's right.
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the work we've done we have ther military families. mark kirk a veteran himself honors the sacrifice and the servicemembers make each day. not only on active duty that after the tours are complete. that's why he helped guarantee the quality of care and helped eliminate corruption within the va so that our veterans receive timely care as well. he's proven himself as a leader on national security and worked tin order tostrengthen them esph israel. he has an idea of our adversaries and has never been afraid to take action from north korea to iran.
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when it comes to irann specifically, he was the tip of the spear on this issue, pushing for legislation to help tehran. he's been an advocate. even when the administration pushed back and when democratic colleagues pushed back he doesn't back down and we were able to see the legislation through. he may be leaving the senate but he's cast a long shadow. we know he won't stop lookingg out for the country or advocating for stroke survivors.
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we know he's not going to stop. he will keep going and going like he always does. he reminds us it is possible to persevere through even the most difficult obstacles life people for the years he's dedicated to. serving. i'm going to join my colleaguesk in saluting the public life of senator barbara mikulski. i want to think thank a woman t isn't here, the debate coach when she was in high school at the institute of notre dame, the same school nancy pelosi gr