tv U.S. Senate Tribute to Sen. Pat Roberts R-KS CSPAN December 11, 2020 12:45am-1:27am EST
difficulty. i've done my best to improve the livesns of kansans and all-americans. for decades to accomplish big and small things to live the american dream. in kansas i would say a humble thankoure for the privilegef representing you in this great body. to my colleagues thank you for fighting on behalf of the great nation and alongsidef me to preserve this chamber. it's been such a privilege. so as i ride off into the sunset, to create a new normal i will be cheering for the senate to rebuild the bridges that will create a new normal. my colleagues, my time is up. than you. i yield back the floor.
>> senator roberts, thank you for your comments. i am nervous today and more now that i've heard you speak because i am concerned that this may be for the first time in our lives that i've ever spoken longer than you. that makes me nervous. i doolemnly swear that i will support and defend the constitution of the united states against allnemies foreign and domestic and that i will bear true faith and allegiance to the same. words spoken by pat roberts. more than once but on september 15th, 1958 age 22. pat roberts joed the marine corps and has lived by his promise to do exactly that every day thereafter and in every job
he pursued and here in the congress of the united states and in the house and senate he indicated he served as the chief of staff forenator frank carlson, one of those that served the united states senate so highly regarded even today. he served as the chief of staff for congressman keith sibelius. i met pat roberts 50 years ago in 1969. a few years later in 1974 i became an intern in the office of the congressman. pat has been my boss for 45 years. [laughter] the most common conversation is never spoken.
he doesow this, come here and st down. every time i tell him this, he and his boys will say cut that out. but for 45 years, come here, sit do and while you discount and i highlighted it's been some of the most enjoyable time in my life where i've had the opportunity to be your friend hod to listen to what you had to say and i suppose if i thought long and hard i might find something that wasn't good advice, but i can't remember it. so everything in those circumstances is something that i continue to value today. i learned something in every conversation. knowing pat for 50 years, i told him that he just keeps me around. he puts up with me because i have at least heard of the
people that he knows. we both grew up in times of politics in which your relationships with voters and relationships with constituents and relationships kansans was paramount. he knew the school superintendent in everyw community and he knew the executive of the chamber of commerce, the newspaper editor. he knew the president of the county farm bureau i don't know homany times i've heard him say i'm going home to tal to dodge city or i'm going to sit on theon wagon and i'm going to hear from kansans what they have to tell us. politics as you've heard from senator roberts is in his blood and inn his family. the chairman of the republican national committee frankie national committee frankie roberts the staff person for strom thurmond and his blood and
in his family isn't just politicis and justpolitics but . in 1980 pat roberts decided to be an office holder, not an office staffer. the first letter i ever wrote to an editor of the paper was to my hometown where his primary opponent lived. and i supported pat roberts in a letter to the editor when his opponent was somebody that was highlyegarded and a friend of mine. but pat roberts frienhip and his commitment who he is as a human being in his sworn oath told me pat roberts was the person i wanted to be my congressman and the constituent in me said this is the guy i want to servin serving me and mw kansans. he won that election in january
of 1981 and became a house member representing the first district of kansas known in our state is the big first. the geography of the district today and almost true when pat was the congressman is the size of the state of illinois. the largest city with a population of about 35,000. it is a rural place and it fit the mode of representation which was i know them and they know me. he was elected with a significant majority of voters. he won seven times to be elected to the house of representatives and never received less than 60% of the vote. and in his last election to the house of repsentatives he received nearly 78% of kansans
approval. it hadce its consequences. and it ishe kind of politics described that i hope we return treturned to in which it is all about taking care o kansans, taking care of americans setting aside our differences and finding common ground. just as we have to do in the community. on january 3rd, 1997, pat was sworn in as a member of this body. i asked what it is i might say today and she said i remember in about 1996 early maybe late 1995 she answers the phone and it was pat roberts and what he said was tell jerry to put his running shoes on.
pat roberts gave me the vantage of knowing his plans well in advance of the public or potential opponents and set the stage in my life as somebody you would look out and think no chance of ever being a united states senator but pat roberts found value in me and gave me the opportunity to serve where i serve today. i never thought i would catch up in the house ofr representativ, never thought i would w catch up with pat robertson the united states senate but because he and his friends took an interestri n me, and because this is america that became possible. pat is only the 34th kansan to serve a term in the united states senate and i like that number. he will recognize we are the 34th state admitted to the union and he's the 34th senator to serve a term from kansas in this
body. pat roberts told me to put my running shoes on, gave me a chance and we've had those running shoes on for a long timn thereafter. pat is that fourth-generation kansan who knows us. i would say one of his greatest contributions to our state to the midwest and to the count has been his distinguished career in leadership and agriculture. the farm bills tt he mentioned that work with democrats and republicans coming together fitingke for fair markets for the producers and the support for the crop insurance there's no question they had a strong voice in congress as a result of pat roberts being here. he is distinguished by being the
first member of congress and the next congress we will begin the process of writing another farmville and it will be the first farmville sin the agricultural and food act of 1981 that will be written withoutth pat roberts direct influence. the legacy had an impact on the foreign policy and it will be felt for generations to come as a result of his work in the 96 k freedom to form act, the 2,000 risk production act that modernized crop insurance and many other pieces of consequentia legislation. in his early years in the senate, he indicated he led the senate intelligence committee and this was during the time of the 9/11 attacks under his leadership, the committee conducted a sweeping and exhausting review of the u.s. intelligence which led to critical refms to put us in a
better position to know more and to protect amerins better. that work on the intelligence reform earned him a spot in a very distinguished guest speaker program atansas state university. combining his experience in agriculture and inlligence and in defense, senator roberts has laid the groundwork for the national bio and agro defense facility at its on the modern in manhattan kansas. it brings great opportunity to the state, and we are so pleased omto have this benefit the couny and the state for generations to come. pat roberts deserves great credit for the eisenhower memorial. i've been around this issue for a long time. it's been challenging from the get-go. nothing was easy and the
controversy follows every capital ground on the national mall. and i have no doubt that in the absence of the leadership, he is bringing to people together and his sense of humor, eisenhower would never be seen honored and respected at the memorial that we now have. he, senator roberts, advocates for policie that he believes in and he compromises when necessary and ways has a way of bringing everyone together often with a joke ready to ease the tension wnever things get ressful. i used to tell him i saw once again you became the funnit member of congress. he got an award. he would always correct me i'm nothe funniest, i'm the most humorous. and so many times he has been designated the most humorous member of congress to do some of the most important work that he
has do for kansans will not be memorialized in the past or signed io law here in washington, d.c. but the change he made back home how about in the rural hospital he fought to keep the doors open and the family farms that are still operating because of the decisions and efforts that he made his consistently, continuously thought to get anrmers and ranchers,fa to get e rural communities and the people of kansas the right resources at the right times. i've had the challenge of following in politics in my life in both the house and the senate does humorous people, pat roberts being one. the greatest challge probably for both of us is bob dole. how can you ever follow bob dole in any way and how can you compete with his sense of humor and parcularly his weight.
one of my first memories is when he worked for the late great frank carlson. of course that was well ove 50 years ago when he was just a young child, and i was maybe a teenager. pat has the best sense of humor of anyone in congress. i am not sure how he acquired it but i'm sure that it serves them well today. i honest don't know what it's like to be retired but people tell me that it's great. be forewarned that with the rest of the world doesn't operate exactly like the senate. if anything goes wrong or breaks it's home you're trusted the chiechief of staff isn't on sped dial to put out the fire and there's nobody tobo die all your calls for you anyway. but your alarm clock up for sale on ebay. somebody might want to buy a
beat up clock owned by a senator and number two, you don't need to wake up early ever again in your life unless you just wan to go sit in the dc traffic for old times sake. you have to brew your own coffee so by one of those space looking contraption'and make friends with your local barista. you have to share elevators with the rest of the world now so stop looking for the senators only sign. your grandkids are now your information technology department, so reward them accordingly or if you want your computer to be used up and running, just a ask alexa. ..
read that i could lead with a sense of humor with getting things done also the supreme quality leership is integrity without it no real success is possible for ballfield in the army have no doubt you look at the role model and you have lead like ike led. i thank you an your staff for all you have de what you have done for and our team your mom and your dad and your
mom and never met your dad. they would be so proud of you for the service that you are completing this term. frankie and david and wesley it not pat roberts it's a family we wish you absolutely the best. i asked a kansas farmer i do not asking for any advice this is a rancher from elkhart who said i would want to know that my senator fought for my values in dc the senator did everything he could do that was a priority to the nation to the rancher and elkhart
roberts isxactly that a kansan will do everything he could do that every parof the world is not forgotten in this part of the world. so pat i guess you said that you to kansas into this congress i think it's time for me to y in returnn behalf of all kansans, thank you for your service to our nation into oure. state a le well lived you are the example. thank you. >> mr. president. 's, thank you mr. president. i arrive today to pay tribute to someone who has been more than a colleague, more than just a friend actually a true
partner here in the senate and that has paid huge dividends farmers and families and communities across the c country. that robert has been here for a long time some may even call him an institution. in fact with the recent event i joked as a young man he invoked washington nonfarm policy it may be an exaggeration but his legacy can hardly be overstated he is a lasting imprint on farm and food policy in this country and the only person that is when the farm bill as a member of the farm and the senate agriculture committee there
was no other place like it. to leave politics at the door agriculture is not red or blue issue or food policy affects all of us nobody knows that better than senator roberts. we never gave up in texas in the 2018 farm bill. at the beginning of the negotiations we visited each other'sst home state and i arrived in manhattan kansas in which on behalf when wearing purple today and then he came to michigan.
we also made a commitment to each other with a bipartisan farm m bill i never doubted pat had my back even when negotiations got tough and he knew i had his back as well. so this partnership the most bipartisan bill in history the first time around it was 86 and then the final was 87 votes. that was the most yes votes on the farm bill ever. we could do that because we had a unique partnership based onut trust and the outcome was a strong bipartisan bill from the wheat farmers in kansas
cherry growers in michigan and with the crop insurance nobody deserves the credit for that important safety net than senator pat roberts also a champion of insecurity and agricultural research which is why he and i work together to establish the foundation for food and agriculture and also to understand the importance of protecting food assistance for children and for families and food research for senator roberts last year for the teamwork it has been an honor working with that because he is truly one-of-a-kind and from the moment i met him it became abundantlys clear he was not the run-of-the-mill politician. some say it is the unflappable nature or the unique sense of
humor. but to me, pat roberts is defined by his loyalty, integrity and dedication to the people kansas. he started his career as the first lieutenant in the marine corps and it is clear he is carry that courage and conviction with him throughout his entire life and also newspaper reporter which makes sense if you think of his dogged determination and for better or worse the ability to be exceptionally quotable. as a public servant he is so beloved and is home state of kansas he never lost an election, 24 / zero senator pat h roberts, it has been an
honor to be your partner and an even bigger honor to be your friend. so while your retirement is well-deserved you will be missed in the agriculture committee and in the senate. thank you for all you have done for farmers and families in the american people and i wish you only continued happiness and success as you and frankie and the family ved to this next piece of your life. yield the floor mr. president. >> i ask unanimous consent the restatement be made part of the recordy. today. pat roberts wi be missed not just by the sate or the people kansas error the nation
but on - - or the nation but he keeps us going. i first met pat roberts 1979 i was just elected to the house of representatives he was the chief of staff of a distinguish congressman who was well respected on both sides of the aisle and the chief of staff. our paths cross later elected to the senate we served on the intelligence community together and other communiti so that will do is in h humor he has a dauter like that which is wonderful i think and i told at one time that must be the inherited characteristic. he smiled. he understood but that's more
than a little humor he is a serious person with a diinguished career kansas day graduate, mari graduate, marine, staffer, congn to chair both cmittees in the house and sene and a 40 years of elected office we will miss you, pat. i have sat here withthen you tht if you are feeli downbo about something to make you think this is not all bad that america is coming together, again. 's we had a great timhere with you today. frankie is with you and a
great influence on you. we will miss you. i will miss thatumor every day. godspeed. thk you i yield the floor. >> mr. president i mete pat roberts running for the house of representatives for the first time and fends who worked for pat and they got me a meeting for him which was a big deal because he was the chairman of the house and i committee and i was in a republic primary over 50 points behind. and somebody that would make itth tough and i had a great
meeting with him talk abt agriculture and night and i'm grateful i had the opportunity and one of the times we have much common gund that is incredibly important in number one industry in south dakota i have the privilege of serving with for more than a decade. i call him a chairman since he has been my chairman for so long and he calls me to a moniker he gave me very early because he says i ok like gary cooper. i have to admit the first time he called me tt come i had to look up some pictures to see if that was a complement or not. but i know he meant it that way. whenever he introduced me it was coop it is high noon. you are a. mous movie that he started
with grace kelly and pat is veryodyho would be a man accomplish talking to movies of that era. he kneso one - - knows a lot about everything. my chairman because he has been there for a longn time. the stories and the nicknames it is quintessenal the way he conducts himself and somedy talked about his sense of humor this morning and i thinknik senator moran tak to him not being funny or humorous but i would say he is a funny person. he is a codian by nate and with his reperire of the quotes and country music lyrics and the storytellingle u can be sure you will have a few belly laughs. and i always tell him that
when he gets up on the floor and speaks at a committee hearing tt you close your eyes you kind of hear paul harvey senator moran said he sounds like jack benny once in a while but when i was growing up pl harvey was the voice on the radio the much everyday in our housend i hear that same midwestern residents and commonsensical place wnever i hear pat get up and talk. pat may have a great sense of humor he does keep us constantly smiling but he is also very serious when it cos to getting things done for the people kansas and we couldn't have the better advocate.
his heartbeats of the farmers oful the country and it serving as both the house and the senate agricultural committee during his career and as noted that is the first member of congress in history to have served in both the chairman and how side committee also the first member of congress to have written and pass the farm bill in both chambers with a farm bills and all which is an incredible number i'm a jew have worked with him on three farm lls in the senate including the 2018 formula pass the senate with the greatest number of votes than any farm bill in senate historys history, a tribute to the hardork that pat and his consensus
to reach out to members from all over the country that represent different areas and commodities and crops to bring themg together to write a farm bill i've been associated with enough to know they tend to be contversial because some people represent cities h don't have those constituencies so the fact that he was successful to get a farm bill across the finish line with a record 87 votes is a remarkable accomplishment in and of itself is partnership isn't limited to agriculture where he led a sweeping revie of us intelligencems apparatus to shore up intelligence and national security. military, healthcare, the list goes ont and on probably representing the people of
kansas for 40 years 16 in the house and 24 in the united states senate. his public service began long before that in the united statesay marine corps once a marine always a marine and pat has probably represented the marines here in congress. currently the most senior marines serving here on capitol t hill the motto of the marine corps is always faithfulov he has lived out that motto over a long career the service to our country and i hate to think of the senate without pat roberts. he will be sorely missed but has more than earned his retirement in the chance to spend more time with his wife frankie and his children and
grandchildren went on which th have contributed to his success that don't have support families or spous we are truly grateful for those they have made to his success in the senate and i l know that he is looking forward to speing more time with them in the future. thank you for your leadership and your friendship and may god bless you in your retirement. i will miss you. i yield the floor. >> i raise also toay farewell to a trulypa great senato senator, senator roberts who is a friend and a mentor and a lder and no doubtith all of the accomplishments certainly the
great state of kansas most accomplished sators ever. with another group of americans and in the united states marine corps where he is taking care of the us manes during his entire tenure. if they needed something they knew where to go the great senator from kansas. most where there senate in indicating he either wears this plan but showing where so
much of his loyalty lies. with the united stes marine corps. i know the marines will miss senator roberts. i will miss senator roberts. just like the remarks today and toave the honor joe so many stories and allow the stories and for me involving alaska is a very close friend of patson the seed of which i'm honored to pull here and i have learned so much of the stories that i have heard from senator roberts. a great example for me and so
many other senators a statesman and marine and optimist. and then to a beautiful wife and a leader in the senate six chairmanshipsip who gets things done for his state and country and finally mr. president a man of integrity. is tough to be the chairman of the nate ethics committee but the senate ethics committee i much needed here to chair the committee for 24 years to say how much they believe in ts man's integrit on to serve othe eisenhower
memorial commission and i saw again one of the great qualities of senator roberts' tenaci on a rainy night a few months ago i attend a dedication ceremony for president eisenhow and watched as america celebrated great american and kansan if there's one person who made that a reality was senator pat roberts. so today we say farewell to another kansan and great american thank you for the exame and mentorship a the senate to kansas and america and the united states marine corps. simplify one - - some for by