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tv   U.S. Senate U.S. Senate  CSPAN  December 4, 2018 2:29pm-6:17pm EST

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we need resolve on the part of european friends, keeping sanctions in place over annexation of crimea but this kind of behavior makes it difficult if not impossible to see progress with russia on other fronts and that's -- that's something that i think the president has made clear in his conversations with european allies as well. >> but -- >> all of this wall street journal conversation at will also share some of that later. the senate has gaveled in and postponeed to be member of regulatory commission, cloture vote then. later this week, following house action short-term two-week spending bill to extend funding for the federal government past friday's midnight deadline, averting shutdown until december 21st, we expect
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speeches this afternoon in memory and honor of the late president george h.w. bush who continues to lie in state in capital rotunda, senate coverage here on c-span2. .. .. the chaplain: let us pray. almighty god, who has given us this good land for our heritage, help us to be grateful for your favor and eager to do your will. bless our citizens with honorable work, sound learning,
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exemplary conduct and faithful service. keep our senators true to you. use them to defend our liberties and to unify our nation for the good of humanity. lord, give our lawmakers the spirit of wisdom that they may work for justice, as they strive to approve what is excellent. inspire them to glorify you in all they think, say, and do. we pray in your merciful name, amen. the president pro tempore: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to our
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flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the leadership time is reserved. under the previous order, the senate is in a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten
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minutes each for debate only. mr. portman: plop? the presiding officer: the senator from ohio. mr. portman: mr. president, today i want to talk about the loss of a great american. i want to talk about george h.w. bush. i was just watching on c-span coverage of what's going on in the rotunda right now, and there are hundreds of people crowded around his casket paying tribute to this great man. they've been there all day. they'll be there all night. friends of mine from ohio are here in town who never met him
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but knew of him and are inspired by him. we're all inspired by him. george bush did it all. he was a war hero, youngest naval pilot at age 18, shot down over the pacific. he was the last president, by the way, to serve in combat. he was also a member of the united states congress and proud of that. prior to that, a successful business leader in texas. he was an ambassador to the united nations. he was c.i.a. director. he was envoy to china, the first one. he was vice president of the united states, and he was president, of course, during one of the most momentous times in our nation's history. what a life. in his absence our country is losing a lifelong patriot, a guiding voice, and really the embodiment of the very best of america. for me, president bush was also
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my mentor. i was very blessed early in my career to have been able to work for him. he brought me into his white house when i was a young man trying to figure out my way in life, and i would not be in this crazy business of politics but for him. not just because he gave me opportunities to work for him but because he showed me that you could do this work of public service and politics with honor and dignity and respect. he showed that nice guys can finish first. he showed that his approach, kinder and gentler, as he would call it in 1988, was something that indeed you could achieve here, even in the halls of congress. so i have a special reason to be so grateful. also so sad about his departure
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because i relied on him for advice and counsel, and he rarely give it proactively. but when asked, he always had the wisdom of years and the judgment that so many of us will miss so badly. he took a chance on me as a young lawyer from cincinnati, ohio, to come into his white house as associate counsel to the president. he then took a chance on me to join his legislative affairs team to be director of the white house office of legislative affairs. to be frank, i was not particularly qualified for either job. i had only worked on the hill briefly as an intern. i was not nearly as distinguished as the other members of the legal team who had been mostly supreme court clerks. but it made me work all the harder to try to earn his respect. he didn't just give me a job. he taught me about being a
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leader, a public servant, being a better husband and father. he showed me what servant leadership meant, what it looked like in practice. and i try to work every day to live up to that example. one of the most decent and honorable people i've ever met, politics or otherwise. he saw himself as a servant. that's what motivated him. he saw him satisfies a public certificate -- he saw himself as a public servant. that sense of service, duty, and patriotism was why years later after a successful business career he decided to put it on the line, run for the united states congress. by the way, i've noticed this week there's been a lot of discussion about all of his successes, and there are so many. but one thing people might forget is that he was also resilient. he had setbacks in his life.
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certainly the death of his beloved daughter robin at the young age was one. but he ran for the senate race in texas and lost. he didn't give up. he was resilient, he was tough. when he was asked to serve as u.n. ambassador, he took up that task because of his devotion to service. when he was asked to chair the republican national committee during a particularly tough time for the republican party -- not a task most people wanted to take -- he took it on. when he was asked to become the first envoy to china -- again a big challenge -- he knew it was the right thing to do for the country. and, of course, at the c.i.a., he stepped into a difficult situation. morale was low and he turned things around. when he was appointed as c.i.a. director, there had been a lot
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of hearings here on capitol hill. they were called the church hearings. the c.i.a. was under fire, big time. and morale was low. it was a difficult period. he stepped in precisely because of that. and during his tenure at the central intelligence agency, he made the c.i.a. stronger, he built a special bond with the employees, he put some reforms in place that were important. widely credited by everyone as having restored a sense of pride in that important agency. i'd heard that repeatedly. and when i got elected to congress in 1994 -- by the way with the help of president george h.w. bush and barbara bush, both of whom came to speak and helped out on the campaign by just lending their good names. barbara bush even did a radio ad for me that i think is probably
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the reason i won. she was probably the most popular person in america at the time. but when i got elected, i looked at the c.i.a. complex in northern virginia -- then called langley; it is still in langley, virginia. i had not heard from everyone. and i had heard from so many about their respect for him, career people. people who had worked there for years had proposed naming the c.i.a. after him and proposed legislation after him in 1999. today that headquarters has been renamed under that legislation, the george bush center for intelligence. i remember being at the ceremony when him when the naming was changed and just the love and respect that he had from the people at that agency. i remember him telling stories, including stories about why he took the job and how much he respected the people there and the work they did and how in
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many respects they were on the front lines for all of us. i remember stories being told about him including one i will never forget, which is that directors for years had gone into the c.i.a. and then taken their own private elevator up to their office, which makes sense. it's a big job. george bush wouldn't take that private elevator. he insisted on going on the employee elevator every morning. why? as he said to me later, because i wanted to hear what's going on, hear from the employees, hear from the officers. but i think it was more than that. i think it was because he wanted them to know he was part of the team. that was his approach to everything he did. vintage george bush. he did it with grace and dignity, bringing people together, working in a bipartisan manner, stood for what he thought was right, but he understood that other people had other points of view and respected that. he carved out an interesting role as vice president of the united states, unprecedented in
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terms of his ability to work with the president, work with the cabinet, work with foreign leaders. ronald reagan was there, of course, during autism intense international politics when -- during a time of intense international politics when the cold war was coming to an end. as george bush said during president reagan's funeral, he learned more from ronald reagan than inhe had encounter in you will after his years of public service but he also served ronald reagan well. as president, then george bush was responsible for taking this end of the cold war and being sure that it worked well, not just for us but for so many millions of people around the world. he led our country through some great change there, not just the end of the cold war but the berlin wall came down. i was working for him at thest, and i -- at the time, and i remember the excitement about it and the sense that he should
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give a boastful speech and talk about how america had finally prevailed. he was hesitant to do that. he didn't want to spike the football in the end zone. instead, what he wanted to do is ensure that transition was handled properly. the reunification of germany was a very controversial issue. he knew it would be in the interest of the world to reunilateral nigh east and west germany, but he did it carefully, diplomatically, with respect. he knew that mikhail gorbachev was in a tough position and so he handled the fall of the wall and, more importantly, the transition in eastern europe and central europe -- again -- with diplomacy and with respect for gorbachev and the people, the millions of people who were affected. of all the major events in which he played a role as commander in chief, i think that in some
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respects was the most important one. if you go to eastern europe or western europe today or central europe, all of them have a positive view of george bush and the role he played and america played during that time period. maybe the most well-known role he played as commander in chief was desert storm. there he showcased his abilities not just as a president but a president who had served in combat himself. he understood the need to bring people together. in this case, other countries. to ensure a successful result. think about this. over 40 countries were involved in desert storm. hundreds of thousands of troops, all to stop the aggression of saddam hussein in the middle east. he knew saddam hussein had to be stopped. it was within his moral fiber that he couldn't sit back and watch one country move into a
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smaller country, take over in this case the country of kuwait. so he knew there had to be decision by america to lead this incredible coalition of countries all around the middle east and the world. but he also knew that he had to get the american people behind him. i remember at that point i was director of the white house office of legislative affairs. our job was to ensure that we could support the president up here on the hill. a lot of people were giving hadn't advice not to seek approval from congress for that conflict. the fear was that congress would say no. there was a lot of pushback. and the consensus was it had to be done. but george bush believed that it was important to involve congress, for two reasons. one, he believed in the institutions of our democracy. he believed congress played an important role. second and maybe even more important to him, as a world war ii vet, he wanted to get the american people behind it.
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he didn't want to repeat what he viewed as some of the mistakes in previously conflicts, vietnam in particular where the american people were not with our troops. so he wanted us to go to congress to seek that approval, and it was a fight. i was up here on this very floor, the united states senate, trying to persuade people to do the right thing to ensure that saddam hussein could be removed from kuwait, people could have a chance in that country to find our own -- their own destiny. that vote was won by three votes, three votes if three members of the senate had voted the other way, we would not have received that approval. it was close. but as i look back on it, i must say george h.w. bush did the right thing. of course, we won the vote which makes that easier, but the point is he insisted that we get the american people hyped that conflict, and it -- behind that conflict, and it ended up being
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not just a relatively popular military fight, which was successful, but one where the american people understood, because of the debate that happened here on the floors of congress, the house and the senate, what the stakes were. he never chose to do things just because they were easy. the easy thing would have been just to go ahead without seeking the approval of congress. he made his decisions on what he thought was the right thing to do, and that's the kind of man he was. there has been a lot of talk this week about his thousand points of light proposal. the thousand points of light foundation continues today, incredibly good work all over the country, people volunteering to help fellow citizens. he believed that everybody had a responsibility and an opportunity to be part of the change that moves our country forward to a better and brighter future, and that's what points of light was about. that resonated with so many americans and continues to spur
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action and encourage cooperation, and people give up their time, their service. i do think, though, it's just as important to have some bright guiding light as it is to have the thousand points of light, and that's what he provided. he was the guiding light, as an example for all the rest of us. throughout his incredible life, he didn't just tell us what it meant to lead, to serve others, or to be guided by what is right. in fact, that was not his style. it was certainly not to lecture. he didn't consider himself a great philosopher. he led by example. he showed us. and, again, i will be forever grateful for that. he was also a person who put a lot of value on people and on relationships. he believed, quite simply, that building and strengthening relationships was incredibly
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important to building trust, which meant people could come together to solve problems. it meant that you could achieve consensus more importantly. he put that to work here in the congress, being his liaison to congress was relatively easy because he had so many friends. even though he had only been here for a couple of terms, he had so many friends among democrats and republicans. relationship building was important to him. it was also important to him to be able to deepen the ties between nations, to create a stronger, safer, more prosperous world. if you think about it, whether it was gosh gosh who -- gorbachev who we talked about earlier who was his friend to the end or whether it was his grandma from canada. i know tomorrow there are a number of heads of state who will be at the funeral. this helped us as a country by having those relationships and building those relationships with trust to be able to build a
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safer, less volatile world. he is known for writing these handwritten notes, and a lot of attention has been paid recently to the class and humility he displayed in the note that he left for incoming president bill clinton the day he assumed office where he wished him well. but it goes beyond that. he was personable and respected everyone. a lot of his friends were democrats. one example that i thought was striking was ohio congressman. i am from ohio. i knew of this congressman. a pretty liberal guy, a democrat. he was ashley from toledo. he and barbara bush just before his term ended invited two couples over to the white house. lud ashley, democrat from toledo, and his wife were at that dinner.
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just another example of george bush reaching out, being a people person first. that aspect earned him a lot of goodwill on capitol hill across political parties. i have been in the habit since the 1990's of going up to maine to kennebunkport in the summer to visit president bush. sometimes with members of my family, sometimes alone, with friends. it's always a great visit. it's always an opportunity to talk about people, again, focusing on people. his questions to me were sometimes about policy and what was going on, but often it was about what do you think of that senator or that u.s. representative? what's he like? what's she like? tell me about them. he was curious. and until the end, he was curious. i was with him in september of this year for our last visit.
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and although he wasn't speaking as much, he was curious as ever and asking questions. and of course, willing to give me a little advice, all of which i treasured. a few years ago, back in 2015, you may remember president bush had a health scare. he had fallen and broken a bone in his neck. he was in tough shape. i was headed up there for a visit. i had made plans to visit him before his injury had occurred, but once that happened, i thought i better do something a little different, a little special this time, so i got a baseball, and i wrote george h.w. bush, america's first baseman. i asked a couple of my colleagues if they would be willing to sign it. folks, when people found out this baseball was going to george h.w. bush, everybody wanted to sign it. i got a get well card that was about this big, the biggest one i could find, and asked a couple colleagues if they would be
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willing to sign it. folks, everybody wanted to sign it. by the end of that process, we had about 95 signatures on that baseball and on that get well card. and why? because everybody wanted to be part of sending this message to the beloved former president. he loved it when i handed him the baseball. and of course he was very curious to see who had signed it. one of his questions to me, which was typical george bush, was to say did so and so sign it? and the names he recited were of some more partisan democrats here on the floor. one, as i recall, was whether harry reid had signed it. and sure enough, he had, proudly. that made george bush so happy. his eyes shown. he smiled. and he knew that those messages
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of encouragement to him were heartfelt, and they were. finally, it's impossible to talk about george h.w. bush without talking about barbara pierce bush. they were a partnership. and what an example. for all of us. 73 years together. a true people. they put family first always. that has been a great lesson to my wife jane and me and our family to watch how they navigated this crazy political world we're in, and yet kept their family strong and together, and to this day, you saw the family yesterday, every one of those children and grandchildren and now great grandchildren coming, loves and respects their grandparents, great grandparents. that unconditional support and
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love that george and barbara bush had for one another in a very equal relationship. barbara bush was feisty and opinionated, and george bush respected that and respected and loved her. but those relationships between family is what gave him so much strength, in my view, as much as anything. for him, it was always about family as the foundation. he was also a man of deep faith. he didn't wear it on his sleeve. but he believes. he believed that he was going to rejoin barbara, and to him, that was a blessing. he also believed that he was going to see his daughter robin who they lost way too soon. that was a blessing. as we mourn the death of president george h.w. bush, we can find comfort in knowing that he has been returned to those
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beloved family members. jane and i send our condolences to the entire bush family and to his many, many close friends. at the close of this truly great american life, this guiding light, let us honor his legacy by following his example of patriotism, public service, and civility. godspeed, george bush. ms. klobuchar: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from minnesota. ms. klobuchar: mr. president, i rise today to recognize former president george h.w. bush. i want to thank my colleague, senator portman, from ohio for those personal memories. i will now always remember that baseball story. and it was -- i'm glad i did sign it. and it is an example of what he stood for, and that is that he
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actually cared that there were people of both parties that would sign that baseball. and i want to thank senator portman for carrying on that torch of working across the aisle. president bush dedicated his entire life to the united states. his first service was as a decorated navy pilot, as we know, who risked his life during world war ii, and in 1944 was shot down in the pacific. but that selfless sacrifice wasn't enough. he went on to spend 40 years in public service as a congressman from texas, as an ambassador to the united nations, and as the united states envoy to china, as director of the c.i.a., and of course as vice president and then as president. he wore so many hats during his time in service, but through it all, he was a true statesman who treated both his friends and his
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rivals with grace and dignity. he also viewed the world through the lens of history, which was often the guiding force in his approach to diplomacy and dealing with the rest of the world. as president, he helped to bring an end to four decades of the cold war and the threat of nuclear engagement as democracy spread throughout eastern europe. and he signed the bipartisan americans with disabilities act which has had a lasting impact in expanding the rights of americans with disabilities. his commitment to his country was unshakable, and he instilled this value in his own children. for george h.w. bush, patriotism was bigger than political rivalries. in 1993, as he departed the white house, he left a note which many of us saw for the first time this week. it was a note he left for president clinton who had
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defeated president bush in the presidential election just two months before he signed that letter. president bush said you will be our president when you read this note. i wish you well. i wish your family well. your success is now our country's success. i am rooting hard for you. he wrote that note just as he was turning over the keys to the oval office to someone who had just defeated him in an election campaign. president bush was someone who fought hard on the campaign trail but once the votes were cast, he understood the underlying truth of america, that people with different political views are not enemies, and that when all is said and done, we can come together to advance the cause of america. not tear it down.
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president bush, as senator portman noted, his death comes less than eight months after the passing of former first lady barbara bush, his wife of over 73 years. never one to be a shrinking violet, she was fiercely loyal to her family and on outspoken advocate for causes that she believed in. i always respected her directness. she was her own person who loved her family, her country, and we remember her this week as well. i was reading in our local minneapolis pairm actually a -- paper a story, i did not know this, that president bush actually trained in minnesota in the middle of winter for a few months before he went over to serve in the pacific. and during that time he wrote a number of letters to his own mother about his service. okay, maybe he complained about the minnesota weather a little bit. but one of the more amusing parts of those letters was that he told her that barbara was
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sending him some socks that she knit for him down in texas. and he said in the letter that she said they don't even look like socks. but when he received the socks, he said they're actually not bad. they're pretty good socks. and you literally could follow that part of his life in the letters he was writing back then to his mother. you could see the patriotism shine through. you could see what it was like for him to be away from his family and how much he loved his family. and to think that that carried on to the very end of his life when he was still so kind in these notes and so sweet to his family members and to those who were his friends for so very long. as we pay tribute to president bush's tremendous record of service, we also must stay grounded in his respect for all public servants, not just the ones he agreed with and his
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unwavering belief in his own words, that no definition of a successful life can do anything but include serving others. of course that service can come in many forms, as he showed in his own life. some people may serve in the military. some people may take on causes outside of government service and volunteer. others may work in law enforcement, and others may of course get elected or have the privilege to work in this capitol for the people. president bush lived that life, and america has lost a true leader. my prayers are with the entire bush family. thank you, mr. president. 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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a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from maine. ms. collins: mr. president, i
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ask that proceedings under the quorum be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. collins: mr. president, i have five requests for committees to meet today during this session of the senate. they have the approval of the majority and minority leaders. the presiding officer: duly noted. ms. collins: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that rowan kurtz and grant cummings, interns in senator murkowski's office, be granted floor privileges for the remainder of the week. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. collins: mr. president, on ocean avenue in kennebunkport, maine, stands a simple yet powerful monument, a gift from the people of that small community to a friend and neighbor.
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the monument is a united states navy anchor. the friend and neighbor was president george herbert walker bush. it is, mr. president, a fitting tribute. president bush often called the family home at walker's point his anchor to the windward, a special place of unsurpassed beauty in a caring community. through the years, it has been the place that gave him the strength to face the many challenges he took on in dedicated service to our country. and indeed, mr. president, every summer of his life, george herbert walker bush spent at walker's point except when he was
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defending our country during world war ii. it is a fitting tribute in another way. as a navy aviator in world war ii, as a member of congress, as the special envoy to china, as director of the central intelligence agency, as vice president and president, george h.w. bush consistently and vigorously demonstrated the values that are the anchor of american society. courage, duty, honor, and compassion defined his life. as he encouraged americans to be a thousand points of light through service to others, he has shown the brightest himself.
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he always answered the call to serve our country. mr. president, i had the pleasure to visit president and mrs. bush at walker's point many times over the years, and how i looked forward to those annual visits in kennebunkport. the very first time i remember so well, it was in 1994, and i had just won the republican primary for governor of maine. i received a call from president bush's staff inviting me to have lunch with him and mrs. bush at walker's point. the last time i saw the president was on
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september 7, just months after president bush had lost his beloved barbara and as his own health was declining rapidly. yet as the presiding officer well knows, the president remained incredibly positive and warm. the qualities that made him such an inspiring leader were undiminished. throughout our long friendship, president bush, by his example and by his words, was always so encouraging, kind, and thoughtful. he taught me that you must always do what your heart tells you is right, regardless of the consequences. and he demonstrated that
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every difficulty must be met with strength and determination. mr. president, george herbert walker bush was so kind to others. i saw remember one year when i visited him and he had completely shaved his head in solidarity with a young boy who was the son of a secret service agent who was part of his detail. this young boy was undergoing cancer treatments and had lost all of his hair. so president bush shaved all of his hair off too. that's the kind of individual he was: caring, compassionate, and committed.
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the end of a life so devoted to the highest ideals of the human spirit brings to mind the parable of the talents in the bible. the master leaving on a journey, entrusts a servant with a portion of his treasure. upon his return, the master is delighted to find that his wealth was wisely invested and multiplied. george herbert walker bush was entrusted with the great treasure of principles, determination, and courage. he invested that treasure wisely and multiplied it to the benefit of all not just here in america, but
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throughout the world. like the master in the new testament, to him we say well done, good and faithful servant. may god bless him and may his memory always be anchored in our hearts. thank you, mr. president. mr. president, i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from texas. mr. cruz: i ask unanimous consent to vitiate the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. cruz: mr. president, i rise today to honor the life and legacy of president george herbert walker bush. this week american hearts are heavy as we bid farewell to our 41st president. since we heard of news of his passing just a few days ago, there has been a ceaseless stream of communications and commemorations and testimonies to president bush's character from every corner of our nation, from the world of politics, philanthropy, entertainment, business the, the armed forces, and from our living ex-presidents. even those who were his rivals and critics
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during his public life have returned to praise that life so well and honorably lived. he will be remembered as a good and faithful servant to his country, whose great legacy of leadership and love of homeland became a family tradition.. earned him the admiration of countless americans and secured a special place in the memory of every texan. over his storied career, president bush was a war hero and a business man, a legitimate ledges is later and an ambassador. his eight years as vice president prepared him well for the burdens of the highest office, steering his nation through the fall of the berlin wall and the first gulf war.
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indeed, of his legacy as president, that calm, steady strong leadership, as america won the cold war, will no doubt be his enduring legacy. a great many of us in this body were blessed to know president bush personally and to have experiences where he and barbara touched our lives. for me, my favorite experience with george herbert walker bush occurred in 2009. in 2009, i was beginning a campaign for attorney general in the state of texas. it appeared that job would be vacant, and i was campaigning to fill it. i had never run for office before and president bush invited me to come to the family home in kenny bunk port, maine. i remember sitting on that plane
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wondering what to say to him, what to ask of him. i didn't know president bush, i didn't know barbara. and i remember at the end of the day resolving that i wasn't going to ask for anything other than simply his advice. to say, mr. president, you are an elder statesman who has spent decades in public service. what advice would you give to someone running their very first campaign for public office. what advice, what path should i endeavor to follow? well, i assumed that the meeting would be a 10, 20 meeting, a prefunctory meeting. it was kind of him to take it. when i sat down i was amazed how much he knew about the race, all the potential players who might be running for that position, and he knew a great deal about my background, which had me
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flabbergasted. he put in the time. after about 20 minutes, he asked me, he said, ted, when's your flight back? i said, well, it's in a couple of hours. i'm flying out of boston. he said, could you stay and maybe go out on the boat with barbara and me? i laughed. i said, mr. president, plane reservations can easily be changed. i said i will stay here as long as i can. so i was wearing a suit and he drove me to the residence. he took me back to his an barbara's bedroom. he pulled out a shirt, a belt, and buckle that said president of the united states. he said, here, ted, put this on. so addressed in the president's clothes, and we went out in the boat. now, it's worth remembering president bush was a former
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naval aviator. he drove the boat and drove it full speed with the throttle pushed as far as it would go. it was a beautiful, cool summer day along the maine shore with waves splashing in the air. there was a light rain in the midst. barbara sat at the front of the boat with rain pelting her face an she was smiling and glowing. and at the time we were in the midst of the so-called green revolution in iran. so i remember asking him, mr. president, what do you think about what's happening in iran? what do you think about the changes? and just marveling what on earth am i doing on this boat crashing through the waves listening to george herbert walker bush give me his thoughts on national security and the interest of the united states. we had, by the way, secret
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service agents in zodiac boats following as fast as they could and having trouble keeping up with the president. i had lunch with president bush and barbara. we went to a little restaurant where we had some maine lobster. i ended up spending four 1/2 hours with them. when i was getting ready to leave, i was walking to the door and thanking him for spending so much time with me. he reached into his pocket and putted out a check for $1,000 for my campaign. you could have knocked me over with a stick. i am not someone known for being at a loss for words and i simply stared at him and stammered. i think -- stammered, i think i barely got out the words thank you. but i was so astonished and the check simply said from george and barbara bush. i got in the rental car and began driving back to the
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airport and i called heidi. i said, heidi, i just had the most magical, unbelievable day. now, mr. president, he didn't have to do any of that. ep didn't have to give me the time -- he didn't have to give me the time of day, but he poured his heart into the people around him, into his family, into his public service, and into his nation. that was just one small illustration of the graciousness, the generosity, the humility of spirit that characterized his entire 94 years on this planet. president bush was the last of the greatest generation to sit in the oval office, but his resolve will not be lost to the past. it will triumph onward. in his words, quote, the old
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ideas are new again because they are not old. they are timeless. duty, sacrifice, commitment, and a patriotism that finds its expression in taking part and pitching in. the 91st so rch lmn is -- solmn is sometimes called the soldier's solemn because it promises a refuge and a fortress in him, but it ends with the two most important gifts that can be bestowed on the faithful warrior. i shall satisfy him with a long life and grant him to see my salvation. having enjoyed that first gift, an incredible life of 94 years of making a difference, may president bush now enjoy the second bestowed upon a good and
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faithful servant. now george and his beloved barbara are together at last with their daughter robin and they are enjoying a well-deserved rest from their labors. now his spirit has joined 1,000 points of light with his create or by whose brilliance may all of our work be illuminated and inspired. president bush bush leaves behind six children, 17 grandchildren, and eight great grandchildren. he and barbara in married for 73 years, the longest presidential marriage in the history of the united states. god bless the memory of president president
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president george herbert walker bush. god bless the legacy of service he and barbara instilled in generation after generation of the bush family. texas and america are far better for having known and loved him. mr. president, i yield the floor.
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the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: mr. president, several years ago after his 3-year-old daughter robin passed away from leukemia, george herbert walker bush wrote to his
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mother about how much he loved and missed his little girl. it's a beautiful, almost heartbreaking letter. near the end he wrote about his daughter's continued presence in his life and the life of his family. he said he cannot touch her and yet we feel her. president bush himself is now passed beyond our reach. and yet we all feel the difference that he made in the nation and in the world. many of us feel that deep longing for a kinder, gentler nation that president bush promised in his inaugural address 30 years ago. george herbert walker bush was an american patriot who devoted his life to his family and to his country. on his 18th birthday six months after pearl harbor, he enlisted in the united states navy and became one of the youngest aviators in the history of the navy. he was discharged one month after japan's surrender but he
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never stopped serving america. there's a book entitled fly boys which tells the story of the squadron which george herbert walker bush was part of. and the deadly mission they were given in the south pacific. he flew some 58 missions as a navy pilot. in this particular assignment he was shot down and two of his crew were killed in that confrontation. fortunately for us and for him, he was rescued by a submarine, and there is that grainy, black and white film of his being fished out of the ocean by that american submarine and his life saved that is still an inspiration to this day. as the 41st president of the united states and the father of the 43rd president, he was the
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linchpin of a political dine dynasty that -- that spanned four generations. he already ha a lifetime of public service. as a text congressman and ambassador to the united nations, envoy to china, director of the c.i.a., and vice president to ronald reagan. despite his extraordinary achievements he was a man of remarkable humility. if his sin text sounded a little choapy and times and dana carver made a for opportunity imitating him, it was due to the fact that george herbert walker bush had difficulty using the words i and me. his mother taught him when he was a young boy that those are the words of braggarts. riding in the presidential limousine through streets lined with cheering crowds, he once told a fellow passenger they're not clapping for me. they're clapping for the office of the president. that was exactly how he thought it should be. i was still a rather new congressman when george herbert walker bush was president.
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i sure didn't agree with all of his policies as my voting record demonstrates. but that is a discussion for another time. as president bush's own life shows us, there's a time for politics and there's a time to put politics aside and to recall the exceptional lifetime of service he gave to our nation. president reagan helped hurry the end of the cold war but it fell to president george herbert walker bush to successfully navigate the aftermath. when the berlin wall fell in 1989 he insisted there would be no gloating, no triumphalism from his administration. his low-key approach helped set the tone for our nato allies as well and it helped make possible the peaceful end of the soviet union. never before has such a heavily armed empire ended with so little turmoil or bloodshed in its final days. the two years before the
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collapse of the soviet union president bush and mikhail gorbachev successfully started a nuclear arms treaty. george per bert walker bush, we saw the largest reduction in nuclear weapons in history and america and the world are safer today because of it. if you want to see the world's enduring respect for president bush, look at the statesman and stateswomen expected to attend his memorial service tomorrow at the national cathedral. among them mick makail gorbachev and angela murkle who grew up in communist east germany. it is said that the germans today credit george herbert walker bush more than any person for their successful reunification. he knew the -- he knew that america was stronger when we work with partners than when we imagine that we can somehow go it alone. when rocky troops invaded kuwait
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in 1990, george herbert walker bush had methodically assembled an international coalition to push them back. he left his mark on domestic policies as well. he fought for the americans with disabilities act, one of the greatest civil rights laws in our nation's modern history. president bush was a committed conservative and a texan by choice. he had close ties to the oil industry but he believed in science. what a welcome change that would be in washington today if his party felt the same. president george herbert walker bush understood that poisoning our planet is not just unfair to future generations, it's bad for business. it's bad for our economy. he helped build bipartisan support, this republican president helped build bipartisan support and signed the clean air act of 1990 strengthening the federal government's role in protecting
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the very air we breathe. he signed the global change research act of 1990, establishing an interagency federal council to improve understanding of global change and to devise a plan to reduce the risk of climate catastrophe. what a sharp contrast to the current administration. george herbert walker's work was the work of a leader. between 1980 and 1990, america's budget deficit tripled to $220 billion driven largely by the reagan era tax cuts. in 1990 with a lot of criticism, president bush had the courage to sign a tax increase as president reagan had before him to help pay down the deficit for future generations. he put the interests of future generations ahead of his own short-term political advantage and he paid a heavy price in the next election. he maybe even loss because of
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it. years later he received a profile in courage award for that leadership. in his inaugural address president bush said the real strength and greatness of america came from a thousand points of light, the countless acts of decency and compassion we show to each other and to those in need. in his post-presidential year, he remained a committed advocate for volunteerism and community and national service. he was active in domestic and global humanitarian activities often alongside former president bill clinton, an old political opponent turned ally. in 1995 after a domesticster i.r.s. domestic terrorist bombed the mur ra building in oklahoma city killing 168 people, injuring 680 more, the national rifle association sent out a fund raising letter denouncing the federal agents of the bureau of alcohol, tobacco and firearms as, quote, jackbooted thugs, close quote.
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former president george herbert walker bush reacted with anger. he denounced that vitriol by the n.r.a. as, quote, a vicious slander on good people. end of quote. he publicly resigned his n.r.a. lifetime membership placing conscience ahead of political position. the terror of war, george herbert walker bush did not confuse politics with war. he did not mistake political opponents for enemies. he understood that people can have differences of opinion and both still love the country. our sadness at losing him seems partly a reflection for our own deep, deep yearning a nation today for the kind of leadership and character and integrity and honesty and courage that he brought to the office of presidency. in his first inaugural address, president lincoln pleaded with the nation on the knife's edge
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of war. he said, we are not enemies but friends. we must not be enemies. lincoln urged us to be guided by the better angels of our nature. in his own inaugural address, president george herbert walker bush also spoke of all americans as friends. let me read two short sections of his remarks. my friends, he told us, we are not the sum of our possessions. they are not the measure of our lives. and our hearts we know what matters. we cannot hope only to leave our children a bigger car, a bigger bank account. we must hope to give them a sense of what it means to be a loyal friend, a loving parent, a citizen who leaves his home, his neighborhood and town better than he found it and what do we want the men and women who work with us to say when we're no longer here? that we were more driven to succeed than anyone around us or that we stopped to ask if a sick child had gotten per and stayed a moment there to trade a word
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of friendship? president george bush went on to say, and i quote, america is never holy herself unless she's engaged in high moral principle. we as a people have such a purpose today. it is to make kinder the face of the nation and gentler the face of the world. my friends, he said, we have work to do. as a tribute to george herbert walker bush who lies in state in the rotunda of the united states capitol, the 32nd percentage person -- 32nd person to be so honored in our history, let us try to remember we are not enemies but friends and may we summon the courage and humility to put the interest of our nation and world ahead of self-interest. in closing, my wife loretta and i send our deepest condolences to president bush, his family, and all who knew and loved him. mr. president, i yield the floor.
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mr. durbin: i would like to add another statement in the record immediately following these remarks. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: thank you, mr. president. mr. blunt: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from missouri. mr. blunt: mr. president, i'm honored to join my colleagues here to talk about president bush, the outpouring of appreciation from the country has been significant. you know, i know his son, the 43rd president said that it takes a long time for the determination of history to come in. i himpg the 41st president -- i think the 41st president had almost 25 years for people to begin to put his presidency in the right kind of historical reference, the right context of looking back and seeing not only what happened then but what happened since then because of
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what happened then. and i'm pleased that he and barbara were able to live long enough after that significant presidency to see what happened. certainly in missouri, we claim part of the bush family. his mother grew up in missouri. the walkers were from missouri. and he treated missouri like it was one of the states that he was connected to by relationship. his uncle herbert, along with his grandfather and later his uncle herbert and the rest of the family would go in the summer to walker's point named after that missouri part of his family, just like the walker's cup is named after that part of his family. the impact of his mother is pretty great. i heard the president talking the other day on an interview with jenna bush will who he
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would look for when he got to heaven. that was a couple years ago, i think. he said, we will, if barbara has gone there first, i think the right answer would be, i'm going to look for her first. but then he said, i think my mom and my dad. he said their daughter that they had lost when she was three, robin. his mother was an important part of his life. you could tell that when talking to him or their children who remembered their grandmother and you could see a lot of what she taught him in him. that competitive nature. you don't name sporting cups after your family unless your family begins in competition. about this competitive nature but also that competitive nature that was also based on never bragging about yourself. now, to be a real competitor like the president was and not brag about yourself, not always an easy thing but certainly maybe to his political detriment was part of his upbringing.
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another part of his upbringing was sort of the upbringing of in many ways the best values of that world war ii generation. stand up straight, take responsibility, share credit, take blame. those were all part of who george herbert walker bush had become. that idea that you should do what you're supposed to do; that idea of the importance of service to others. if you're going to be part of the team, but if you're president bush, i heard john me cam, his biographer say, he tried to kind of get into the deputy of that. what about this commitment to service and aren't there lots of ways to do that, and can't you have service without recognition
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but president bush, understanding the conflict actually and what he believed and the profession he had pursued, said, well, there's nothing wrong if you're going to be on the team to want to be captain of the team. whether it is captain of the yale baseball team, which he was, or president of the united states. the yale baseball team, mr. president, leads me to another thing that you and i know when we think about him -- the willingness as a young man to serve and to serve immediately. in fact, at 17, still in high school, after pearl harbor, he talked about going to canada to join the canadian air corps because you could do that at 17. but in our country you couldn't join the air corps until 18. there was no air force yet. it was the army air corps or the a navy air corps and he was persuaded by his mom and dad and
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i assume others, well, let's finish high school. let's finish high school first and then when you're 18, you can join the u.s. air corps, which he did, i believe, on his 18th birthday or really close to his 18th birthday, to become the youngest aviator in the war at that time he got his flying credentials and serve in that way. that was part of that generation. but then the war is over and he and barbara get married right before the end of the war and he goes -- then he goes to college. then he goes to college, that young man with a wife and a baby becomes -- goes to college, becomes the captain of the baseball team, a man of really great athletic ability, great grace in so many ways, grace under pressure, grace with others, but grace in sports as well and the ability to do that. now, when you're on -- when
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you're the captain of the yale baseball team, you can talk a lot about the team instead of yourself. when you decide to enter politics, there's an almost total contradiction between pursuing political office and not talking about yourself. it just doesn't quite work that wayment you have to be willing to do that and you could always see in president bush that reluctance to cross the line his mother had taught him and talk about himself. talk about the accomplishments and even at his best he was held back in many ways by that reluctance to what he would see as bragging on himself but his public service was significant and broadbased. i believe you could make the case that perhaps no one had ever been better prepared to be president than george herbert
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walker bush. but in that effort to become president, you have to run first. i remember in 1980, hearing barbara bush talking about -- i remember this because it was so unusual. i don't remember anyone saying anything like this when they decided to run for president. i heard barbara bush when asked, well, this guy has run for congress once. it's the only elect the office he's ever had, the house of representatives, and reelected. she said, yes, but george has a big family. i could hear her say, has a big family and thousands of friends. now, we see at the end of his life how that friends network continued to be an important part of who he was. but i don't recall a single other person ever successfully running for president on the basis that i have -- that he has a big family and lots of
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friends. but that was his unique way to associate with people, those thousands of letters he wrote. as the vice president said yesterday that he wrote to friends over the years, and as it turned out in retirement the letters he wrote to almost anybody that would write i he would respond as, again, his mother probably taught him to do, if somebody takes the time to write you, you take the time to write them back. he was a man of appreciation and thank you notes and sympathy notes and that network of friends and family eventually became very important. now, where i live in missouri, we were the ultimate bellwether state for about 100 years. my friend from ohio would come close to being able to take that crown for ohio. ohio has usually been with a winner in presidential elections. but for 100 years we voted from
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1904 to 2004, we voted for the winner every time but one. so that last part of that -- that last 20 years of that time period very much is the time period where president bush 41 and bush 43, for that matter, were part of national politics. so missouri would have been a significant place for him anyway. but his brother lived there, his younger brother buckie, who passed away in the last few years. future ambassador butter -- burt walker was there. lots of connected family members. so we saw candidate bush and then vice president bush and then president bush in our state a lot. i was the elected secretary of state when he was vice president and was the secretary of state when he was president, and so i had the chance to benefit from
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knowing him, the chance to go to walker's point a few time, to go to church with the bushes. if you were with the bushes on a sunday, you were going to be left by yourself or you were going to go to church because that was as much a part of who president bush was as anything else, maybe a bigger part than anything else. he said in his faith, maybe he wasn't as sharing as publicly of his faith, but he was absolutely, mr. president, committed to his faith. in fact, a charm -- he raised the money to raise a chapel at camp david during his presidency. there had not been a chapel there before. a umin of presidents starting with franklin roosevelt had used camp david, but it was president bush who decided, well, the church services on sunday in the cafeteria could be in a better place. let's do what we can. so he raised the money privately
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to build the chapel that is there today. the missouri connection goes a little bit further. not only did missouri vote for president bush in 1988 and if my story was going to have any truth to it i'd have to point out voted for bill clinton in 1992 because we were still voting for the winner by pretty much the margin of whatever was the national average in the last 50 years of that 100-year saga. but after desert storm, president bush looked around to find a place to do the first 4th of july parade after desert storm and he came to marshfield, missouri in the county where itches born, in webster county -- where i was born, in webster county. i was going to be the grand marshal of the paraded that year, as i recall, but when it became apparent that the president wanted to come to be in that pa acres i was more than -- in that parade, i was more
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than willing to allow him to be the grand marshal and walked not too far behind him. and in 1992 after the convention -- i believe the first kickoff, the first campaign kickoff was at branson, missouri, and i had the chance to be there with him. we went to a country music show at the mobandy theater. and lore rett at that time lynn was sitting -- and loretta a lyn was sitting with the president and their good friend was performing. and that was part of america and a part of music that the president loved. i think the kickoff the rally was outside in the parking lot. jody hershin just this week died as well after a long fight with cancer. but all of those connections goes back to big family and thousands of friends. there was nowhere in that matrix
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that i just talked about where president bush didn't leave with more friends than he had when he came and friends in many times that he figured out how to develop lifelong connection to. all of us could use more of that skill. social media and the quick response and the -- you know, the letter writing, the phone calling, the thinking about when you need to reach out to people in a way that they can transparently feel it continues to be important. the other things are not unimportant either, but his connectedness took a little more effort than some of ours do. let me just say, in terms of preparation and how it paid off, c.i.a. director, a member of congress, the first envoy to -- one of the very first envoys to china before we had official
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relationships, the envoy to the united nations, vice president of the united states, making connections and contacts and friendships -- so desert storm. saddam hussein invades kuwait. the president says, this will not stand. and then he assembled what may have been the greatest coalition of nations at any time, the nations that weren't willing to fight were often willing to help others pay for the fight. ii don't know if anybody else could have put that coalition together the way president bush did. but he put that coalition together. and with maximum force and to guarantee minimum loss, suddenly freed kuwait and showed that the u.s. was still going to stand up for people who couldn't stand up for themselves. and then, mr. president, the
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collapse of the soviet union. we have just enough time now to look back -- and i've heard many others in the last few days talk about how that could have gone so badly wrong for all of the other countries that were trying to emerge from the domination of russia and the soviet union. but george herbert walker bush on the phone reaching out talking to leaders saying the things that had just been predicted by the west germans themselves to be impossible, that somehow east germany could become part of west germany is exactly what happened. the president encouraged, stood beside, went out of the way to be sure that helmut kohl, the leader of west germany, had the kind of support that he and his
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government needed to reach out and bring this country that had been isolated for 40 years, this part of the country back into the country, that all of these east european countries that were emerging from soviet domination had a chance to move from domination to democracy. that would not hav -- not have happened the way it happened if somebody less prepared and less capable had been there. character paid off then. character is being recognized today for the value it has. as thousands have walked by the casket in the rotunda of the capitol of the united states of america, millions of others have thought about what a life of character means. they have thought about what the willingness to take
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responsibility means. they have thought about how important it is to share credit, to take blame, to be prepared, to believe that there is great value and virtue in serving others. that's what george herbert walker bush did, as we think back at the impact he and mrs. bush and their family have had on the country. there's a great lesson to be learned there. i hope, mr. president, we're all taking time to learn it. and i would yield the floor. mr. carper: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from delaware. mr. carper: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, the presiding officer knows i spent a little time in the navy. i said to my father, my father enlisted in the navy right
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before world war ii. he was not 18. george herbert walker bush was i think 18 -- on his 18th birthday, just out of high school, and he enlisted in the navy as a seaman second class. about a year later, he was off to corpus christi naval station where i earned my wings as a naval flight officer a long time ago. he became an ensign at the age i think of 19 and became maybe the youngest navy pilot around that time that they had in the navy, if you can believe that. a year or so later in september of 1943, he was on a ship, u.s.s. -- and i think this is san jacinto. he flew avenger bombers with the third fleet and the fifth fleet. if you think about it, he must have been at that point in time 20 years old.
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flying as a pilot on a -- on avenger bombers. that's pretty amaze. when i was 20 years old, i was a sophomore or junior at ohio state. the idea of flying missions. we did stuff in the summers, went up to corpus christi, fly airplanes and stuff. to be flying missions in the pacific theater in the middle of a world war ii is pretty astounding. 1944, he would have been by then 20 years old. he was a j.g., lieutenant j.g. i think i made j.g. when i was 22 or so. later that year in 1944 when i was still 20 years old, he got shot down off the coast by japanese antiaircraft fire while flying a mission to bomb a radio site located about 600 miles
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south of japan. i think some of my missions in the vietnam war, we flew right by there. he was rescued by a u.s. submarine. they floated around the ocean for a while in an inflated raft. god bless the folks on that submarine, they somehow found out he was out there and found him. it's like finding a needle in a haystack. to find somebody on the little dingies from the airplane is hard enough. to try to find them from a submarine is even more difficult. so it's kind of miraculous to me that they found him and they saved him. september 2, 1944. in november of 1944, he returned to his ship, the u.s.s. san jacinto, and participated in an operation in the philippines. until his squadron was sent home. i was fond memories of operations out of the philippines and southeast asia, off the coast of southeast asia. but his career took him there.
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he is by that time about 21. he was an old guy in the navy. a year or so later, discharged in september of 1945 from the navy. 58 combat missions during world war ii for which he was awarded the distinguished flying cross. you don't get much better than the distinguished flying cross. three air medals. i had one. this guy had three. and the president received a citation awarded to his ship which he was a member for a number of years. that is one heck of a record for a guy who signed up as a seaman second class at the age of 18. three years later, he finishes up after flying all those missions, and he's 21, 21. i'm still thinking what i was doing when i was 21. i wasn't doing this. i was looking forward to going into the navy on active duty and ended up in southeast asia where john mccain, one of our
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colleagues who the presiding officer was a wingman in the senate from arizona for a number of years. but i never met george bush when he was on active duty in the navy. i was not yet born. my dad served with him at about the same time. they both spent a fair amount of time in airplanes. my dad was a chief petty officer. but george bush, my guess is he got pretty good leadership training from his parents, but starting at the age of 18, the navy took over and provided him with exceptional, exceptional leadership training. i would like to think some others of us, including john mccain, hopefully yours truly, some others with whom we served, not just in world war ii but in subsequent wars, including vietnam and even today, received great leadership training in the military. george herbert walker bush was trained, as was i and many of our peers, that leaders are
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humble, not haughty. think about that. leaders are humble, not haughty. the speeches that were given last week as we gathered in the capitol and thousands of people have walked by his casket since, if there was ever a leader i have met who was humble, not haughty, it's george herbert walker bush. he was trained at -- that leaders lead by their example. not do as i say but do as i do. that is what he was like. he had the heart of a servant throughout his life he served. i can't remember all the different roles that he served in. maybe our presiding officer can help me. maybe the senator from tennessee who has joined me can fill in the blanks. but it was a pretty amaze career that included some jobs i wasn't even mindful of. a lot of us remember he was head of the c.i.a. everybody knows he was the president and vice president. so many other jobs. ambassador to china. a host of other challenging
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positions. that he fulfilled every step of his life. congressman, ran for the u.s. senate. he ran for the u.s. senate -- correct me if i'm wrong, senator alexander, but my recollection, he ran for the u.s. senate not once but twice and was not successful either time. served in the house for four years. and sometimes we learn more frol than when we are successful. he was the kind of leader who thought that part of being a leader is staying out of step when everybody else is marching to the wrong tune. he was the kind of leader who felt a leader should be as pir asally appealed to people's better angels. he was the kind of leader who surrounded him with really good people. i have known a bunch of them, and so have some of you. he surrounded himself with exceptional people. he was the sort of leader when the team did well, he would give
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the credit to the team. and when a team fell short, he would take the blame. he was one of those leaders who actually sought to unite people, not divide people. we hear a lot these days about building bridges and building walls and so forth. he was a bridge builder. never much for building walls. one of my favorite quotes about politics is in politics i think our friends come and go, but our enemies accumulate. all these years. people he ran against. bill clinton certainly comes to mind but others as well who have great affection for him, love for him. that's -- there is some secret there that the rest of us could probably learn from. the other thing that i was especially mindful of him of him as a leader, he was always
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interested in doing what was right. he treated other people the way he wanted to be treated, the golden rule. he was interested in doing things well. he wanted people around him to do things well. sort of like if it isn't perfect, make it better. he was not one to give up. he was not one to give up. and for those reasons, and others, i like to say that he is a leader. we need more like him. both parties, here, the executive branch, other branches of our government. we could use more like him, men and women. but those of us who are lucky enough to be around him and to learn from him and see him in action, whether successful or not, it is a great opportunity for us. i have the opportunity now to serve as the senior democrat on the environment and public works committee. the chair is john barrasso. the chairman of the help committee is here on the floor today, senator alexander.
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earlier when he was a member of the same committee, the environment and public works committee, we worked on clear skies legislation. president george bush, george w. bush, the son of george herbert walker bush, he had proposed clear skies legislation. as i recall, senator alexander and i, maybe along with senator voinovich of ohio, worked on something i call really clear skies. and much has been made of the -- of late of the environmental record of richard nixon. and i never thought i would be extolling the virtues of richard unemployment compensation as our president, but i have quite a bit in the last several years as the senior democrat on the environment and public works committee. i'm the only democrat i know who quotes richard nixon. nixon said, among other things, he used to say -- what did he used to say -- the only people who don't make mistakes are people who don't do anything.
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isn't that good? the only people who don't make mistakes are people who don't do anything. and we all make mistakes. i have probably learned more from my mistakes than the things i have done right. but the environmental legacy -- people talk about the environmental legacy of richard nixon. signed legislation creating the e.p.a., signed legislation creating the clean air act, signed legislation creating the clean water act. he did do some amazing stuff. for a republican president with respect to the environment. and we -- not as much has been made of george herbert walker bush's environmental record, but i have some notes here that i'm going to refer to here to help refresh my memberrary and maybe expand a little bit on what others know. i remember in the house of representatives, we were working on clean air act amendments of 1990. i had the opportunity to co-author a couple little pieces of that legislation, so i feel a sense of ownership which he
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actually signed. the president signed into law the act of 1990. i just want to mention a couple of things. on the friday after thanksgivink to a couple of weeks ago -- here in our nation's capital, 13 federal agencies released a major report laying out the alarming impact that climate change is having on our environment, our public health, our economic growth, and our weather. i never thought i would see the day when we were measuring rainfall by the foot instead of by the inches. i never thought i would be seeing wildfires out in california, be montana, washington state, oregon, that were bigger than my state of delaware. i never thought i would see this many category five hurricanes. i thought i would never see like two 500-year floods in ellicott city, maryland, just a short ways up the road here. they didn't come every 500 years. they came one year after the
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other. i never thought i would see that kind of weather. these federal agencies put out a major report a couple of weeks ago laying out the sum of those alarming impacts that climate change is having on our environment and public health, for economic growth on our weather. that report is known as the national climate assessment. as it turns out, it's put out every four years as a result of an act signed in 1990. that is called the global change research act. global change research act of 1990. who signed it? why it was president george herbert walker bush who signed it into law all those years ago. the 41st president raised the alarm decades ago about the threat posed by what he referred to as the ozone hole. that's what he called it, the ozone hole. the clean air act of 1990, which he signed into law, as i mentioned earlier, helped to implement the montreal protocol, the landmark international treaty to deal with the problem that's widely regarded as a success. the protocol is widely regarded
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as a success. the treaty is widely regarded as a success. a couple years after that, he helped form the united nations framework. i think he was our ambassador to the united nations. he formed the convention on climate change which has now been embraced by virtually every nation on earth and is taking place this very week in poland, countries from throughout the world are there. and i mentioned earlier, the 1990 clean air act amendments which turned out to be one of the our most important environmental laws that we have on our books in this country. that law enabled the government to control nearly 200 toxic substances, 200 toxic substances present in our air and pose threats to human health. that same law paved the way for clean running cars and clean fuels that have dramatically reduced pollution from smog.
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i can remember when i was in the navy spending part of the summer in long beach naval station on a big jumbo tanker, and i remember running out there close to l.a. in the summer in the late 1960's, and remember some days i ran, i felt i was doing more damage to my lungs than i was doing good for my body running and breathing that kind of air. air in california was awful. it's not perfect today, but it's a whole lot better except when there is all these fires that they have it pout up with. according to the -- they have to put up with. according to the e.p.a. in the first years of its enactment it prevented 160,000 premature deaths, reduced illnesses and diseases relating to air pollution. $2 trillion in overall economic benefits.
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mr. president, i will end with this, back in february 1990 president bush said this about our changing climate. i want to quote him. he said we all know that human activities are changing the atmosphere. our atmosphere in unexpected and unprecedented ways. he went on to say much remains to be done. many questions remain to be answered. together we have a responsibility to ourselves and the generations to come to fulfill our stewardship obligations. those are his words. those words and the position action that he took and the work that his administration did on this front show real leadership, maybe the courage to stay out of step when everyone else is marching to the wrong tune and willingness to step up to the unprecedented challenges before us. he lived to be 94 and was active
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and vibrant almost to the end. i think a number of us have had the opportunity to serve as governor with both of his sons and to know them as friends and as leaders of our country. so the legacy of their dad lives on through the children that he and barbara helped to raise. but we miss his personality, we miss his warmth and good humor. we miss his affection, and we miss his leadership. and i hope that our colleagues, certainly me, i hope that we can learn from the example and learn again over and over again from the example that he set. do the right thing. do the right thing even when it's not easy. with that, mr. president, i yield the floor. my friend from tennessee. a senator: thank you, mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee.
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mr. alexander: i'm delighted to hear the senator from delaware, my friend discuss some aspects of republic's time -- of president bush's time there, that others will remember, including his amendments to the clean air act on which the senator from delaware and i have worked. in june of 1992, president george herbert walker bush and his wife barbara were walking across the south lawn on a hot sunny day to make a major announcement about school choice, and barbara turned to the president and said, george, you've got on the wrong pants. and the president of the united states turned around, walked back in the white house, changed his suit into the proper suit, and came back out and made an announcement. one of the biggest of his time as president to ask the congress to provide a half billion dollars to states and cities like milwaukee and wisconsin who wanted to give low-income families choices of better
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schools for their children. before that, i can recall a 3:00 p.m. or so meeting on january 17, 1991. the meeting was about educational assessment, a very dull subject. and the president had called it in the cabinet room. governor carper will remember educational assessment from his days as governor. and the meeting went on and on, and the president got up and left and came back after about ten minutes. the rest of us thought very little about it. it turned out later we found out that he was calling gorbachev in the soviet union to let him know in advance that the united states was about to start bombing baghdad about 5:30 that afternoon u.s. time. and he had constructed and put on the public schedule that meeting on educational assessment so that the world wouldn't know what was about to
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happen. a few weeks later we were having lunch and he was mulling over the prospect of putting a million american military men and women on the ground in the middle east in the first gulf war. he had a special feeling of that because of his background as a combat pilot in world war ii. and he knew what it meant to risk even one american life in that exercise. all of us have been having memories and stories we could tell about the president, but i want to talk about three aspects of his service very briefly. one is gentleman. two is well prepared. and three is pioneer, pioneer especially in education. i've suggested to jon meacham, the extraordinary biographer of president george h.w. bush that
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a better title for his book might be "the last gentleman." now saying that to an author is kind of like saying you ought to rename your baby something else. that's not a very prudent thing to say. and i hope it's not true that he is the last gentleman. but his temperament and conduct while he won and while he lost in war and in peace, with adversaries and friends reminds us that you can be tough, but you can win the presidency, that you can be a combat pilot in a world war, and you can still treat others with respect, which he unfailingly did. i was thinking that last night as we stoot -- stood outside on the steps and watched the casket being brought up, a beautiful evening, the sunset looking out over the library of congress, looking out over the supreme court, i was thinking that with all the rancor we sometimes have
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here as we work out difficult problems, we're pretty lucky to live in this country. we're pretty lucky to have this form of government we have. and we're extraordinarily fortunate that we can produce men and women like george h.w. bush who bring out the best in us, which leads me to my second point, what i think of when i think of our former president, and those are the words well prepared. now we've had lots of different kinds of presidents of the united states with varying backgrounds, and many have been successful, and it's hard, it's hard to say exactly what will make a president successful. i actually think temperament has more to do with it than anything else. what we had in president george h.w. bush may have been the best prepared president in our history. a congressman, a candidate for
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the senate, head of his national political party, the first ambassador in effect to japan, head of the united nations, vice president of the united states, head of the central intelligence agency. if you're going to put somebody through a training course, a boot camp in order to be president of the united states, that's what you would do. you would take someone with extraordinary intellect, someone who might have graduated in three years phi beta kappa from yale, extraordinary courage, someone who fly combat, the youngest aviator in world war, you put them through that boot camp and you say now you're the president of the united states. and i thought how fortunate we were that he happened to be the one who came along then, because the things that he accomplished in his four years or the things that he presided over were the things that he led us to do as a country weren't that easy, weren't that easy. take the disintegration of the soviet union.
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that's a very dangerous situation. they have a lot of nuclear weapons in the soviet union. and a history of antagonism toward much of europe and the united states. but president bush, because of his temperament and his skill and the extraordinary team he had around him, presided over that in a way that allowed mr. gorbachev and the soviet union to really come apart. it could have easily gone another direction. or the reunification of germany. you can be sure that france was skeptical about the reunification of germany. wouldn't you be as well if you had been involved in two world war ii's in that century with germany? margaret thatcher was opposed to the reunification of germany quietly, according to vice president quail -- vice
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president quayle who should know about such things. our president had to be adept enough to preside over the reuniindication of germany and the disintegration of the soviet union at the same time. balancing the budget, that wasn't popular within the republican party. when you look at the portraits of the presidents of the white house, you often think of what did that president do that went beyond his base, that his original supporters might not have agreed with but that put the country first. you look at nixon, you think china. you look at reagan, you think the berlin wall. and you look at george bush, and you think a number of things, but one of the things he did was balance the budget in a way that most republicans didn't like. he paid a price for it when he ran for reelection. but the country and president clinton during the 1990's
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benefited greatly from that fact. and then as senator carper pointed out, he led the amendments of the clean air act. i was in east tennessee these last few weeks. we like the fact that you could see the great smoky mountains, and they are not the great smoggy mountains anymore. and the reason that's true is because of the clean air act, more than anything else, which is required coal plants when they operate to put, to put pollution control equipment on them. they can still operate. there's nothing to keep a coal plant from operating in this country as long as you put pollution control equipment for mercury, nitrogen and sulfur on it, and then they can be perfectly clean. that doesn't include carbon. but carbon you can't see it. we like to see, like we like to see the mountains. and decisions that were made that had to do with exhaust from trucks and cars. so america is healthier, cleaner, and we can attract businesses to our state now that
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we're, now that our air is clean, because before that, that was a problem. and the americans for disabilities act, that was a difficult law to pass and a difficult law for many parts of our country to accept. and, frankly, pay for. but think of the lives that it has changed. no one could have passed that who went well prepared for the presidency. so as i think of president bush, i think first of a gentleman. second, well prepared. and then finally, pioneer in education. most of the time when we think of this president bush, we think of his skills in foreign policy because they were considerable and the challenges were great. for example, i didn't mention the gulf war a moment ago. well, i did in a couple of cases, but i didn't mention the fact of putting a million troops on the ground, getting the rest of the world to pay for most of
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the war, and then deciding not to go into baghdad and get mired down there. those are decisions that a skilled, well-prepared man would do. he was also a pioneer in education. that is where i'd like to talk about. in 1989, president george h.w. bush assembled all the nation's governors in shiferl -- charlottesville to talk about education. terry branstad, the current ambassador to china was then the chairman of the governors. and out of that summit came national education goals that every child by the year 2000 would learn math, science, history, and geography in a proficient way. then with america 2000 in the last two years of his term, i was education secretary then, he launched america 2000.
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that was to help states and communities reach goals, national education goals state by state, community by community. so we had nebraska 2000, and nashville 2000 as democrats and republicans sought to do that. the importance of it was that president george herbert walker bush understood that to have lasting reform in education, it has to be owned by the state. it has to be owned by the community. we saw that on the recent exercise of common core standards. it was developed by the governors. it was moving through the country state by state by state, and then when the federal government mandated it in effect, there was a great rebellion because there wasn't anybody buying it. the same with teacher evaluation. i led a fight to evaluate tennessee teachers. that was the hardest fight i was
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ever involved in. but we did it. and thousands of teachers went up the career ladder. when you order it in washington, they don't buy into it and president bush understood that. so with his national education goals, his volunteer in national standards, his volunteer in national tests, they were all voluntary. they were not imposed from washington, d.c. he created an environment in america 2000 where states, cities, and communities could adopt them and they were lasting. most of the -- most of the steps that states, including my state of tennessee, have taken to make schools better in the last 30 years were either started by or encouraged by george h. w. bush since the national governor's summit in 1989, and that includes charter schools.
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in 1991 and 1992, president bush encouraged every community to create start from scratch schools, he called them. and many did. he created new american schools development corporation with the help of deputy education secretary david kearns, raised about $70 million and gave grants to that. my last act as education secretary for president bush was to try one these new charter schools at the minnesota democratic labor party created, there were only ten at the time. that was 1992. those start from scratch schools suggested by president george h.w. bush are about 5,000 or about 5% of all the public schools in america. and then school choice. i began with a story of his walking across the south lawn to nouns the g.i. bill for kids to
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give money for states an districts for school -- and districts for schools. they didn't appropriate the money for school choice, but his advocacy, his persistent advocacy using the bully pulpit gave us school choice, charity schools, all of that and the difference was that he insisted that we not have a national school board in the process. his successors all tended to have washington views, president george w. bush and president obama and president clinton, they were eager to see results. they thought let washington order texas, tennessee, and wisconsin to do it. but, unfortunately, that back fires. it backfired on common core, it backfired on teacher evaluation.
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when we stepped back and used evaluations, we got a more lasting result. so he was well prepared, he was a gentleman, he was a pioneer in education. some people suggest he may be the most effective one-term president in our history. he could well be if you add it all up, the gulf war, handled like it was, the reunification of germany, the successful disintegration of the soviet union, the clean air laws, the americans for disabilities act, pioneering in education with america 2000, balancing, the budget. that's a lot to do in four years. maybe james k. pope is the only one i can think of who gave him a good run for his money in terms of that accolade. i wish -- i remember when the gulf war was over and president bush came to speak to the congress, and i will close with this. that was the first time i had a chance to sit and listen to a
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presidential address as a member of the cabinet. i remember thinking after that wonderful victory so well done, a millimeter men on the ground -- a million men on the ground and women, very few casualties, the rest of the world paid for most of the war, we avoided going into baghdad, a very successful operation. the president's approval rating was at 91%. i remember thinking i wish he would say, now that we have won the war, let's turn our attention to home and apply the same sort of energy to america 2000 and make america 2000 his entire domestic program. perhaps it would have been difficult for bill clinton to defeat him that year if that had been his domestic agenda. no one will ever know. but what we do know is he was a gentleman, he was as well prepared as any president in history for the job. he served at a time when we
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needed that preparation because the challenges were immense. he was a pioneer in education and he may have been the most successful one-term president in history, a man who put the country first and whom we all admire, george h.w. bush. thank you, mr. president, i yield the floor. mr. cornyn: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from texas. mr. cornyn: mr. president, i join my friend, the senator from tennessee, in saying a few words about the service of george herbert walker bush. i would note the difference between him and me though is he, having served as education secretary and worked here under howard baker and then having had a chance to work with and watch and listen to george herbert walker bush firsthand has the advantage over me. i certainly know the bush family
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and president bush 41 from my experience in texas. they were the dominant family in influence and politics in texas, certainly during the time i grew up in politics, but i appreciate the comments the senator from tennessee has made. he and i had a conversation about what our side of the aisle needs to do more in the area of supporting public education, which is, i think, probably at the top of the list of most people's concerns, and certainly when you look at what happened in the mid-term elections, particularly in the suburbs, and you talk to people about what motivated them one way or the other, education had to be high up on that list and we simply need to try to find a way to work together to come up with creative ways we can demonstrate our support for public education and i think our constituents
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will respond very well to that. the other is, and certainly the senator from tennessee is the chairman of the health, education, labor and pensions committee and a lot of the legislation that emanates from this body, and that is another area that, frankly, an area we did not do as good a job, explaining what we were for and what we could do to bring premiums down and make health care more successful. i appreciate the senator from tennessee's contributions and about his comments about this great man. i think it's important to say not just a great man, but a good man, george herbert walker bush. we know to his family he was a loving an care father, grandfather, and great grandfather. to his country he was a devoted public servant who fought to defend our freedom and led our nation at the end of the cold
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war and at the fall of the berlin wall. every time i think about the fall of the berlin wall in 1989, i think about my dad who was a b-17 pilot in world war ii. he was shot down on his 26th bombing mission over nazi germany. he was stationed in molsworth, england, and he and his fellow crew would fly their bombing missions from england, in this case molsworth air force base across the english channel, and drop their bombs in germany to bring an end to the terrible war. unfortunately, my dad died before the berlin wall came down, and i really -- that's one of my regrets is that he was unable to see what ultimately happened as a result of that terrible war in world war ii, a war that, according to one
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expert who i read one of his books recently, he calculated that 39 million people died in world war ii. it's a shocking number, but we need to be reminded of what the horrible wages of war can be. 20 million people died in the soviet union alone. i know that staggers our imagination, but we need to remember our history or in the words of a wiseman, we are going to be condemned to relive it. but certainly george herbert walker bush's contribution to ending the cold war and bringing down the berlin wall are one of his most notable achievements. he serve his country first as a war hero. he actually enlisted in the navy after the attack at pearl harbor. he, like a lot of other young men, decided this was the time to come to the aid of their
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country. after nearly losing his life, after being shot down but then being saved by rescuing forces, he came back home, and like so many of the greatest generation, he went to work and raised a family. in my dad's case, he too was part of that greatest generation. fortunately he got out of that prisoner of war camp and came back and met my mother and married and had a family and continued his education, and like so much of the greatest generation, made enormous contributions to this country in the post-world war ii era that we are benefiting from even today. we also know that george herbert walker bush represented his fellow americans starting as a congressman in houston, texas, and then he moved on to be director of the central intelligence agency. he was vice president, he was president. it's been said that george
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herbert walker bush was the best prepared person ever to have served as president by virtue of his experience and his resume, and i think there's a lot of truth to that. alluding to the time in the navy, you could say he was an anchor for our country during tumultuous times, steady and strong. and while he was a fierce defender of his principles and ideals, he was sometimes seen as a quiet soldier. some people even commented i know, they said he's too nice a person to be president. i think that's a misconception. he was, it is true, both a good man and a great leader, but i think he showed us you could be both. not all great leaders are good men. we are all flawed, of course, but he showed that you could be both a good man and a great leader. president bush carried the
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lessons he learned in the navy with him. specifically we heard from the vice president he yesterday at the ceremony in the rotunda. he was talking about a concept known to navy pilots with the acronym cavu, which stands for ceiling and visibility unlimited. i know this only because the vice president talked about it yesterday and president bush mentioned it on his 80th birthday and he said it summed up his attitude about his life perfectly. he said, you see, this is where my life is now. thanks to my family and friends my life is ceiling and visibility unlimited, or cavu. and through all he did his compassion, his love of country and basic humanity and strong optimism shown through, which made him such an attractive political figure and one reason for his tremendous success
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because people liked him and they believed in him. they believed he was doing what he did for the right reasons. after long and tough campaign for his second term for president, a campaign which he lost, he left a letter to the newly elected president bill clinton. there has been some social media circulating this letter, but i think it's worth noting because it's a snapshot into his character and the type of man he was. he wrote to president clinton, your success now is our country's success. i am rooting hard for you. it takes a big man to say that to your competitor after a tough losing campaign, but, again, this is a window into the character of a good and great man. just like everything else he did, it was gracious and sincere. this letter conveyed the same sense of, it's not about me,
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it's about the country. in a word, it's about patriotism, a word that embodies president bush so well. he was the type of man who makes us look at our own lives and ask, what more can i do for my country, for my country men and women we all love? after graduating from college, he went to mid-land, texas, kind of an improbable place to go in those days, but he wanted to get involved in the oil business. he later after his successes in midland texas, in the permian basin which continues to be one of the greatest reserves of oil and gas in the united states, he went on to houston and grew his business and ultimately, as i said earlier, ran for congress. even though texas was an adopted home for him, texans loved and embraced him. as we did the entire bush
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family. we were privileged to have president bush as one of our own. he once said, i'm a texan and an american. what more could a man ask for? i don't think anyone could have said it better. throughout his time in public service and even afterwards, he could have moved anywhere in the world, but he chose to live his life in texas and in the warm embrace of the state and the people he loved. president bush felt a kindred spirit at texas a&m university choosing it first to bear his legacy through his presidential library and later to be his and barbara bush's final resting place. president bush, i think, identified with the university's unique culture, including its
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incultation values and the emphasis it places on hard work and public service. president bush taught us all that there's nothing more powerful in life than the power of a good example and he challenged all of us and he still does by the standards he set for himself. joined by my colleague from texas, senator cruz today we introduced a resolution recognizing the nearly 30 years of public service president bush devoted to our state and our nation. president bush is in the nation's capital one last time where many have and will continue to have the opportunity to pay their respects and give their thanks for his extraordinary life. president bush once wrote in a letter to his mother, quote, tell the truth. don't blame people. be strong.
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do your best. try hard. forgive. stay the course. president bush never chose the easy road to sacrifice doing what he thought was just and right. in the words of scripture, he for the the good fight. he finished the race. and he kept the faith. in his book all the best he writes that he wanted a plain gravestone like the ones in arlington cemetery with his navy number on the back and also he requested that a quotation be placed there as well. he loved barbara very much. this is the man he was. i know he has gone on to join the love of his life, barbara, and their daughter robin, a truly honorable and gracious man has gone home to god.
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mr. president, i yield the floor. mr. isakson: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from georgia. mr. isakson: mr. president, i am honored to follow the senator from texas and have shared time with president bush as he has and appreciate very much his service to this senate and to this country. you know, the hardest thing they ever ask us to do in public office is eulogize someone's funeral that you don't even know. because you're a senator and everybody back home thinks that's a good idea, well, it's the hardest thing for a senator to do. the easiest thing to do is to be asked to eulogize somebody you love and know but you don't have to look up things and read things and do a biography. but that, too, is also very hard because it's hard to keep the tears back when you talk about the experiences you had with someone who's gone on to a better place. that's kind of the role i'm in today. george herbert walker bush did so many things for me in my lifetime that i can't begin to
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count them or recount them all for you. but i'm going to tell a few of the stories because you've all heard how many times he was at the c.i.a., how many planes he shot down, how many times he did whatever he did. you've heard all of it. we all know he has a resume equal to none -- i mean, nobody has one equal to him. but we also know those of us that knew him and i know senator cornyn did in texas as a public servant he was a passion yacht, compassionate -- passion yacht, compassion yacht, get the job done, commonsense leader who wanted to see not just the promises made but the promises kept. how did i meet george herbert walker bush? i'll tell you how i met him. he was vice president of the united states of america on air force one because he was vice president under reagan who controlled air force one riding from san antonio -- from saint augustine, florida, to atlanta, georgia to do a fund-raiser for me when i was running for governor of georgia. i knew him by reputation and by name and obviously being -- but i didn't know him as a person.
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why don't you fly down to st. augustine and meet me there, bring your family with you on the airplane. let's have some fun and get you elected governor of georgia. we had a balance. that was not -- we had a ball. that was not hard. winning the governorship was more difficult but a lot easier to try when the president of the united states came out to put his name on the line for me. i really didn't understand how he could risk for his career doing that until i realized nobody cared who i was anyway but he cared who i was because i was a potential governor, someone that was liked and admired and somebody he wanted to help and work for. my family went on air force one, flew into atlanta, went to the -- went to the waverly hotel, raised three-quarters of a million dollars in a fund-raiser and it was over in a flash of an eye. but i can still smell the room and recognize the lives that were on the banners we had and the speech he made that night because he was an overpoweringly impressive guy.
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when he stood there and made a speech and lee greenwood followed him with how great it was to be a american, you knew you were among royalty and a special person. he wanted me to work for him in his presidential campaign and i said, mr. vice president, i will be more than happy to do that and i did. i didn't run it. i was not the top dog. paul covered that, the united states senator here was his campaign manager. fred cooper was the one that raised the money. they did a lot of help in getting him elected but we did help him get elected when he won that race. in 1989 when he was sworn in, he started out on a journey as president of the united states after he had already been c.i.a. director, after he'd already been vice president of the united states, after he'd already been every other thing he could be from congressman and head of the u.n. delegation to everything in between. now he was taking on the prize job of them all, the presidency of the united states of america. i polled well as i was running for governor. in fact, halfway through his first term in 1992, halfway
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through it, when they did a poll, i was doing pretty good. i wasn't winning but doing pretty good. everybody attributed it not to me but to the fact that the president came down and helped me. and he was doing real well, too. if you'll remember, george herbert walker bush in that year had had a 91% favorable rating at the beginning of that year, 91%. when he lost two years later, he was down in the high 30's. what happened? how could this guy who is so great and so gracious, so wonderful who did everything fall so fast? i've answered that question many times because i wanted to try and rationalize it myself. i watched that fall. when i watched george herbert walker bush do what he thought was right, even though what he did might be wrong for him. and i want to explain that. the speech he made in new orleans to get the nomination in 1988, he was a simple little lion. he talked about shining cities on the hill. he talked about a foundation. he talked about the lights
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foundation he started. he talked about helping others who didn't have as much as they should have and he wanted them to have. he talked about giving a little back to your country. he made his speech equivalent to john kennedy's peace corps speech. he was a caring man. he also made the speech where he said, read my lips. no more taxes. now, i've never seen or heard anybody who took credit for giving him that statement because that statement probably led to his difficult -- most difficult time in his reelection campaign. but at the time he made it, he made it because george bush knew he might have to do that. and he wasn't going to continue to race for president without saying, look, i don't want to raise your taxes but it's something we think might happen. and it did happen and it cost him the election. but he did what was right for the country, although it might not have been right for george herbert walker bush. but he was that kind of guy. he put the test on what's best for the people, what's best for the country. if you listen to -- read many of the stories about the iraq war,
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we first sent troops in, george bush was the first one for do that. i remember riding in my car home from my office in atlanta thinking when the news broke the president was about to do a press conference. when i turned the radio on, he was making the announcement that he was going to send troops into iraq from kuwait and go after saddam hussein and get him to give up his weapons of mass destruction. we have -- still have troops in iraq today. we have troops in afghanistan today. we're fighting the ultimate war between good and evil, of terrorism versus the american way and peace and prosperity. but that was a war engaged by george bush not because he wanted to fight but because he wanted to demonstrate flew strengthen that we could negotiate diplomacy. george herbert walker bush did everything he thought was the right thing to do for the right reasons, even if his final decision was not good for him politically, he still did it if it was right for the american people. you could ask no more of a
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politician. you could ask anything you want to but you can't ask anything more of him to do what they think is right regardless of the consequence. i know i love mark twain's quote, when you're confronted with a difficult decision, do what's right. you'll surprise a few but you'll amaze the rest. george bush, herbert walker bush was an amazing man, someone who's life will indellably be in my heart and memory. for all the things he did for me and my children and grandchildren and all of you as americans, to his son 43, he was a great chip off the old block. he's probably as good as his dad but nobody will ever be nicer than his dad. george herbert walker bush, george w. bush, the entire bush family, barbara bush, i sent my simp net and support to -- my sympathy and support, i thank you for the sacrifice you made for our country, your husband and your family. i'll try to always as close as i can -- i'll never make it but
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i'll do as much as i can to be as good or try to be as good as george h.w. bush was. i hope when i die and the papers report on that if there is any they'll be as kind to me as they've been to george bush. what they've done with george bush is told the truth, not told about any failures where there might have been a few. they talked about his victories, his passions, his love and most of all they talked about a great country, the united states of america. it is today great and always will be because of men like george herbert walker bush. may god bless his soul and thank him for the service he's brought to our great country. i yield back and note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call: the quorum call.
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mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: majority leader. mr. mcconnell: i ask consent that further proceedings under the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of calendar number 576, s. 1934. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 576, s. 1934, a bill to prevent catastrophic failure or shutdown of remote diesel power engines due to control devices and for other purposes. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection. the senate will proceed. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the committee-reported amendment at the desk be agreed to, that the bill as amended be considered read a third time and passed, and that the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of calendar number 585, h.r. 754.
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the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 585, h.r. 754, an act to award the congressional gold medal to anwar sadat in recognition of his heroic achievements and contributions to peace in the middle east. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection, the senate will proceed. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the bill be considered read a third time and passed and the motion to reconsider be considered made and weighed upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of calendar number 616, s. 2736. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 616, s. 2736, a bill to develop a long-term strategic vision and a comprehensive multifaceted and principled united states policy for the indo-pacific region and for other purposes.
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the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection, the senate will proceed. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that the gardner amendment at the desk uk agreed to, the committee-reported amendment as amendedden agreed to, the bill be considered read a third time and pass ndz and that the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of calendar number 757, s. -- 707. s. 3530. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 707, s. 3530, a bill to reauthorize the museum and library services act. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection, the senate will proceed. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the committee-reported amendments be agreed to, that the bill as amended be considered read a third time and passed and the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of s. con. res. 57. the presiding officer: the
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clerk will report. the clerk: senate concurrent resolution 57, authorizing the printing of a commemorative document in memory of the late president of the united states george herbert walker bush. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection. the senate will proceed. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the concurrent resolution be agreed to, the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: so now, mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today, it adjourn until 2:30 p.m. wednesday, december 5. further, that following the prayer and pledge, the morning business be deemed expired, the journal of proceedings be approved to date, the time for the two leaders be reserved for their use later in the day, and morning business be closed. finally, following leader remarks, the senate proceed to executive session and resume consideration of the mcnameee nomination, with the time until 4:00 p.m. equally divided between the two leaders or their designees.
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the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: so if there is no further business to come before the senate, i ask it stand adjourned under the previous order. the presiding officer: the senate stands adjourned until senate stands adjourned until >> the senate has gaveled out. today they took time to remember the 41st president of the united states, george h.w. bush, who's lying in state in the capitol rotunda. ahead this week, senators will take a vote on the nomination of bernard mcthatmy to the federal energy regulatory commission, or ferc. we'll have live coverage of the senate when they return here on c-span2. off the floor today, leaders are meeting to consider a two week stopgap bill to avert a federal government shutdown on friday. if both houses of congress approve it, the deadline would be moved to friday, december 21st. and earlier this morning, gina haspel, cia


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