tv U.S. Senate Sen. Mc Connell Breaks Record CSPAN June 12, 2018 7:28pm-7:43pm EDT
got a lot of flak from from my llmocrs. hn mccain felt his party was not living up to believe the republican party should be, was willing to say. >> watch sunday night at 9:00 eastern on c-span 2's book tv. >> kentucky senator mitch mcconnell became the longest serving republican leader wednesday bypassing former leader senator bob dole. senatorcconnell has s 11 years, 5 months, 10 days, a few senators paid tribute to senator mcconnell for breaking the record. >> thank you, madame president. before i begin my remarks, i want to congratulate our republican leader on becoming the longest serving republican leader in the senate, my friend leader mcconnell reached that milestone today. it's no secret we disagree on a whole lot of issues, both political and philosophical, but that doesn't mean we can't or
don't work together or that i don't admire the qualities that have helped make him the longest serving republican leader. he understands his caucus and represents them well. he knows how to fight. and he knows how to cooperate. the job is not an easy one. so it's a testament to his qualities that has done it longer than anyone in the history of the senate. >> i rise today to mark an important milestone forur friend senator mitch mcconnell, who has now become thegest serving republican leader, surpassing senator bob dole of kansas who served from 1985 to 1996. i toldebody in the press yesterday that senator mcconnell's done it the old fashioned way. he earned it. he earned this role as our leader and the respect certainly that goes along with it. he served as minority leader beginning in 2007, and i had the honor of presenting him with a
copy of his speech as a republican leader back then. that was at the beginning of the 110th congress and he has served as either a majority leader or minority leader ever since. what a historic tenure his has been and what a privilege it's been f me to serve alongside him since i came to the senate, 2003, but especially my role as whip, i have had an opportunity to work with the leader on a daily basis, and it's been one of the highlights of my senate career. senator mcconnell is trusted. we all know he's smart. he's an impressive strategist. he understands the senate better than anybody else here. and time and time again, he's demonstrated what leaders always need to demonstrate, and that's a remarkable degree of humility, sometimes preferring to work for the betterment of the conference and the country behind the scenes rather than enjoy the
spotlight on the front lines. that takes a remarkable sense of self-confidence and team spirit that not everybody has. it is true that sometimes he's soft-spoken, but i can assure you that's never afraid to take a hard-line when absolutely necessary. but more than that, he's a rare example of what a senator ought to be, what a true public servant ought to be. as majority leader senator mcconnell is a member of a storied group that includes the likes of senator charles curtis, the first official majority leader of the senate, who was famous for his native american ancestry and racing horses, i'm told. the group includes robert taft of ohio who would work late into the night studying the rules of the senate in order to outmaneuver his opponents. it includes lyndon johnson from my state who would go on to
become president as well as mike mansfield from montana, who went on to serve as majority leader for 16 years. and a more recent times, there's been great statesman like bob dole, trent lott, and bill frist. now we all know that senator mcconnell is an avid student of history, and he's learned a lot from a of these leaders. their examine proposal, their ups and downs, their successes and their challenges. and in a sense, he standsn their shoulders. the experience, the example, the great leadership each of them demonstrated have benefitted all of us, but nobody more than our leader senator mcconnell. in today's world, the qualities embodied by all of these men is not really very widely understood. but we have to look no further than senator mcconnell to see what that leadership looks like.
one thing it requires is recognizing your role, but also respecting the role of other members in the conference. as i said, senator mcconnell deeply understands the nature of the senate and his position, and he illustrated this when he spoke at the beginning of the 114th congress. in his first speech he recognized that the american people were anxious about the direction of our country. he mentioned the decline in civic trust in our national institutions. and he expressed concern about his fellow americans feeling as though government was somehow uninterested or incapable of addressing their concerns, a government that seemed to be working for itsel instead of r them. those were some of the sentiments and concerns he expressed at the time. sensing this unease,
articulating the problem was just the beginning of senator mcconnell setting out to fix it. what americans wanted then is what thet now,hey want a government that works. they want as senator mcconnell called it a government of the 21st century, one that functions with efficiency and accountability, competence, and purpose. that's the kind of government our leader has worked tirelessly to promote. and as he's told us time and time again, what he's interested in is results. not show votes. many of us from time to time have said well why can't we have a vote on this or that? and he reminds us that what we need to produce is results. not theatrics. he's taken steps to return the senate to regular order which simply means getting the senate back to work according to its own rules and tradions. he's gotten the committees to
work again. the senate simply does not work unless our committee structure works because then power is diffused among all senats and they each get to contribute their piece of a solutio problem. he's committed himself and the senate to a more rational functioning appropriations process, something we all can applaud. in my opinion, it's been this never ending quest for this body he loves to function, not just ably but at a consistently high level that has been his greatest contribution to the people he serves. leader mcconnells concerned about the policy priorities of our party of course and he works doggedly to advance a conservative right of center agenda. but he also cares deeply about this institution that he has committed so much of his life to
serving in and the pivotal role that the senate has always played in american history. he cares about upholding the rules and traditions of this body, not for their own sake, but because they have simply withstood the test of time. we've made great strides as congress under leader mcconnell's leadership. we've passed the first overhaul in the tax code in more than three decades and allowed americans t kp more ofir hard earned paychecks. we reformed dodd frank legislation freeing up banks and credit unions to better serve their communities by giving small businesses access to credit they need in order to start that business and grow. and we rolled back overly burdensome regulations and confirmed 39 judicial nominees includg supreme court justice and 21 circuit court
judges. as senator mcconnell likes to remind us, these judges will serve long after this president's term of offers and perhaps our time even in the senate. this spring we kept a solemn commitment we made to our veterans by making sure they have access to the healthcare choices they need in which we have solemnly committed to provide. none of this would have been possible without leader mcconnell's navigating around the stop signs and road blocks that naturally occur in a place like the senate. unprecedented levels of the way partisan obstruction. but we must not forget that senator mcconnell is a lder erennot only -- not only of our but he's also serves primarily on behalf of the people of kentucky. he doesn't leave his full time job behind when he puts his
leadership hat on. he somehow has to balce the need of both his constituents in ktucky along with the larger needs of the senate and of the country as a whole. it goes without saying that balancing those competing de i extraordinarily difficult. it is not for the faint of heart. but somehow senator mcconnell makes it look easy. he doesn't even seem to break a sweat, amazingly. so that's because people like senator mcconnell are versatile and energetic. on behalf of his fellow kentuckyians, healthcare fix for coal miners and supported military installations like fort campbell and fort knox. he's gotten more resources to strengthen kentucky universities and he's helped his state combat
opioid addiction and even helped a mother get her child back after she was abducted and taken to west africa. these are just some of the recent ways that he has served his state. as we know, senator mcconnell joined the senate in 1984 so one could literally write volumes about his many other contributions over the past three and a half decades. he once said of the senate what is no less true of all of us, we're all imperfect at moments. but we are pmanently endowed with a high purpose. for those familiar with the story of his own life, the sense of high purpose was seen early on. after overcoming polio at a young age, leader mcconnell went on to attend the university of louisville where he served as student body president and where he urged his classmates to march with martin luther king jr. on behalf of civil rights.
he then became president of the student bar association at the law school. this man was clearly born to lead. and what was clear early in his life remains clear today, leader mcconnell is simply relentless. he never stops working. and in his view, we both as a conference and a country still have miles to go before we sleep. in addition to confirming the president's nominees, we have a to do list this year which includes finishing the defense bill this week, passing water infrastructure reform as well as a farm bill, combatting the opioid crisis and authorizing -- reauthorizing the federal aviation administration and the coast guard. none of this is easy. but one thing is certain, with leader mcconnell at the helm, and with the hard work of those of us here in the senate on a bipartisan basis hopefully,
we'll continue to make steady progress on behalf of the american people we serve. so thank you, senator mcconnell for your example. thank you for your mentor ship and for your friendship and ngratulations once again on reaching this historic milestone today. i yield the floor. >> senator from florida. >> mr. president, while senator from kentucky is here, i want to get his attention and just to say at the very comments that the majority whip has said about the senator, i can add to the accolades of the senator from
kentucky by pointing out that he and i have a common trait, a common denominator between us, we both married above ourselves, and the fact that his wife, the honorable elaine chao now our secretary of transportation, former secretary of labor, it is truly one of the remarkable couples in the nation's capital of political leadership. and i congratulate him on the comments from the majority whip today. >> health and human services secretary testified this morning on president trump's prescription drug pricing plan before the senate health, education, labor, and pensions committee. watch the hearing tonight at 10:00 eastern time here on c-span 2.
>> c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies. and today, we continue to bring you unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court, and public policy events in washington, d.c. and around the country. c-span is broughto you by your cable or satellite provider. >> amendments are being held up in the senate on the defense program's bill because of other issues. armed services committee acting chair named three senators who are holding up the amendment process. two of them spoke about why. >> one of the greatest things about our country is the bill of rights. you know, when we passed the constitution, many people were fearfult