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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  February 6, 2014 2:00pm-4:01pm EST

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the clerk: cloture motion. we, the undersigned senators in accordance with the provisions of rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate, hereby move to bring to a close the debate on the reed of rhode island amendment number 2714 to s. 1845, a bill to provide for the extension of certain unemployment benefits and for other purposes. signed by 17 senators. the presiding officer: which unanimous consent, the mandatory quorum call has been waived. the question is, is it the sense of the senate that debate on amendment number 2714 to s. 1845, a bill to provide for the extension of certain unemployment benefits and for other purposes, shall be brought to a close? the yeas and nays are mandatory under the rule. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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the presiding officer: on this vote, the yeas are 58. the nays are 40. three-fifth of the senators duly
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chosen and sworn have not voted in the affirmative, and the motion is not agreed to. the majority leader. mr. reid: i enter a motion to reconsider the vote by which cloture was not invoked on the reed of rhode island amendment. the presiding officer: the motion is entered. mr. reid: madam president, for the benefit of all members, we're going to have another vote right now on the other cloture vote that's been scheduled. then the republican leader has said that we can move forward on the baucus nomination at that time. the next two votes, i ask consent they be ten minutes in duration. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection, so ordered. the clerk will report the motion to invoke cloture. the clerk: cloture motion. we the undersigned senators in accordance with the provisions of rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate move to bring to a close debate on s. 1845.
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the presiding officer: by unanimous consent, the mandatory quorum call has been waived. kwet is, is it the -- the question is is it the sense of the senate that debate on s. 1845, a bill to provide for the extension of certain unemployment benefits and for other purposes shall be brought to a close. the yeas and nays are mandatory under the rule. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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the presiding officer: on this vote, the yeas are 55, the nays are 43. three-fifths of the senate duly chosen and sworn have not voted in the affirmative, and the motion is not agreed to.
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the majority leader. mr. reid: i have a motion to reconsider by which cloture was not invoked on s. 1845. the presiding officer: the motion is entered. mr. reid: prior to that, madam president, i ask unanimous consent that i be allowed -- the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. mr. reid: i ask consent that i be allowed to offer a motion to reconsider the previous vote. i know everyone is in a hurry here to get out and i'll be very, very brief. madam president, i want to make sure i'm very clear where we stand. we're one republican vote away from restoring unemployment insurance for 1.7 million americans. 20,000 veterans who have lost their benefits during the last five weeks. we all supported this on this side of the aisle. right now there is one
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republican vote standing between 1.6 million americans and the life line they need to make ends meet. i ask my republican colleagues to think about the woman from nevada, 57 years old. she's couching surfing. younger people know a little bit about that term, but i hadn't heard the term before. she has because she's been forced to understand what it is. going around to friends' homes, apartments, and sleeping on their couch. 57 years old, worked from the time she was 18 years old. she's lost her job, she can't find a job. she's a long-term unemployed. if she had glus just lost her job last week or a couple months ago she could get unemployment but she's out of work for too long to be able to get this. she sold everything she has except her clunker of a car, all her personal things, she did that so, madam president, we could buy gas in case she gets an interview.
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people are just like this in every state. our job is to do right by them. all we need is one more republican vote to step up, do the right thing and cross the aisle. we're going to bring this vote up again sometime. i've spoken to my colleague, senator heller and said dean, let's get this done. tell me what is needed to get this done. i now ask unanimous consent, madam president, that i've consulted with the republican leader and now i ask unanimous consent to move to executive session to consider calendar number 629, the nomination of our friend, max baucus, to be ambassador to china. further, with all of the provisions in effect, i ask all time be yielded back with all the provisions on the previous order remaining in effect. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. the clerk will report. the clerk: nomination, department of state, max sieben baucus of montana to be ambassador to the people's
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republic of china. the presiding officer: the question is on the nomination. is there a sufficient second? there is a sufficient second. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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the presiding officer: are there any senators wishing to vote or to change their vote? if not, the ayes are 96, the nays are zero, one announced present. the confirmation of max sieben baucus of montana to be ambassador to the people's republic of china is confirmed.
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under the previous order, the president will be immediately notified of the senate's action. and the senate will resume legislative session. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from utah. mr. hatch: madam president, i'm really pleased that my colleague and very dear friend, max baucus was confirmed by this body the way he was. he will make a fine ambassador to china. we all know what an honorable, decent man he is. we all know of his abilities. we all know that he's run a very, very tough committee, a very, very important committee, and has done a terrific job in doing so. all i can say, i rise today to wish my good friend, senator max baucus good luck as he
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dpepts to service as the next ambassador to china. we're going to miss max, i don't think it's fair to this body but nevertheless i think it's fair to our country because max will make a great ambassador. senator baucus first came to the senate in 1978 and has the distinction of being montana's longest serving u.s. senator. so as you can see, i've served with senator baucus for a long time, longer than the two of us would like to admit sometimes. and over the years i've come to respect his commitment both to his constituents and to his principles and having worked side by side with him on the senate finance committee, i know a lot about his constituents and his principles. he raises his constituents constantly and his principles, i don't think he ever wavered. if you want to extend his priorities, take a look at the sign on his senate office desk. like max, it is to the point and unequivocal.
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the sign says -- quote -- "montana comes first." plain and simple, not much nuance, the language is pretty dechair activdeclareative. that's max baucus. in his long and distinguished senate career, he always put the people of montana first. both senator baucus and i are westerners and the westerners expect a certain amount of independence in their senators. they expect us to work across the aisle and attempt to solve problems and work together. now, of course, we republicans tend to view that problem solving as less government and democrats tend to view that problem solving as more government. that's not universal but that's where the two sides usually come down. that being the case, max and i have often found ourselves on different sides of some of these issues. however, we share the desire to solve problems and, as max's sign says it, to put our constituents' interests first. senator baucus has always understood that notion very well
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and i'm here to declare that to everybody who listens. as a result, his disposition, particularly as chairman of the finance committee, has been to try to find a way to a bipartisan "yes" rather than a partisan "no." i've always respected him for that, and over the last few years, as i've served alongside max as the ranking member of the finance committee, i've greatly appreciated his willingness to put partisan differences aside for the greater good of all. one objective you could describe senator baucus is one used by his predecessor as chairman of the finance committee, senator daniel patrick moynihan. the term i'm thinking is "indefatigable." whether it was preparing for and running a marathon, walking across the wide expanse of his home state, or working at one of the many jobs he regularly undertook back home in recent visits, max has been indefatigable. he's been a tireless legislator.
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just ask his staff. they'll affirm that fact. as a senator, he was always working. i have no doubt that he'll do the same as our nation's ambassador to china, arguably the most important diplomatic post in the world today. as we saw today, the vote on his confirmation wasn't even close. that's because all of his colleagues know that max baucus is a committed public serve not who will serve the american people with competence, dignity and a tireless commitment to our nation and its interests. i have to say that i feel personally about this nominee and about this nomination. i like max very much. having served with him on the senate finance committee, he has always tried to be fair. he's always tried to consider the other's point of view. he's always tried to consider different ways of solving problems. and he's worked to do so. that's about all we can ask from our colleagues on the other si
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side, either democrats or republicans. i just want to at this time wish senator baucus and his lovely wife melody and, of course, his family the best of luck in this and all future endeavors. as max departs the senate, senator baucus leaves behind a great legacy and really big shoes to fill. so at this particular point, i hesitate to say farewell to my friend, max baucus, but i only say farewell knowing that he's going to go on to the very, very important job for our country where i think he'll do a very, very good job. and he'll have my support as he serves over there and let's just hope that we on the finance committee can do a better job or at least an equivalent job to what max has done to keep these very, very important issues on the most important committee in the congress moving along. i have nothing but respect for
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max. i appreciate him very much. i'm his friend and i intend to continue this friendship as long as we both live. so with that, i just want to congratulate you, senator baucus. i'm proud of you. and i intend to support you while you're there as well. i yield the floor. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from delaware. mr. carper: madam president, the chinese new year began, as you probably know, just a couple of days ago and i don't know a lot of words in chinese but among the words that i have learned is how to say "happy new year." and this is the new year in china, it's a new year for china these-americans in this country as well -- chinese-americans in this country. and the way we say happy new year is -- "speaking chinese." so i say that to my friend. right now the word came out, madam president, that he was -- had been nominated by the
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president for this roll, i'd say to our friend from -- friend from utah, i ran into max and he was about to go into an elevator i think in the hart building. and i said, i know the president's nominated you for this but you can't leave. we need your leadership on tax reform. we need your leadership on s.g.r. fix and doc fix and all these other issues, trade poli policy. you can't leave now. and he said, well, the president's nominated me. and i said, well, i'm going to put a hold on your nomination. [laughter] and he was about to get in the elevator and go away and he put his head back out and said, oh, no, you're not. well, i was tempted to because there's a lot you leave. actually i think you leave at a time when this place is working better and i'm encouraged by it. frankly, i'm encouraged by the relationship that you have kindled with senator hatch. i'm encouraged by the relationship that you've kindled with our friend, dave camp from michigan over in the house as chairman of of the way ways and
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means committee and really have set an example fortress of us. it's eye -- example for the rest of us. it's ironic, the ranking member of the committee and committee chairman are sitting across the aisle from each other. but the two of them, in terms of providing personal examples of the kind of leadership that we -- do as i do, not as i say, because both of you are terrific at reaching across the aisle. principled compromise and get things done of the and i want to mention -- let me just ask and he can just maybe nod his head, but my recollection is when we took up the issue of whether or not there should be a medicare prescription drug program, that was supported by -- initially by senator kennedy and by president george w. bush, i think in the end, the -- the version of that that prevailed was the version i think preferred by president bush. and my recollection is that senator baucus may have gone across the aisle and supported that version of the bill, took
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me and probably another 10 or so democrats with him. not an easy thing to do. i remember going back to delaware. i told him this story before. i went back to delaware and just held a number of town hall meeting, if you will, on that issue. and just got eviscerated by mostly democrats. they were coming to say, how do could you do that? how could you support the prescription drug program, medicare part-d program. and i explained i thought it was a principled program and that it would work. still has an 85% approval rate being, a little higher than ours. if you look at how we're doing in terms of anticipating costs, seven years under budget. seven consecutive years under budget. when the time came to try to find a compromise on comprehensive health care reforming, i remember, you didn't just work with republican colleagues on the finance
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committee, senator grassley, senator snowe, senator enzi, you didn't just work with them for a couple of days to find a principled compromise, you worked with them for weeks, i think months, to try to do that. and ultimately you weren't successful but then led us thraw difficult, difficult -- led us through a difficult, difficult markup in committee. while i know there are reservations and things in the law that we should tweak and change and make it better, but i think in the end your leadership will be vindicated and a lot of americans, just like we do with the medicare prescription drug program, are going to say that was the right thing to do. thank you for the loorp you -- k you for the leadership you provided. as senator hatch has said, this is a personal loss to me. i know to many democrats and republicans. but you leave behind a wonderful, wonderful legacy. and behind me, seated behind me, you leave behind a whole lot of people, and they've all brought their resumes -- no, not really
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-- one or two of them may have. but you have a reputation of surrounding yourself with really good people. i sought to do that. i've always sought to find people smarter than me. my wife always says, it's not hard to find them. they're here today sitting behind us, on the republican side, up in the gallery, a lot of love here. and the i hope you feel it from all of us. and in the navy when people pull up their anchor and prepare to sail off into the sunset or sun rise, we like to say, fair winds and a following sea. fair winds and a following sea. that's what i wish to you and to mel. we're going to miss you here. but we're really going to miss her. and we hope we'll have an
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opportunity to see you again and to work with you again, and we hope the same -- we hope we'll have an opportunity to see mel. we think the world of her. may god bless you. mr. durbin: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from illinois. mr. durbin: i just want to make a brief statement before senator baucus speaks and thank him for his service in the senate, thank him for representing montana and accepting some of the toughest a. signments -- some of the toughest assignments in the united states senate. we have a similarity in our background. we were both inspired to this position by senators who served before us. in your case, senator mansfield, who was an extraordinary leader in the united states senate and an extraordinary man when you consider his contribution to our country, serving in two world wars, if i'm mot not mistaken,
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perhaps in three different branches of the military. an exceptional service, which ended with an ambassadorship to japan. now senator baucus, inspired by senator mansfield, followed in his footprints in representing the state of montana, serving in one of the highest leadership spots in the united states senate and now off to an ambassadorship, which is singly the most important assignment that the united states can make. today this overwhelming vote in the united states senate is a fitting tribute to senator baucus's continued dedication to be a certificate vafnts our naismtion i wish -- to be a servant of our nation. i wish you and mel the best. we hope to get chance to come see you and to work with you to make sure that our relationship with china remains sphrorng many
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year-- remains strong for many s to come. thank you yo for your friendshi. i yield the floor. because because madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from montana. because because let me begin by thanking some of my friends here, senator durbin, hatch, and so many others. i must say to you, your remarks mean a lot to me, but they probably mean more to me than yoithink you know. it means so much. thank you so much for what you said.
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i also want to begin by thank the people of montana. they have given me the honor of representing them in the united states congress for nearly 40 years. actually the understand of this year, it will be -- actually at the end of this year, it will be 40 years. i want to thank president obama very much for the opportunity to serve as ambassador to china. i also want to recognize one of the best teammates and friends anyone could ever ask for, senator jon tester. thank you, jon. there is nothing greater in life than the love of family. i have been an incredibly lucky man. i'd like to thank my wife mel, my son zeno, his wife stephanie, also our children katie and joey. mel, zeno, stephanie, katie understanandjoey, i am so gratel
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you. i am so blessed to have mel in my life, her energy, zest for the life, positive outlook and love have transformed me. i am the luckiest guy in the world because of mel. katie and joey are inspired by their mother. they are great kids, great acheefers chiefers. i think the -- they are great kids, great achievers. i think the last grades i saw, they got all a's. why? because they're inspired by their mother. that's why they do so well, in the best sense of the term. my son zeno is one of the best kids parents could ever wish for. i'm so proud of him, so smart, intelligent, decent. he is currently assistant u.s. attorney living in helena with his wife stephanie. you might have read about the case where a woman pushed her husband off the cliff in montana. he was the lead prosecut prosecn
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that case. i read more about that case from the papers than from him. he keeps his cards close to his heart. stephanie is so talented and special in and the community is so lucky to have her. i thank so much my parents, gene and john baucus. i wish they were here taxed h. today. -- i wish they were here today. growing umon a ranches you lrn the simple lessons. you learn to cherish the land. you work hard. it is humbling. so much you cannot control working on a ranch. you can't control the weather, whether it will rain or not rain. er you can't control the prices. gives you a little perspective about life. on the ranch you're encharged with nurturing life, nurturing livestock, protecting the small part of nature's bounty.
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one of the obligations you learn as a rancher. also the montana way to love the outdoors. we are outdoors people in montana. we hunt, fish, backpack, hike, we grow crops, raise livestock, mine coal, cut timber, recreation -- we're outdoor peesm i think montanans are outdoor people more than any other people in the country. we love it. it becomes part of our soul. as montana writer bud guthrie said, "i am part of it, a mortal partner to eternity." i grew up this way, and it shored up my belief that we all have a moral obligation to our kids and grandkids when we leave this place to leave it in as good a place as we found it. that is also a lasting gift from my parents. my mom was one of the most
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special persons one could have the privilege to know. she has the class of grace kelly and the spurchg of katherine help bun. intelligent, classy lady. always positive, upbeat, nurturing, so well-he haread. mom, what are you reading? she'd tell me all about the book. when she was readin reading pret obama's second book, what do you think about that book? oh, it's pretty good. he has something to say. she wrote a note to the president. he wrote back. they became pen-pals. someone asked a me what my mother would have thought of all this? though i miss her every day -- in fact i talk to her every day at 5:00 in the afternoon, that hour goes by daily. she is he's always on my mind.
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as is my father. he loaded bombs on airplanes in europe during worl world war iia product of the great depression, instilled in me the values of hard work, humility and faith. he worked me hard on the ranch. i know why he did it. the right reasons. i didn't complain. i knew that he was trying to raise me in a way that he hoped would help me later in life. he was also such a decent person. no one ever spoke an ill word of my father -- ever. such rock-solid characteristic. the republican party in montana, madam president, even asked him to run for governor. he didn't want anything to do with t he didn't care about that politics stuff. he is a rancher and just liked what he was doing -- ranch ago. i am so blased t so blessed to t parents.
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50 yearparents as a college stut stanford, i decided to take a year off from my studies between my junior and senior year. i grabbed a knapsack and hitchhiked around the world -- one year. it was june -- when was it? august 1962 to august/september of 1963. i set out to discover countries i'd only imagined -- india, china, japan. before i departed, i never thought about a life of public service. but that trip opened my eyes. it charted my course. i realized how people across the globe were interconnected. we're all in this together. i saw the indispensable role that america plays as a leader on the world ^staeupblg. i-- on the world stage. it was so obvious. i knew right where i was in the middle of that congo. we're so equity cd. the natural resources are
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diminishing. somehow we have got to work better together if we're going to have better lives. we're so connected. the world is getting smaller and our natural resources are in fact diminishing. we have to find way to work better together. i returned home with a commitment to improve the lives of my fellow montanans and all americans. madam president, i would not be standing here today had it not been for that trip where i hitchhiked around the world. probably the most defining era of my life. it was by far the most consequential. that one year set in serie motia series of things that would change plief. when i first ran for office in 1973 no one knew me from adam. i'd been away from the state for many years. i neat needed some advice.
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i met mike mansfield when i was in high school. instantly there was a man that i totally respected, honored, and planted the seed of public service. it wasn't the defining moment, but i could tell at the time. he told me i should run. i should go back home to serve. i was working at the s.e.c. if i wanted to run for congress, he said, it was take a lot of hard work and shoe ledger and a little bit of luck. i took his word seriously. i wore out as much shoe ledger as i knew how. i walked the entire state up to the yak, a remote part of montana, up near the canadian border. goi thi got to know so many gret people who put me to work for them in the u.s. house later. it was right in the middle of the watergate political scan dax
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i joined a congressional class determined to restore class in government. they were just great the watergate class. i think of chris dodd, tom harkin, paul simon, henry waxman, george miller, just to name a few. a great class runnir office and serving for the right reasons. when i hitchhiked across the globe as a young man, i also realized no country has a monopoly on religion, culture or virtue. we're all together. we're all people. we're all in this together. and all people basically have the same dreams for their family. to put food on the table, make ends meet, take care of their kids, health care they can afford and a clean environment for their families to explore and enjoy. the united states senate can make people's dreams a reality. we're so lucky as americans to have this institution under our
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constitution, written by very perceptive forefathers. it offers what few institutions in the world can boast, the opportunity to make a difference when history calls. one of the greatest privileges i've had in this job is having one of the best staffs on the hill. they are sitting behind me, some of them. they are just terrific. they have always been ready with big ideas and dedication to answer history's call if there is a vanguard or vision, my staff has been in it. i might say parenthetically, i'm very proud of my staff for another reason. high office has spawned about six marriages -- my office has spawned about six marriages. a woman or man working in my office, didn't know each other until they started working in my office and got together and got married, six times. and they've all worked but for one. now i don't know, maybe i worked them too hard or not hard enough, but whatever the reason, over the years after they
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married and see their kids, it's just terrific. it's meant so much to me. how many people do you think have served in our office since the time i've been here? the answer is 1,423. 1,423 folks have worked on behalf of montana and behalf americans, each person making a positive difference in the lives of others, and i thank them all so very much. in the years i've been here the united states senate voted to send our sons and daughters to fight wars overseas, protect our national security. i think the strongest human instinct is self-preservation. when you come from a beautiful place like montana and the wonderful people of our state, you'll stop at nothing to defend it. montana has a proud tradition of answering the call to serve. in fact, more montanaans have volunteered for service per capita than nearly any other
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state in the nation. my own nephew phillip got called to enlist in the marines and he's far away in the anbar province serving our country. i loved phillip like a son. his fellow marines looked to him for support, counsel, advice and leadership as they faced fire fights. he made lance corporal in report time. he gave his life to our nation and returned to the family ranch for the last time. phillip left behind big dreams undone and countless broken hearts. dust to dust, we still shutter. president lincoln precluded the second inaugural nation with the call of the nation to care for widows. here in the senate, we have made a lot of progress. we enacted tax credits and businesses that hire veterans,
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the new g.i. bill. in the past ten years congress doubled support for the v.a., an investment we should be proud of. someone once wrote in war there are no unwounded soldiers. it is important we remember that. we make the tough votes to authorize war. we must also find the courage to band together so our troops return to a nation that honors our service. of all the bills i've worked on there are two that stand out. the national guard version of the national model to improve ptsd screening. it worked so well, i got it into a defense bill and it is being enacted nationwide. to make sure we do our best to protect kids coming home. the new screenings resulted in more than 800,000 service members who received personal and private one on one attention from a trained health care
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provider both and after deployment. these screenings are saving lives. i'm also proud of another lifesaving bill, the affordable care act. it's been almost four years since president obama signed that act, signed it into law. in that time the law has done more than any other in the past half century to expand access to health coverage. he has provided 71 million americans free preventive service. more than six million seniors receive discounts on vital prescription drugs. more than three million young people have peace of mind knowing they are allowed to stay on their parents health plans, especially proud that now no child -- no child -- can ever be denied health care coverage because they have been sick or had a preexisting condition. it's been a tough road. it has been a challenge i'm proud to have taken on. while the debate over the law continues, i'm proud to stand up for it because it is helping millions of americans. take julie from helena.
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she wrote she is self-kphraoeupbd -- self-employed and able to get access to health care coverage because of the a.c.a.. take john from phaou sue la's -- missoula's who daughter has cancer. thanks to the a.c.a., she can get coverage. in this chamber there are brilliant men and women with great respect for my colleagues, i insist the most important respect, senators are just ordinary people. big, not so big; tall, short, men and women; we're just people. it is only through the extraordinary institution of the senate that ordinary people have the power to make life better for all americans. we belong to something bigger than ours. when i first came to the united states senate, senators from opposing parties had lunch together in the private senate
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dining room. it was called the inner sanctum. in those daily rituals we learned about each others' families, home states and developed real friendships. senators dined together. no staff, no spouses. just senators, both sides of the aisle. compared notes, talked about our kids, talked about family, talked about legislation. get to know each other. it was wonderful. build trust, confidence and understanding. it was the backbone of respect we relied on. those friendships provided a refuge from the political firestorms and common ground to return to after disagreements of the day. now schedules are packed with caucus meetings and political fund-raisers. the senate is losing the spirit of friendship and forgiveness. in the words of theologian ronald liber. the final oil of friendship is the final oil of harmony which
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rests upon contrition. their actions are interpreted in different light by our friends as well as our foes. friendship and forgiveness, that's the oil that human relations brings us together. there is nothing inevitable about this trend. the hope of this body lies in the hearts of individual senators. the hearts set upon solutions to problems that win over the heart devising traps for political gain. it is my honor to have friendships that form the basis for solving some of the nation's most difficult problems. i'll never forget working together with the late senator john chafee in the environment and public works committee. i worked with john for years before finding out he was an amazing war hero decorated for his service in korea. he didn't tell us that. it took years before i learned
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what a hero he was, self-effacing kind of guy. few people knew about this record because he didn't brag about it or use it for political gain. he served because he believed in it, not because he thought he would get credit for it. without a doubt, we need more john chafees in the world. between 1989 and 1990, we sat together in a small room just off the senate floor facing wave after wave of unhappy senators until one or two in the morning. he was the ranking republican of the e.p.w. committee. i became chairman of that committee. together we met with our colleagues ironing out compromises on acid rain, ozone depalatial, and -- ozone depletion and scores of other issues. senator chafee later became chairman of the full committee. we had agreements but by and large under senator chafee's chairmanship i recall an oasis of civility. that friendship has helped us pass the clean air act of 1990.
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i'm very proud of that effort. and i was chairman of the committee at that time. it finally passed. it's a small point, but i always respected that he never raised his voice. always civil, always decent, always positive, upbeat, trying to find a solution here. john never lost his temper. he listened carefully to the other person's point of view. he was a paragon of a united states senator. as is my good friend from iowa, another, chuck grassley. chuck and i began our friendship by deciding to meet weekly, face-to-face, his office, my office. it turned out to be 5:30 every tuesdays. we'd bring our staffs together. pretty soon our staffs started talking to each other, health care staff started talking to each other, tax staff started talking to each other. heck, we were basically one office. if you were a fly on the wall you would think this is one office people trying to get
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together to solve problems. chuck a republican, i'm a democrat, we have differences but our goal is to solve problems, find solutions, adhering to our principles. our friendship led to a culture of respect and honesty on the senate finance committee that helped us pass important agreements and other bills to expand trading opportunities with the rest of the world. i'm especially proud of our work together to successfully shepherd through the medicare modernization act of 2003. senator carper referred to it just a short while ago. i also would like to thank my good friend dave camp. dave is chairman of the house ways and means committee. we've worked together a lot over the last couple of years on tax reform. we've bridged the partisan divide to help past the most recent highway bill and the payroll tax cut. dave's a super, super american, a wonderful man. michiganders are very lucky to have him. also a terrific honor working with my good friend senator
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orrin hatch. orrin, dave and i just recently worked together to introduce trade promotion authority legislation to make congress a full partner in trade negotiations. in trade as in so many areas, working together is the only way to get the job done. madam president, it is a real american over here, orrin hatch. he's a solid, utahan, cares about the state and his country. just a wonderful person to work with. i can't thank him enough. thank you, senator hatch. in 1961 elect john kennedy said our government and every branch must be a city on the hill, men aware of their great trusts and great responsibilities. if we are indeed a city on the hill, it rests firmly on the bridges senators built when they face even the deepest of
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divides. i mentioned my closest friendships across the aisle because it is those bridges that we lack the most today. the epiphany i had as a young man hitchhiking around the world 52 years ago i believe is even morell srapbt today. -- more relevant today. advances in technologies and communications made us more interconnected as ever, ever before. the challenges of globalization bind us together even more. climate change, we're all in this together. terrorism, economic development, education can only be addressed with good faith and a commitment to finding common ground. i am committed in my next chapter to meet these challenges. the united states-china relationship i believe is one of the most important bilateral relationships in the world. it will shape global affairs for generations. we must get it right. 30 years ago mike mansfield said farewell to this institution by
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simply declaring -- quote -- "there is a time to stay and a time to go." now as i face my own crossroads, i'm humbled to have the opportunity to follow in his footsteps. as america's ambassador to japan, mansfield worked hard to strengthen and improve america's relationship throughout asia. i'll try to do the same. many of you know i love to run. i've actually got my eye on the beijing marathon. but to be more honest, let me get it down to the half marathon, something shorter. the thing about my next endeavor reminds me of what a professional runner paul terget once said ask yourself, can i give more? the answer is yes. i can give more. we all can. i thank president obama for asking me. i'm deeply energized to serve america in this new role and look at this as my sprint to the
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finish. my final message is not for my esteemed peers but for the young people chasing their dreams across the montana high line or climbing toward their future ÷long the rocky mountain front. headlines paint the picture that there is no honor in public service. i disagree. i think the greatest noble human endeavor is service, service to friends, service to family, to church, synagogue, public service is the most noble human endeavor is service. so i urge you young folks to take up that challenge that politics is not an honorable profession. it's more than honorable. it's an obligation to serve. i urge you to follow and serve. choose to serve others. for me, it has been the honor of a lifetime. i'm so lucky. and be ready because history is
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calling. it is with deep gratitude and respect that i say for the last time with the full faith and highest forms of the senate. i yield the floor but before doing so, i just have to say i'm not going anywhere. i'm just taking a trip, maybe for a year or two, across the pacific. it's a trip. i'll be coming back. we all are together, different journeys that we take. i thank all of you, my colleagues. i yield the floor. mr. wyden: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from oregon. mr. wyden: before he leaves the floor, i just wanted to make a few comments about senator baucus. our part of the world has sent
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to the senate some of our most distinguished and thoughtful members. the great pacific northwest sent wayne morris from my home state to the senate and warren magnuson and scoop jackson of washington state. i noted senator cantwell was here. and frank church of idaho was sent to washington. and mike mansfield of course, senator baucus' mentor and pioneer in terms of promoting closer relations between our country and asia. the first thing i wanted to say, madam president, i think it is very fitting that max baucus this afternoon joins that very special group of senators from our part of the united states. second, i do want to caution
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senators on one point. the distinguished senator from utah and i have had a little bit of a laugh about this. max is exceptionally friendly, and he always tells senators our paths are going to cross again. i look forward to working with you in the days ahead, and senator hatch and i just want everyone here in the senate, however close you are to senator baucus, that doesn't mean that every senator can insist that max come back from china to talk about the latest twist in the debate about currency manipulation or some other issue. and the last point i wanted to mention, madam president, is a personal one. when you're here in the united states senate for more than three decades, you deal with scores of bills and amendments,
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and you talk about coalings that were built to pass the measures that needed to be passed, and from time to time you had to build a coalition to stop something that shouldn't be passed, but what i wanted to do out of those thousands of bills, thousands of amendments is talk about a special baucus commitment that was especially important to me, and that is the needs of senior citizens. max baucus has some particularly celebrated wins in the fight for seniors, something that the president of the senate is very involved in. the reality is the person who did more to stop the privatization of social security here on the floor of the united states senate was max baucus.
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he was the one who led the coalition. he reached out to senators of both sides and said look, of course we need to save more for private retirement savings. we're going to do that on top of social security, not as a replacement for social security. and senator baucus was there building that coalition, making the case for why this special program, this intergenerational program has been so important for our country. what i remember best about senator baucus and seniors, though, is when the finance committee blew the whistle on some of these rip-offs in supplements sold to older people, and eventually these supplements really became the
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delivery system for medicare as we know it and much of the country. senator cantwell and i of course know the medicare advantage program. we would have hearings, madam president, in the finance committee when we would hear about efforts in the private sector to sell health insurance to seniors that was not worth the paper it was written on. and i remember kind of bringing my gray panther roots into the cause and talking to max about this change and that change, and it would get pretty dense pretty quickly, and max just said this is wrong, this is wrong to rip senior citizens off this way, and we were able to get those changes and the consumer protections that max baucus locked into the law for the nation's vulnerable seniors essentially remain the
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protections today, madam president, that are used as the model for senior rights. senator cantwell and i since we are both on the committee also know that in the budget discussions when it came time for hard choices, max always made it a priority to stand up for what are known as the dual eligibles. the seniors that are the most vulnerable, the seniors that don't have the political action committees and don't have clout and can't participate in all of what we normally think of as today's politics from fundraising to all of the grassroots work. and i close simply by saying that when you see somebody week in, week out stand up for the most vulnerable people in our society like those dual eligibles, you learn a lot about what a person feels strongly about, what values are important
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to them. and so i just want to close by way of saying that when we talk about the senators from our part of the world -- and senator campbell remembers so well the legendary warren magnuson, scoop jackson. i met him for the first time when i was director of the gray panthers and had a full head of hair and rugged good looks. max was always there on those issues year after year after year. and i hope today as we reflect on those contributions and certainly all the bills and amendments that he offered in the senate finance committee, i hope people will also remember that there is a reason why max belongs with those distinguished senators i mentioned from the pacific northwest, is because he had a heart for people, he had a heart for seniors, he had the
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values that i think represent the best in public service. and with that, madam president, i would yield the floor. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from washington. ms. cantwell: madam president, i, too, want to come to the floor and say goodbye to our colleague from montana and wish him well in his new endeavors as the ambassador to china, something that the pacific northwest cares greatly about, and so i know that we will be working with him in his new capacity, but it really is a very historic moment for all of us and certainly for those of us in the pacific northwest. i will never forget max and i riding back to our offices on a subway once talking about the inland empire and i think people thought we were making something up, but that is what we refer to our part of the country and the interior is this huge economy that's built on agriculture, that's built on trade, that's built on natural resources that we hold so dear and that we
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fight for. and to come to the united states senate and sit in the seat that scoop jackson once held and think about how do you have the wherewithal and ability to remember all of these things that scoop and maggie and everybody fought for and to know that the incarnation of that is right there in max baucus, the person who worked with them, who saw them, who then carried that torch on these important policy issues, to me is so important to recognize today because he really is a legislator in the mold of magnuson and jackson, and i want to thank max for one thing in particular. that is, doing deals. you know, around here, people criticize sometimes doing deals, but you know what? the art of compromise and moving our country forward requires that. and max became a model deal maker in the context of these
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important policies that we have worked on. whether it was the modernization of the trade legislation for dislocated workers and expanding that program and making it more robust because it needed to be modernized or whether it's some of the changes that we've made to the chip program because certainly the children's health insurance program, i can tell you he helped us, particularly in washington state, in making sure that we had our fair share, but just in chip in general. i can't say enough about chip as a program. you know, when you get discouraged around here about what are we actually getting done or what problems are we solving, if you think of nothing else but chip and just the children's health insurance program literally giving health insurance to millions of children across america who wouldn't just automatically get health insurance, this job is worth it right here and now.
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so i want to thank max for that and certainly on the affordable care act, i have often said that max applied his marathon skills to the patience of job in actually crafting that legislation. i think we probably worked every day for two years in committee to make that legislation a reality, and it took a lot of patience. many times late at night. i would have lost my patience with the process and our colleagues, but max didn't. the end result is this country's moving forward on major health care policy that i know 30 or 40 years from now will be in the same category as our other key programs of social security and medicare as a foundation and as a base of what we are doing to make sure that people have affordable health care in this country. so max, i want to thank you for the staff that you have hired as well because the finance committee, while we didn't always agree on every single
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policy, also came to the table ready to make things happen, and i certainly appreciate that, and so i -- to my colleagues, i feel like we really are losing a piece of our institution today and somebody who really understood the issues that i care about in the pacific northwest and somebody who really knew how to make things happen. so i know our path forward here is a new course for the finance committee, but i hope we will continue in the way that max brought forth issues, because in the end it is about improving the lives of people that we represent, and that means that we're not always going to agree, but we are going to have to put ideas on the table, and we are going to have to get them passed into law. so max, as you go across the big pacific, i know you will remember us, but we'll be looking to you, too, because there is a lot we have to get done. i know as you're running around beijing, you will have that little app that they now have
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that shows the level of pollution in bay ginning. it comes right off of the u.s. embassy. you will be talking to the chinese about how we have to work together on a clean energy strategy, and we'll applaud you for that. but don't forget all of us here because there is a lot of work to be done. but we're very proud to call you a former colleague and a key leader in the history of the inland empire. thank you very much, max. and i yield the floor. i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call: the presiding officer: the senator from wyoming. mr. barrasso: i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. barrasso: i ask unanimous consent to speak for up to ten minutes as if in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. the senator from wyoming is recognized. mr. barrasso: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, this past sunday before the super bowl, president obama sat down for an interview. the president was asked about the failure of his went. he talked about -- with respect. he said this a


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