tv U.S. Senate Sen. Heidi Heitkamp Farewell Speech CSPAN December 17, 2018 5:21am-5:59am EST
right now. an auction which will start thereafter. auctions of the 37, 39 and 47 spectrums starts next year. six gigahertz span for the next generation of wi-fi. we recently finished some rules on earlier this year. spectrum is one part of it. the second part is wireless infrastructure. then it will look very much like -- unlike the 4g networks that of 200 footnstead salt hours, small cells that are relatively inconspicuous and operate at lower power. we want more wireless infrastructure to get into the marketplace. this is a critical part of 5g. getting the wireline infrastructure in place to carry all the internet traffic back into the core of the networks. if we get those three components right, america will and the race to 5g. announcer: watch tonight at eight -- 8:00 eastern.
on tuesday, heidi delivers her farewell address on the senate floor. she was defeated in november and leaves office in january. i wasnk you, in 2000 diagnosed with stage three breast cancer after i got done with treatment i was -- my oncologist told me i have a 20% chance of living within 10 years. think about that. i knew that i have a chance to use what time got gave me for good and noble purposes. to try and do the things that i always thought needed to be done in this country. it is an important lesson for all of you, this gift you have is not your bank account, your greatest gift that you have is the amount of time you have left on this earth. and what you do with that time. to come to the united states senate. i think when we have a world of options and we make this choice
it is so important that become here with purpose. senator,to be named not just for the trappings of office, but for purpose. the truth is i am not supposed to be here. i am from north dakota. a town of 90 people. when i was growing up, my family was 1/10 population. my dad was a world war ii veteran who loved education. read the paper every day. believed in this country. he was never given a chance to go to high school. my family struggled to get by. when you look at it you think about this. you think about a country where somebody from my background could actually become a united states senator. i am a democrat from a very conservative state. small odds and fast prediction was it was only 8%. i got elected to the senate. the fact that i got to serve in this senate for six years is an incredible american story.
people ask at what point do you think well, you came to the senate. i said i was so busy -- busy after i got elected. people wanted to see me who never wanted to see me during a campaign. busy taking meetings, putting together the office. i remember the day i came to that chair the pastor came and gaveled in. i turned around to say the pledge of allegiance. i thought here i am. north dakota. a girl, middle-aged democrat from north dakota. and i am staring -- standing in the senate were not even 2000 people have come before. this is a great and great and good and noble country. with great purpose. with great opportunity. i want every child out there to understand it does not matter, we represent a cross-section of this great country.
we also are not that special. we are not. sometimes i think the american public thinks that if you took what hundred random people and put them in the chairs, they could do better than we could do. the truth is, you all came here with that same noble purpose. you all came here to change america. to do the right thing. i don't care if you sit across there, here, you all came here for the right purpose. the fact i got to serve in the senate is part of a great american story. the story only happens in this country. don't ever forget that. if we lose that opportunity, we will become diminished. i want to offer a few comments. i hope they are not too pre achy. to understande that this has been an opportunity of a lifetime. this process that we go through
is brutal. it is obscene what we do to get here. having done all that work, having taken the first step and we havethat government, an opportunity to not just achieve the title, but to do great and good things for this country. my job here, the work that i have done, has always been to remember who was standing here for. throughout my life i have stood here for north dakota. people that iible serve, i have stood here for the families of disabled children who were terrified they would lose their health care. when i took that vote onvia ford will care act, i saw in their votes, i remember their faces. i remember their tears. i stood here for the men and women of our armed forces.
and our veterans in north dakota who believe that they did a great thing and deserve to be treated respectfully, honorably, and get the benefits that they have earned and too often, they are denied. toeteran should not have come to a congressional office to get the benefits they have earned. too many have to. i'm stood here for retirees. his passions are threatened. the question, if we can spend billions bailing out the failed wall street bankers, can't we just pay attention to the working men and women who are struggling, who are in crisis. literally, the heartbreak of their stories, it is heard across this chamber, the reaction would be overwhelming. many of them are veterans. many of them worked hard and now are broken in the work that they have done. farmerstood here for and i have stood here for native people. know,ny times, as you
have tried to do my best to educate all of you on the challenges of our first americans. our native americans. stood, i think i hope i here for the children of america. because, in spite of how we behave, they truly are our future. they are the people who make a difference for our future. respectingt start that challenge that we have to create a better world, a better world of more opportunity, we will not fix the problems of america long-term. these other people who drive me every day. they are who we serve. not a party, not an ideology. we serve americans. i have spent my time standing and fighting for them and for me, that work will never, never stop. with all that said, i probably a compass. when you look at the time and
opportunity to rise above partisanship, i have found so much common ground with so many members of this body. i am incredibly proud of what we have been able to publish. have applicant -- advocated for native american communities. the very beginning, with senator murkowski, the first bill introduced, it was symbolic for me because we have to do better. withnd great partnership lisa, not just on this, but on other issues. i know her heart. i know that she cares. when you find people care the way you care, you can do amazing things. my legislation to create an amber alert with our colleague john mccain, in indian country became law. we are on our way to passing savanna now. we are going to recognize for the first time the challenge and tragedy of missing in indigenous women. all of this, so, so important. bipartisan legislation to help
crack down on human trafficking online. cage and we bath shut down people who were in fact selling children for sex. think about that. that is a noble act to keep our communities strong and safe. i led a successful effort again with my colleague from alaska that lifts the a inch-old ban on exporting oil. when we looked at enhancing renewable energy. success on both sides. we are exporting literally millions of barrels of oil resulting in energy independence and helping our allies and growing our renewable energy industry. it couldn't happen without colleagues working together.
might be small to this body but huge to the veterans it serves. i got needed funds for flood protection across north dakota nd projects we need. legislation i helped write to provide relief to communs. enator vrable, donnelly, warner. recognizing the challenges of small landers and how we needed to address those challenges. no one thought we needed to get that done but we did. i worked with republicans and democrats. probably the crowning chievement in termses of bip -- bipartisanship. how did that happen? hat ha happened when senator
baracco and senator sheldon white house collaborated and said we can't agree on climate but we can agree on technology outcome. change this is absolutely essential to tackling the problem of carbon emissions in this country. don't say it can't be done. if you can get white house and mcconnell on a bill that involves carbon, that is a good day here. that is a really good day here. want to help to address detrimental impacts of exposure to trauma. childhood trauma and the effect that it has on so many of our children. i worked with so many colleagues, dick durbin who let me take the ball and run with it. i will always be graceful. i worked with cory booker, doing incredible things for children. it is pivotal if we're going to
change outcomes for american families. we have to look at why is it that we do what we have always done and expect different results. i wrote and negotiated the past two farm bills. thank you pat and debbie. i worked with incredible folks, i don't think john bozeman from arkansas. a great story. et alone -- fact in the farm bill we are going pass is it involves cuba. we have lifted the ban to enhance export opportunities to the island of cuba. first time we have addressed cuba in any piece of legislation. i care about the post office and you guys ought to too. we have ignore too long.
for those of you who care about politics, i want you to understand when i think i'll get 20 or 30 hits in the little state of north dakota, i got over 500 complaints about what was happening with our postal delivery. if we can't run the post office, how can we run the country? ask yourself that question. i'm also incredibly proud of what i have done everyday for north dakotaans. in six years i have held over 3,400 meetings in north dakota and washington. my office has provided responsed to over 204,000 north dakotaan who is reached out to me on numerous issues. worked with several agencies getting d.a. benefits, fixing
social security and solving problems with immigration. people ask me what is your greatest achievement in the senate? i like to talk about one thing. it is a native american. he is from spirit lake nation. e is a pipe maker. .n honorable volkswagen -- vocation. korean war. the he was in a prison camp. when he got out. no one knew who he was. there was no documentation o of the fact that he was in the prison of war camp. no documentation that he had been injured. senator dorgan was able to get him his p.o.w. medal.
he also didn't get his purple heart. that bothered him because he had served and he had done incredible things. somebody le to find who would sign an affidavit and said yes, he had been injured. when he presented that purple heart to that veteran, 86 years old rg he got out of his wheelchair and saluted the flag and hugged his medal. you all have the power to do that. you all have the power to make just one little difference. do that and it is a great thing. even though it is not big legislation. so knowing that we are doing the work of the people and knowing that so many north dakotaans have met with me and told me about incredible challenges that they have, incredible obstacles that they face and that you can make a difference, you can help put
food on their table. you can help them remain to be a family. you can help get them he will care. you can do big things but the little things matter too. the little things that affect each one of their lives. despite all the problems we solved during difficult periods of time. there is a huge gap in productivity. a huge gap in economic vieability. a huge gap and as we see the retreat of rural america, we become less in this country. as we see more and more wealth moving to urban areas, we have to address this issue and there are big clouds on the horizon facing this country in rural america. if congress doesn't tackle them head on, our children and our grandchildren will suffer the consequences. this is an urgency that takes center stage for me. always said the thing i wake up
they go about what am i going to do about rural america. i'm one of the few people who does. that's because i represent a tate that is still very rural. en if you live in fargo, you're just one generation from hillsboro or cooperstown. i also want to say that we cannot sustain record debt and deficit. bypartisan challenge. we're the only generation of america and in our history who has inherited from the greats generation, our parents, and we are borrowing from our kids. shame on us. shame on what we are doing right now. the congressional budget office has said our country's debt is headed to the highest level since world war ii.
this will have serious consequences. i urge you to put that before fantasy. fact before fantasy. open your eyes. see this challenge. several months ago when i voted against the tax bill that has greatly contributed to record deficits we now face, i ran into an older man. i had given a speech at the veterans day service. he came up to me and said senator heitkamp. i said yes, sir. he said i want a tax break. i said i want it a lot. he said but not at the expense of my kids. he is still a patriot, that vietnam veteran. he still knows what it means to sacrifice for the nextgen ration. so the federal government needs to be responsible with how they spend their money. i'm grateful that my friend james is here.
we toiled away. make even in spite of our differences how we view our world view on issues. this government needs to be efficient and spend money the right way. we marvel that no one seems to care about it any more than just show up for an occasional meeting. that work can't stop. i hope you find in your work an equal and willing partner and i know for you this is a moral imperative to spend every dollar that gets sent here the right way and the most efficient way and when we can tell the american public we are spending their dollars responsibly, that we are making the right choices we will have many, many more options and we will grow the reputation not only over the united states government but of the united states senate. income disparity is a crisis.
more and more families getting left behind. families making more than 25 time more than what the bottom 99%.ies make much of the recent economic prosperity we have seen in this country has been concentrated leaving much of rural america behind. the administrative trade wars. not something i have been shy talking about is causing an emergency in rural america. i think it is going to cass indicate into a challenge and domino into an economic peril for this country. i'm not saying we don't need to address despair tiss, inequities and trade agreements. i'm saying you don't need a 17th century solution to deal with a 21st century problem. you all have to take responsibility. think about this. think about the unilateral ability of the white house to
impose a tax on the american people and then even more remarkably to create a system at the department of commerce to basically waive those tax. how many would let the president decide who he was going to tax. none of you would. take responsibility. congress needs to take back responsibility for tariffs before it is too late. these markets took years to develop. for agriculture. they are not going to come back at the snap of a finger. when you look at net farm income it will be 13% lower in 2008 with more promise for an increase in income if the future. this will cascade through rural america. i want to sound the alarm that gow goes to the senator who did a wonderful job. being a wife of a family physician who tells me every day, getting his patients
compliant with their hypertension and diabetes and the single big factor is behavior and mental health. that leads to challenges which eads to despair and suicide. only one country is increasing in suicides. that is the united states of america in the developed nations. the rate of death by suicide jump 58% between 199 9 and 016 in north dakota. the challenges that we confront, various pockets of our population whether it is our veterans, native americans or young people. now the growing rate of suicide among the elderly. congress has to take steps. there is by partisan -- for
addressing mental health. can we just sh, as long as i got to soapbox and you all are stening to me, should we start talking about meth amphetamines and not just focused on the opioid addiction? it is the bright, shining object that thea that we always run to. it is a cover story for a much bigger problem that we are not addressing in this country. please, please face the addiction challenge head on in a broader context. i also would not be me if i didn't talk about indian country, facing dire challenges with poverty, abuse and addiction. far too many americans fully understand the challenges in indian country or the importance of tribal sovereignity, treaty rights and cultural heritage .
i've talked about the challenges of runaway and missing people with my colleague susan collins who has been a great partner on so many things that i have done. i think when you find people that like condominium, we can do amazing and good things for the american public. we need to understand that our first americans should not be the last americans. they should not be ignored. when you have a unique, a ique position here, your government, the united states government signed treaty and sovereignity rights. when you look at the disparity, you can't believe we have done right by the treaty. finally i'm going to talk about the crisis of childhood trauma, which i have already addressed. just to give you some numbers,
they may be things you haven't thought about. 58% of all american children have witnessed or been a crime victim in 2014. traumatic experiences like abuse and neglect, witnessing crimes can lead to ongoing severe mental and behavior behavioral he will complications. for native children these are that much more prevalent. when we look at the channels ahead, there are larger issues for congress to confront. members of congress can't just look for a quick win to talk about in their states without taking into account the long-term consequences of their actions. we need to look up and we need to look bigger so that congress is creating a solid future for our children and our grandchildren. if we do nothing, if we do nothing else in this chamber, that would be an important first step. everyone in congress makes their own decisions about how they want to use your time.
it can come down to a few simple questions. do you want to solve problems or motte? do you want to do right by your children and grandchildren? do you want to win a re-election no matter what the cost? do you want to be able to look yourself in the mirror and say i did good today? for those about to join this chamber, seriously ask those questions and i hope you will the p this mantle of needed professors. for many of you all of those priorities are the same. in fact, i thought we should do an sperm. one tuesday, i challenge the needed you. you the democratic caucus and their lunch and the a list of the 10 problems america says they want to solve and have the republican conference do the same thing. i bet if you matched those two lists they would look pretty similar. in fact, they would probably be
identical. when the american people see that you know the problems but you can't find the will to solve the problem they become disturbed. ly the senate only works if we enable it to. each of us need to do our job. we may not always agree. i know senators can work together as i have to get results. i know gridlock and partnership does not have to rule the -- partisanship does not have to rule the day. a little ad lib here. i also think you as senators need to take power back from leadership. too often leadership determines the agenda. we should determine the agenda. i have seen it firsthand. i've seen that we can solve problems whether it is on climb
change advocates and deniers coming together on a carbon bill. it took political courage on both sides, particularly with my colleagues from rhode island. so i don't believe that this country or the caucus is as divided as it seems. all of us serving in congress and across the country want our people to get a good education. they want affordable quality healthcare. a good job that puts food on the table. retirement security. they want all of those things a build an economy, which is the foundation, the bedrock of the might of this country. our economy. people point to the military. the military can't exist without the economic strength of this country. but i think too often politicians create and profit from dividing us. the only profession where people are rewarded for blocking things from getting done.
think about that. it is no wonder the american public has such little faith. i have a novel idea since i joined this chamber. i have been determined to get results and put my faith here above political party. there are others on both sides of the aisle who know how to get things done to. continue to do great and good work. i hope more senator also join them. we also need more political courage in congress. we need members of congress who are willing to take tough votes because it is the right thing to do even if it puts their election in jeopardy. we need people who are not scared to stand up. there are fine lines between representing those you serve and being representative of them. they don't always align. it is why we need to use factors and judgment ask you. ot polls to make those
decisions. stimsimply put. remember decisions you are making, especially on big policy. we'll have consequences well beyond today. i want to tell you about a native american principle called seven generations. it urges decision making in any way to look at how the current decisions that are made in this generation will affect seven generations. the next seven. d to think about how you can look to a much broader purpose. i had a thing i would do in my office. i said look up. what is on the horizon? debt and deficit. a looming retirement crisis. a crisis in education. a crisis in addiction. look up. what are we supposed to do? crisis in infrastructure. in healthcare. look up. what do we need to do that
seven generations people will look back and don't worry about a public opinion poll. you're making decisions for the next seven generations and they have to be the right decisions. all of you know you are better than the outcomes of congress. you are nobler than the petty rhetoric that is bantered about here every day. your reputation importantly is tied to the reputation of every other member. we have no power independent of each other. the greatest power that we have is the collective power of the united states senate. the success of your colleagues is your success. when great and hard things are done you share in the satisfaction of a job well done. it has been a true honor and privilege to serve in this chamber and helping north dakotaans and our country and i'm grateful for that wonderful opportunity.
i made amazing friendships with all of you and i can't talk about it now because it is too hard. i want you to keep fighting for those shared dreams and those dreams you shared with me and those ideas that you had that will move this country fufert. i want you to continue to dream and continue to believe. when i first came here i said i have this really great idea and i told them about it and he said that's a good idea. i said let's work on it. it is a good idea. but it will never happen. out of this to get shared culture of fear believing it can't happen. it can happen. we can do great things when we elieve we can. when we refuse to accept failure. when we refuse to believe that we are somehow limited.
no one is tying you. no one is limiting you. you are a united states senator and collectively you will make a difference. want to thank other people. i want to thank other people. first the capitol police. jokingly only it's not a joke. some of my best friends here are some of the nicest people you're going to meet serve you in the dining room. some of the greatest people are painting walls. say hello. don't just walk by them. they serve you, and they are proud of the work they do so they are wonderful people and i want to thank them for their friendship. i want to thank so many more who care about this place and also my staff who are all here. many of them are amazing people and they are going to go on to do amazing things. i say go to great and good hings. you can do great things. they may not be good things.
we've seen throughout our history, do great and good things and they will. they are amazing. they've given so much and i know you think you have the best staff, but unfortunately i do. [laughter] a lot of them are available, just want to say. i want them to take what they've learned into their future endeavors, and i want to make sure that the legacy we leave is a legacy of service. of who we serve. who we stand for. and finally i want to thank my family. my husband who is toiling in the clinic as we speak. my daughter and my son basin. my six brothers and sisters. i would like to say they have been my rock. finally i want to thank my mom and dad because they taught me and my siblings to stand up for what's right and have our voices heard. i know they are watching me from above and i want to thank them for raising a rowdy,
boisterous and determined crew who remain best friends. my mother and father are strong and i hope i've made them proud. i yield the floor. >> when the new congress takes office in january, it will have the youngest, most diverse freshman class in recent history. new congress, new leaders. watch it live on c-span starting january 3. >> tonight on c-span, former federal reserve chair janet yellen in conversation with new york times columnist paul krugman, talks about the financial crisis, the role of the federal reserve and current risks in the financial markets. >> i think things have improved but then i think there are gigantic holes in the system. the tools that are available to deal with emerging problems are not great in the united states.
take leverage lending, which i talked about. i don't think the banking agencies have sufficient tools. we can deal with that if it is a safety and soundness problem for a bank but if it is a question of selling risky things into the market that can undermine financial stability we don't have a set of tools to deal with that. we're also seeing a lot of pushback against regulation and to some extent, look, after eight years of writing thousands of pages of regulation, it probably should be adjusted around the margins rg particularly smaller institutions. but we're seeing more than that happen now and we are entering again really only a decade after the crisis when there is a huge focus on deregulation. plus i would say it was an
agenda of unfinished work. we made some progress. there was a big to do list of things that still needed to be worked on. i'm not sure we're working on those things in the way we should and then there remain holes and then there is regulatory pushback. >> former federal reserve chair janet yellen and paul krugman talked about the 2008 financial crisis and current risks tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. >> this week on "q&a," sarah churchwell discusses her book behold, america. the entangled history of america first and the american dream.