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tv   U.S. Senate Sens. Moran Cardin Hoeven Tributes to John Mc Cain  CSPAN  August 29, 2018 1:29am-1:59am EDT

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and meeting rooms. i think we should find a way to honor john mccain in a way that john mccain would have seen fit, and that is we ought to pass a piece of legislation that we wouldn't have passed absent this moment. we ought to come together in a bipartisan way and we ought to do something that makes both political parties really uncomfortable. that was one of the things john mccain was great at. this man is gone and we are surely poorer for it, but we can do something big that's in line with the spirit of how he wanted to disrupt this place. if we wanted to make both parties uncomfortable -- and john was a guy who loved to point both barrels at pwoergt -- both parties i think we could find a way to do that in a way the american people would applaud and i think that would be the right way to honor john mccain. his willingness to take on everybody and all the sacred cows in this town was why a lot of people hated him but more why a lot of more people loved him.
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if we're going to honor his spirit we ought to find a way that's big, disruptive and uncomfortable for washington, d.c. thank you, mr. president. ask te quorum call be lifted. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. moran: mr. president, i join my colleagues today in tribute to our colleague, senator john mccain of arizona. you know, we look for heroes in this world. it seems to me we're always looking in the wrong places and we look at baseball diamonds and basketball courts and amp theaters of stadiums and where performers sing. we fail to look in the right places. sometimes we're with heroes and we don't always recognize it at the moment. but there is no american i know that is more deserving of the title hero than john mccain. those who serve us in the military, they are entitled to
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that honorrive -- honorific, and those who serve our veterans, they're heroes, too. senator mccain lived a liefs in which heroics -- life in which heroics are part of every day. i first met john mccain in 1996 in hayes, kansas, my hometown. senator bob dole, then a candidate for president of the united states, would fly into the airport in hayes near his hometown of russell. this time he had a guest with him, john mccain, who was his campaign chairman in his presidential campaign. i watched the two of them interact and it's really the first time i had the opportunity to see a senator perhaps other than my own two from kansas. senator dole had the greatest regard for senator mccain.
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senator dole wore the p.o.w. bracelet never having known john mccain when he was a p.o.w. but by happenstance chose to wear a bracelet in honor of and respect for, being concerned about a p.o.w. in vietnam. and they learned on the senate floor john mccain -- john mccain learned on the senate floor that bob dole wore his throughout much of his captivity. i respect and honor senator dole and i saw that day the respect and honor he had for a fellow senator, a fellow serviceman, a fellow veteran, both senator dole and senator mccain whose lives were dramatically affected by their service to our nation. quite frankly, when i arrived in the united states senate, i was intimidated by senator mccain.
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he was vitriolic. he had the opportunity, he had the habit of exploding at a moment's notice, something could set him off, something he cared passionately about could cause him to react. and in my early days as a new united states senator, i didn't seek the companionship of john mccain. that was a mistake on my part because despite his prickly nature, knowing john mccain became one of the most valuable experiences i've had in the senate. we began working together on one of those issues that john mccain and no one else in the united states senate could have the stature to deal with. certainly our military men and women, the defense of our nation, but we bonded in our efforts to see that the veterans of our nation receive the care
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that they deserve, that they receive their benefits from the department of veterans administration that they are entitled to, and that they earn through their service to our nation. that work, a mccain-moran bill, became a significant part of the v.a. mission act, and i learned in that experience the dedication that senator mccain has to those who served, to make sure that the mistakes that were made at the department of veterans affairs that may have cost veterans their lives never happen again. initially that resulted in the v.a. choice act, and just recently passed by the house, passed by the senate, signed by the president, the legislation that we named in honor of
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senator john mccain, the v.a. mission act, which replaces and improves the choice act. in that experience of working with senator mccain on behalf of america's veterans, i also got acquainted with senator mccain's staff. and i think it's probably true that we can learn a lot about our colleagues by the people they surround themselves with and the way that a senator treats his or her staff member, and perhaps even more importantly, the way that that staff, those individuals who work for a united states senator treat their boss. and what i saw from those who work for senator mccain was abiding respect, love and care and compassion for united states senator john mccain. it told me a lot about his staff but told me even more about the
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person and character of senator mccain. i also discovered in my time working in the senate with john mccain his abiding love for the people of arizona. senator mccain could be a national figure, was a national figure, could be only a national figure if he desired. he had the stature to be a person that was known not only in the state he represented but in the nation and around the world. and while senator mccain represented the united states well, here in the united states senate and in countries around the globe, you could tell that senator mccain cared and loved the people he represented at home. he respected them. he recognized that they were the ones who gave him the opportunity to perform on a national stage. and he never forgot arizonans.
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i appreciate the way that he and senator flake, his junior colleague from arizona, worked together on behalf of the citizens of his state. so while it would have been easy for john to play only the national figure, he never forgot from where he came. and while much of my comments today have paid my respect to senator mccain for his service to the united states senate, it is his service in the military, in the navy, that is most compelling to me. i've known this story throughout my life and it's been reported and repeated here on the senate floor, but i do not know a person who as a prisoner of war, given the opportunity to be released and to return home to
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family and loved ones, i do not know a person who would say no. i do not know a person other than john mccain who would say no, it's not my turn, no, there are others who are prisoners of war more deserving and in fact on the list ahead of me to be released. what an honor to know a person who puts others so much ahead of himself, to know someone who because of his love of country and love of those who served and his sense of responsibility and obligation to those he served with and who were prisoners of war with him, that he had the character, the values to say no, it's not my turn.
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i wish i knew people, i wish i was one of those, and so today i certainly honor senator mccain for his status and service as a senator, but i admire and respect him for his service to the nation, his service in the navy, and his care and compassion for those he served with. john mccain led a full and meaningful life. he instructed us numerous times about our behavior here in the united states senate. he asked us as americans to behave differently. he asked our country to come together. we desperately need the opportunity for americans to see what they are seeing on the united states senate floor this week. where both republicans and democrats are honoring the life and service of john mccain.
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we need to answer his call. we need to honor his request to make certain that the work we perform is done for all americans. john mccain was a republican, but much more so he was an american. he reminds me of what i see on the monuments and memorials op the nation's mall when i make my trek up to the lincoln memorial and pass the world war ii memorial, the vietnam wall, and the korean war memorial. no one memorialized there fought, died, sacrificed, served for republicans or for democrats. john mccain and those we memorialize on the national mall recognize a higher calling.
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if we could do something that would alter our behavior in respect to john mccain, what a difference we might make in the country. if americans can use this moment to pull together, our country will be better. john mccain led a full and meaningful life. i admired him, i respected him, and i loved him. senator mccain, thank you for your service to our nation. it is a grateful nation. eternal father, strong to save, whose arms hath bound the restless waves. the navy hymn. may john mccain rest in peace. mr. president, i yield the floor.
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mr. cardin: mr. president, i rise today to express great sadness for the passing of senator john mccain. it marks a deep loss for this country, the state of arizona, and above all his family and friends. john mccain was an honorable public servant who sacrificed greatly to serve his country in uniform and as a lawmaker proudly represented the people of arizona. mr. president, i will always remember the bipartisan luncheon that we had. when senator mccain recounted his experiences as a prisoner of war in vietnam. there wasn't a dry eye in our caucus. in my visit to vietnam, i had a chance to visit the hanoi hilton and see firsthand the place where john mccain acted so bravely. he was truly an american hero. i'd like to express my deepest sympathies and condolences to cindy, their children, and their family at this very difficult
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time. in his final letter to americans, senator mccain reminded us that, and i quote, we are citizens of the world's greatest republic, a nation of ideals, not blood and soil. we are blessed and are a blessing to humanity when we uphold and advance those ideals at home and in the world. for nearly a dozen years in the united states senate, i have watched my friend senator mccain live and act by those ideals on behalf of the american people and on behalf of our global community. john was my enduring partner in standing up for universal human rights and advancing core american values. john always expressed his views with passion but respected civility. he represented the best united states senate, working across party lines to get issues resolved. the senate has lost a great patriot and a role model for
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senators. the nation has lost a strong, effective leader for american values. arizona has lost a senator who loved the state and people he represented. and i along with many members, all members of this chamber have lost a friend. today john's faith in american ideals endures with the sergei magnitsky act. with david cato from uganda and roberto conseres from honduras. the many people around the world who have suffered human rights abuses from uncover corruption and fighting for freedom, equal justice, and dignity. it was john who insisted that we ensure corrupt leaders are held accountable for their crimes. he truly believed that public officials have a responsibility to serve and protect their citizenry from harm, and he had a particular disdain for
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officials who chose instead to exploit their citizens for personal enrichment. anyone who knew john knows of his disdain for one of the most corrupt leaders of our time, vladimir putin. it was the putin regime's ruthless torture and murder of sergei magnitsky after sergei exposed their corruption with the regime's repeated attacks on the russian people that inspired senator mccain and i to work together on the magnitsky law. i thank senator mccain for giving me that opportunity, for giving me the strength in developing a strategy where we could, in fact, enact not only the original magnitsky statute but the global magnitsky statute which truly provided u.s. leadership globally. many other countries have followed our leadership. and after vladimir putin attacked our 2016 elections, senator mccain worked with me and others to ensure a new, tough sanction regime against mr. putin and his oligarchs for
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their insidious attack on our democracy. senator mccain fought to ensure our efforts to hold russia accountable for these actions made into law. just last month he joined a bipartisan group of senators again towards the same goal, given mr. putin's persistent attacks on our democratic system. senator mccain and i worked alongside one another to address the genocide against the rohingya community in rokan, burma, orchestrated by the burmese military. last saturday, august 25, marked one year since the outbreak of violence in the western rokan state which resulted in a mass exodus of over 700,000 rohingyan to neighboring bangladesh. in response to this violence crime against humanity perpetrated against the rohingya community, senator mccain and i introduced the burma rights and freedom act. senator mccain would stand up for people anywhere in the world who were victimized by human rights violations. russia dissident vladimir
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karamiso wrote yesterday about john, as an idealist, he believed in his principles and was prepared to stand up for them, regardless of party, convenience, or political advantage. mr. karamiso has been poisoned twice in russia as a result of him standing up against mr. putin. i remember john doing just that during our foreign relations committee 2013 debate on whether to turn arms -- whether we should arm the rebels in syria. he passionately argued that we should do more to support them against bashar assad's butchery. in 2016, as the assad regime mercilessly pummelled rebels in aleppo, mccain said, and i quote, the name of aleppo will echo in history as a testament to our moral failure and everlasting shame, end quote. senator mccain called it the way he saw it. he called it what was happening.
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john also stood for the ideals as a leader on comprehensive immigration reform. i remember first coming to the senate in 2007 and working on comprehensive immigration reform with senator mccain, senator kennedy, and president bush. that legislation ultimately did not pass, but it showed me that senator mccain was a serious legislator who was willing to work across the aisle to get things done. senator kennedy died in 2009 of the same form of brain cancer that senator mccain succumbed to over this past weekend. they both side on august 25. in 2013, senator mccain was part of the gang of eight, along with senator schumer, the bipartisan group of senators who wrote a 2013 measure to overhaul the country's immigration system and border security. i supported that bill which passed in the senate but sadly was never taken up in the house, although we all know there was enough support in the house to pass that legislation. senator mccain believed in
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working together to get things done. he listened, fought passionately for what he believed in, but wanted to make sure we got things done, in the best tradition of the united states senate as the greatest deliberative body in the world. senator mccain lived by that tradition. in his memoir, senator mccain said that his failure to enact comprehensive immigration reform was, quote, a harder disappointment than other defeats. we failed twice and then once more after ted had passed away, despite big majorities in both houses of congress in favor of it. i'd like to say i will try again, but that's not up to me anymore. that's a harder disappointment than other defeats have been because, first, it's something that most americans want and most members of congress know is the right thing to do, end quote. he always calls it the way he sees. he shows his passion but
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respects civility. the united states senate and the american people have lost in john mccain a man who was the very definition of service to his country. i will miss john terribly. i hope all americans will pause today to remember his legacy and admire his courage. mr. president, i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from north dakota. mr. hoeven: mr. president, i rise today to commemorate the life of senator john mccain, along with my colleagues. john's an american icon whose legacy is known not only across our nation but around the world. his belief in american exceptionalism was unwavering and propelled him to a lifelong service to our nation. few have demonstrated john's level of commitment and service to our country.
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both through his bravery serving in the united states navy and his long tenure in congress, he demonstrated his deep love of country. as the son and grandson of four-star admirals, john began serving this country at an early age. he followed in their footsteps, attended the united states naval academy, and was later commissioned as a naval aviator. he served in the vietnam war where he was captured and spent five and a half years as a prisoner of war. and during those years, through torture and misery, he never gave up. he was offered freedom but refused to be released unless every other prisoner was released with him. think about that. flying over vietnam, shot down, ejects from his plane, lands in a lake in hanoi, bruised, terrible shape. put in a prison, clearly in incredible pain, and through it
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all offered an opportunity to go home early. he says no, i'm not going unless all of the p.o.w.'s go. think of the strength of character that takes. it's almost unfathomable. you know, i always affectionately referred to him as the admiral because both his father and grandfather were full admirals. no doubt, senator mccain would have been an admiral had he stayed in the navy as well, but it was just -- just the way that i could recognize his just amazing service in a fun way, in a personal way, but here's somebody that when you talk about serving our country in the military, he just epitomizes that grit, that determination, that strength, that character, that service that we love, respect, and honor so much in our service men and women.
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john's perseverance followed him as he began serving our nation as a member of congress and in the united states senate. he fought fiercely for what he believed in. everybody talks about how when he took a position, he took it -- he took it with a passion. and so whenever you debated him or discussed things with him, when you worked with him, when you were on the same side, when you disagreed, he had that amazing passion that came through and many have remarked on it. it was a remarkable trait. it's part of that warrior in him. for the entirety of his life, john endlessly advocated for men and women in uniform. he served and he served them throughout his life in the senate. working with him to support our service members and veterans is something that i will never forget. what many people will not know about john, though, is his warmth as a friend. you know, you hear about his temper. he could be mercurial, although then he would get over it and he
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would be right back working again. you have heard about his incredible energy. you have heard about his war record. his time as a p.o.w., the things he did as a senator, but one thing that i think you don't hear as often but that was very much true is he had a tremendous, tremendous sense of humor, and that came through so often in his interviews, but he was a warm person. i can rememby would come to my office and want to meet senator mccain, if it worked out time weiss, i would take him -- timewise, i would take him over and we'd go to senator mccain's office. i have someone here who would like to say h.e.u. to john, get a picture and meet him. if he was there, almost every time he'd bring them in and it wasn't a case of getting enough time or getting at quick picture or something like that. invariably, he'd have them come in and sit down and talk to them and take pictures and pretty soon he had aide be taking them all around his office and showing him pictures of his family -- he was so proud of his
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family -- and his grandfather, his father, his -- you know, his momentos is all the amazing things that made up an amazing life. he loved it and he was so warm. i think that's one of the things -- there's so many things that i'll never forget, but that's one that i truly treasure and always remember, that here senator mccain, somebody known across america, around the world, certainly an icon, a colleague obviously to all of us, but somebody that really was a friend, and when he went over and -- and when you went over and you wanted to talk to him about something or take somebody over to see him or whatever it was, you know, he was a friend; he was somebody that was down-to-earth, that was a person that you could connect to ton a real level. that's pretty amazing for somebody who lived such an
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incredible life. we'll miss john mccain. may god bless him. from my wife mikey and myself t john's wife cindy and the entire mccain family, we join with you in mourning his loss and honoring his tremendous memory and legacy. thank you. i yield the floor. >> wednesday would have been the senators 82nd birthday. been the speakers include senator jeff flake of arizona, senator mccain will lie in state with -- where others will pay their respects. hear from his senate colleague and former vice president joe biden.
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that iat 1:00 p.m. eastern after the service, senator mccain's casket will be flown to the basin maryland. friday morning, congress and a leaders -- congressional leaders speak at a ceremony and at 1:00 p.m. the senator's body will again lie in state for visits from the public. saturday at 9:00 a.m. it will be laid at the vietnam veterans memorial. at 10:00 a.m. we will be live with the national memorial service for jet -- senator john mccain. speakers include former presidents george the bush and barack obama. -- george w. bush and barack obama. for the 18th annual library of congress national book festival saturday, starting at 10:00 a.m. eastern. our setrage includes from the washington convention center with pulitzer prize winning biographer.
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also, leadership in turbulent times. as well as the book grant and fox news host brian with his book andrew jackson and the metal -- miracle of new orleans, the battle that shaped america's destiny. watch the library of congress national book festival live on itpan two's book tv saturday 10:00 a.m. eastern. tonight, martha maxell it won the republican nomination and the race to replace jeff flake. of beat former county chair -- chair kelly ward. she also won her primary today. let's listen to representative mcsally's --

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