tv U.S. Senate CSPAN December 18, 2012 12:00pm-4:59pm EST
senator, i suspect so many americans have never seen a united states senator of japanese ancestry with one arm and a distinguished voice and presence, and you've made an indelible impression on the american people. that was 1973. that was a long time ago. and since then, dan inouye made an indelible impression on a great many people around the world, and especially on the 100 of us who serve here. he commanded our respect in a remarkable way. part of it was because of his service in the war. he and bob dole, our former colleague, literally were wounded at about the same time in europe and were in the same hospital recovering from tremendously serious wounds. senator inouye, of course, later was awarded the congressional medal of honor for that. senator pryor was telling the story that when senator inouye was finally elected to congress
he wrote senator dole a note and said, "i'm here. where are you?" because both of them, when they were recovering from their war wounds, had determined that one day they wanted to serve in the united states congress. inouye got here first. a few years ago senator inouye and senator ted stevens invited a number of us to go with them to china. it was quite an experience. senator stevens -- of course, another world war ii veteran -- had flown the first cargo play plane into what was then peking in 1974. and senator inouye was well-regarded in china for that service. and so the group of norse -- there must have been -- and so the group of norse -- ther of se must have been a dozen of us -- got together with the leaders of china. we were accorded every courtesy we could possibly be accorded because of the presence of
senator inouye and senator stevens. they were like brothers. they called one another "brothers." they acted that way in private. they served that way in the senate as chairman and vice-chairman and vice-chairman and chairman of the appropriations committee. they single-handedly shaped our american defense posture and they did it with skill and pay troivmen--and patriotism and the that very few could have. several senators have mentioned how bipartisan dan inouye was. he was of the old school. not a bad school for today, in my point of view. he treated each senator with courtesy, even the newer senators. he treated each senator with a sense of equality, even those who were in the minority and not on his side of the aisle. he was always fair, he was always courteous, and he always tried to do the right thing. he was a textbook united states
senator. he announced for reelection after his last election -- i don't foidon't know his exact a. but he will be well-remembered. not long ago he spoke at our wednesday morning prayer breck that of the that we have -- breakfast that we have here. usually we have 20 30r senators. on the day he spoke, we had maybe 50, maybe 70. we had senators sitting on the window sills, standing in the back, just to hear what he had to say. i won't repeat what what he had to say, except that he spoke about his war experience, in a quiet way. he stood there for 10-15 minutes and explained those experiences to us, most of us have never had that sort of experience. it gave us a new sense of him, and it increased our respect for
him, if that could have been pofnlpossible. so i join with my colleagues to say that senator dan inouye was a patriot. he set the standard really for a united states senator. he set the standard for a man or woman in our military fighting to defend his or her country. and he set the standard as an individual who showed courtesy to everyone he met. we will miss him. we honor him, and we say to his family our expressions of grief to them but, more importantly, our great respect for our colleague who today is gone. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from eafnlg alaska. mr. begich: mr. president, i ask consent to speak until my comments are completed. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. begich: i rise today to pay tribute to a mentor of mine in the senate, senator daniel
inouye. the histories of my state and senator inouye's closely -- are closely connected. we both entered the union at the same time, in 1959. as a matter of fact, i moi as a kid growing up, i wasn't sure if we had two senators or three senators, because senator inouye's name was so well-known throughout alaska. when our states were entered in 1959, there was opposition to both of us becoming states, but we have proven our opponents wrong. thanks to daniel inouye, hawaii has become a modern, prosperous state. many alaskans have a special fond unless for the 50th state, especially i have to say at this time of the year when it's 40 below in fairbanks. daniel inouye began his public career and service at the age of 17 when he entered the army after the attack on pearl harbor. he served with incredible distinction, earning the nation's highest military medal for action in italy.
as a member of the senate, senator inouye continued his fierce defense of his state in his partnership with alaska. my preye predecessor, ted steve, knew senator inouye as his brother. they worked together and produced much good for both our states. that will last for generations. when i was elected to this office, senator inouye was one of the first members to reach out to me to ask how he could help. the unique thing about senator inouye was always his quiet approach to all the issues. he provided me quiet advice and helped me learn how this place works. many times i'd be down here at the podium and in the well here waiting for the vote to be tallied or members to vote, and snon senator inouye was come in, stand at the edge there and look up and just say, how's it going, alaska? and we would have a brief conversation and usually his
words were land incredible insight -- it may not even be relevant to the topic that we were voting on, but he'd say something to me about something he knew i was working on. and he would just share a few words. i know the first people of alaska will especially remember hum for his dedication to their success. he met with alaskan native peoples during their visits to washington as often, and i would say, even more often than the alaska members in the house and senate. he made -- they made a point to stop by his office on a regular occasion to talk to him about what has happened in the past, what's going on today, and what they look for in the future. earlier this year, senator inouye was in alaska at my invitation, his last trip to alaska. he told them a memorable story about his support of the trans alaska oil pipeline, which was controversial when he supported it in its construction. now, senator inouye has a unique style of how to tell stories,
and you got to just pay attention and listen. they're no very to the point. senator inouye told this story told by opponents of the pipe lynn that it would -- of the pipeline that it would destroy the caribou. this was what he would told over and over again. again in his last trip, he was in front of a group of people, and i was anxious as he started to tawfnlg he said, i have this story tell you. he talked about this time of controversy about the alaska north slope and the oil pipeline and the caribou and what would happen and the destruction that may occur based on what he was hearing. but he was a strong supporter of the pipeline. so in his words -- and in fact here's how w he actually said i. he said, "the warm oil going through the pipeline heats the ground so grass grows year-round. the caribou come around to eat the grass," and in his words, "make love" and the caribou population has grown threefold.
who was i to let facts of that wonderful story by senator inouye get in the way of its telling. but he has done enor husband things for -- enormous things for our alaska people and alaska in total. he went out to alaska many, many years years ago and saw the d dde--the deplorable conditions r water. and, yes, like hawaii, alaskans, we loved our earmarks, and we still love them. and he was an adamant proponent of earmarks, making sure that, as mentioned by senator mikulski, they went for the right reasons. as also mentioned, his defense of this country and his person personal, heroic actions, but his ongoing, everyday work he did to shape the national defense and really international defense, and it was an incredible sight to watch him in action. i wai will always remember danil
inouye for his truly hearty laugh, his ready smile, his partnership with my state of alaska, and his dedication to his state. truly a silent giant. my condolences go to his wife irene and the entire inouye family and to all who miss him greatly. you know, we come down to the session every day. we get the calendar of business. this one dated today. you look on all the list of the committees and you see the chairman and the members, but today his name is not there. after 41 years. my heart goes out to him, to truly the silent giant. i yield the floor.
mrs. murray: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from washington. mrs. murray: mr. president, i come to the floor today to pay tribute to an american hero, a great senator, an amazing man, and a dear friend, senator danny inouye. senator inouye dedicated his life to public service and through his hard and faithful work he has left his nation around the state that he loves so dearly far better in so many ways. we will all hear a lot about -- in the days ahead about the barriers that danny broke down over the course of his life. we will hear about his service in times of war and in peace, about his heroism, about his love for his family and state and country, and we'll hear about the admiration and respect he's earned from so many of us here in the senate on both sides of the aisle. over the course of a long and
very storied career. but, mr. president, what i want to focus on for a minute today is the danny inouye who's been there for me as a friend and mentor for the past 20 years. who's been a shining light in this chamber and has set an example for all of us who measure our work not simply in words but in actions. senator inouye was certainly not the loudest member of this chamber. he was certainly not the most verbose, and he wasn't a senator who spent his time making long-winded speeches. but through his quiet resolve, his understated strength, and his commitment to do the right thing no matter what he was able to accomplish so much. senator inouye led the appropriations committee through difficult times with grace and incredible effectiveness. the partisan rancor that too often dominates this city was unacceptable to him, and he made that clear to all of us. danny's focus was on people, on
the infrastructure that they depend on in their communities, on the most vulnerable, on our military families, and on the state of hawaii. mr. president, if danny inouye was a giant here in the senate, he was a mountain back home. hawaii would not be hawaii without danny inouye. he fought for his state. he would not allow it to be ignored, and he made it a better place to live and work for george bush reagan administrations to come. -- for generations to come. mr. president, as a senator from another state far from washington, d.c., i learned a lot from senator inouye about how to advocate for the people who elect you and how to make sure they never get lost here in the mix. through his quiet and shining example, we all earn willed a bit -- we all learned a bit more about bipartisan. i so remember danny huddling on the floor working closely with his good friend, senator stevens from alaska. we all learned a bit more about effectiveness. he knew how to get things done.
we all learned a bit more about humility. you'd never here danny talk about himself. we all learn add bit more about respect -- learned a bit more about respect, about kindness towards all, not just those who agree with you. and, mr. president, danny helped us all remember every single day why he came here in the first place. i can't tell you how many times danny would stand his ground on issues that others would have given up on, simply because he knew the impact. -- the impact it would have on real people. he knew this was about so much more than politics legislative gains. it was about helping people and solving their problems and delivering for their communities and our nation. mr. president, dan chin owe way impressed -- danny inouye impressed me every day for 20 years. but nothing impressed me more than his love and comurmt for -- his love and commitment for his family i just got off the phone with his wife irene and
expressed my condolences. danny will be missed terribly but he has left so much for us to remember him by. his legislative acheevmentz, of course, the roads that wouldn't have been built had he not been here, the military bases that would not exist had he not fought for them, the ports and bridges and trains that would have been less safe had he not been there to move legislation that strengthened them. but danny will be remembered far beyond his many tangible achievements. he will live on through the values that he embodied and spread, through the principles he stood up for and shared, through his family who loved him dearly, through the people who will never forget his advocacy, through the country he sacrificed so much for, and of course through all of us who are forever better simply for having served with the greatest senator of all, senator dan inouye.
thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. mr. president. mr. president, before i yield the floor, i would ask unanimous consent for -- i have four unanimous consent requests for committees to meet during today's session of the senate. they have the approval of the majority and minority leaders, and i ask unanimous consent these requests be agreed to and be printed in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. murray: thank you, mr. president. i do yield the floor. mr. isakson: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from georgia. mr. isakson: on behalf of the over ten million people in georgia, over 300 million people in the united states of america and the other 99 senators in the united states senate i want to offer my condolences to the family of dan inouye. when a great football coach passes away and players are interviewed about what kind of coach was he, i always say he was a player's coach. when great generals are lost and soldiers who fought go to the funeral are asked what kind of funeral was he, they say he was
a soldier's general. i'm here to pay tribute to the life of a senator's senator. he was a great model for me. he came when hawaii first became a state, he has influenced the lives not of a few but of many. i got an e-mail this morning, mr. president, from mat mattingly, united states senator from georgia elected in 1980. in his interview he said please remember on the floor of the united states senate, love and affection my wife leslie and i have for a great american, dan inouye. i share that same affection. i know i owe a lot of success, whatever i have had in the senate from learning from his patience, his guide arranges his temperament but also his determination. yesterday i am told his last words were aloha. we have to remember those were the first words you meant from den inouye as well -- from dan inouye as well because he meant it. i want to follow up on what senator alexander said because i too was at the prayer breakfast when dan inouye spoke earlier
this year. largest crowd we ever had. not because invitations got out. but because the word got out dan inouye was going to be there. everybody was mesmerized by his candor and commitment. we don't discuss what went on here except to say when dan inouye opened his heart it was as big and rich a heart as the one we've seen in the senate. to his family, his loved ones, the state of hawaii and people of america, we have lost a great man but we are better off for knowing him, loving him and serving with him. i pay tribute to the life and times of a great american hero, dan inouye. mr. roberts: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from kansas. mr. roberts: thank you, mr. president. let me associate myself with the remarks of senator isakson and thank him and all of my colleagues who have come to the floor to you'll jews, if -- to
eulogize, if that is the proper word, senator dan inouye. the senate and our nation has lost an unsung hero. heroic in military valor, receiving the nation's highest honor, the medal of honor, seeking the truth during our most challenging times, a tireless guardian of our national security and champion to the men and women who put their lives at risk to protect the united states and whose legislative session achievements have been simply remarkable. all this from a man who always gave others credit and never sought the spotlight. yesterday senator john mccain from arizona, a hero in his own right, said the senate lost, america and especially his beloved citizens of hawaii, lost a unique, brave and wonderful
legislator, a man who brought to this institution the most unique credentials, that senator mccain said and would argue probably of anyone who has ever served in this very diverse body. he certainly hit the nail on the head. in hawaii there was a group of young japanese-americans who decided they wanted to serve their country and they wanted to serve in uniform. one of the most well known and famous and highly decorated units in the entire of world war ii. it was the did a pal i don't --i don't know in which -- battalion in which dan inouye served. he was wounded and lost his arm. then senator inouye pointed out he went to a veterans hospital in chicago where a person on the same ward was an american army second lieutenant where he had
also been wounded very seriously, was wounded in italy in combat. bob dole, second lieutenant bob dole of kansas. a man that still today is representing the very best we have in kansas and our country, and did such a great job as a leader of this body. and there became a friendship that lasted to this day, both men gravely wounded, both certainly dedicated more than ever to serve their country, both served with distinction. the friendship and the bonds of friendship that were forged in that hospital between bob and dan were unique and also enduring. yesterday also senator danny akaka pointed out that his colleague from his native state was a true patriot, an american hero in every sense. and he is at that time in hawaii, the greatest leader.
and then danny akaka said it is an incredible understatement to call him an institution. this chamber will never be the same without him. he also said that dan inouye leaves behind him a list of accomplishments unlikely to ever be paralleled. his life long dedication and hard work in the name of his beloved country, the united states of america, influenced every part of his life and set him apart even in the senate. so today will be the first day since hawaii became a state in 1959, that dan inouye will not be representing us in the congress. every child born in hawaii will learn that dan inouye, a man who changed the islands forever. then senator akaka said he was praying for his wife irene, his son and his daughter-in-law jessica, his step daughter and granddaughter maggie, who was the apple of his eye.
like so many, when danny's -- with danny's untimely passing i have lost a very, very, very dear friend. in truth, every senator in the senate as an institution has lost a dear friend. we've lost one of the last institutional flames of the senate. upon reflection, the occasions i had the privilege to be with danny also represented my personal career and highlights as i look back. codels with senator ted stevens affectionately called uncle ted where danny always had steurts that said i sur-- t-shirts that said i survived codel. he took us to the russian far and any number of places of national interest where nobody else would go with as the song says "through the bushes and the brambles where a rabbit wouldn't go." danny was the personification of those who get things down the
effective way, staying in the background until time to take charge and then give others credit. i will always remember his sonorous, bufondo voice advising the north koreans in north korea they should make moon jong a tourist site, not a shooting gallery. in the fast east we traveled to sakalene island where locals will say there are still saber toothed tigers north of the island. danny nodded sagely and then went into detail about his many other travels with a little fact and fiction mixed in all with a twinkle in his eye. i also remember in the community or the city of habarask in the russian far east, we were at a
hotel, and i would say that this hotel did not -- if they rate hotels in regard to the russian far east, this one had to be one of the last on the list. as we went into our rooms, i discovered that my bed was a wooden frame and then just straps. no mattress. and then one blanket and no pillows. i thought being the junior member of this codel, this was something that they assigned to me. so i went down the hall with my special key in hand and my special i.d.d. in that part of the world, that's what you do. knocked on danny's door, and he said how can i be of service to you, dear friend? and i said i'd just look to look at your accommodations thinking of course he would have a bed, and there was a wooden bed with the same kind of accommodation. no mattress and just one blanket. and he said, well, why are you
interested in that bed? i said, well, i thought being a junior member that something might be better in your quarters. he got a big kick out of that. and he was always reminding me of that at various times when i would get a little upset about anything. but at any rate, it is not an understatement with regard to leadership, bipartisan, integrity and achievement. it would serve every member of this senate to ask: what would danny inouye want to us do? in today's "washington post" there was a reference to the keynote speech that senator inouye gave in chicago -- and i quote -- "it was a period of unrest after the assassinations of senator robert kennedy and the reverend martin luther king, turbulent times indeed. speaking not as a democrat but as a citizen disturbed by unprecedented violence, senator inouye described a troubling
loss of faith among americans. and he said, "i do not mean a loss of religious faith. i loss of faith in our country, its purpose and its institutions. i mean a retreat from the responsibilities of citizenship." then he called for americans to rebuild their trust in government, an extraordinary statement from a man whose people had suffered grave injustices at the hands of government. the article went on to say that senator inouye's remarks were immediately overshadowed by events at that convention but that his speech was truly remarkable. but his speech drew little attention then and is even less remembered now. my colleagues, danny's speech should be required reading today, giving recently experienced tragedies in our country. it was just last week i was asked to speak on senator inouye's behalf at an event at
the proposed eisenhower memorial, a joint bipartisan effort that has taken far too long to bring to fruition. a day before in the cloakroom, just back there, we had one of our many discussions where he grabbed my hand and looked me in the eye and said, you know, you and i probably vote differently 80% of the time. but in all of our mutual efforts, in all of our travels, i have considered you a brother. i didn't know what to do. i responded with a tear in my eye, and i said, i love you dan inouye. and he said i love you too. what a wonderful -- what a wonderful thing to hear from a true american hero in every respect. it has been a privilege and an honor to serve with such a remarkable and truly humble man.
i also want to thank his wonderful staff in working with my staff son so many, many -- working with my staff on so many, many mutual projects. aloha, my friend. i will miss you every day. mr. president, i note the -- i'm sorry. i yield back the balance of my time. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from new jersey. mr. menendez: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent to speak for five minutes not withstanding the present order. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. menendez: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, there are few times in history, few times in the history of this institution when one senator, a singularly iconic leader, comes along and reminds us of what it means to be a united states senator, what it means to represent the very best of what this nation stands for and to do it as he always did, with the utmost dignity, with honor, pride and integrity.
i'm deeply saddened to have to speak to the passing of a true american hero. someone who inspired so many of us here in the united states senate, someone whose ideals and sense of justice were always on display. the passing of senator inouye leaves a painful void in the leadership of this body. the life and sacrifice of senator inouye, in so many ways, embodies the essence of the greatest generation. even when faced with the suffering, indignity, and humiliation of an internment campcamps he did not allow his e and commitment to his country to be did he minutished. and justice was a constant theme in his life. he represented the challenges faced by his hawaiian people since statehood, when he became it's first representative in the united states congress. we had a close bond when it came to our concern for minorities in
our country, because of the struggles in his liervetion he understood the struggles in both of our communities. he felt a kinship to the hispanic community and shared the community's hopes and aspirations. in recent conversations, i know he understood from his comments the growing importance of the hispanic community and the benefit of advantaging their interests within -- of advancing their interests within american society. his words -- he lived it he understood it, he knew it. we lived together on the recognition of -- we worked together on the recognition of filipino veterans. he thanked me for my interest. these are just a few stories of a man who led a quintessentially american life. i know there are thousands more to be toavmentd some have already been told on the senate floor. but the real story is that this was a man who sacrificed for his country, met the challenges it presented but ultimately, because of a kind heart and
loyalty to the ideals we profess as americans, he became one of the most important yet most humble leaders in the united states national. senator inouye and his life indeed has reminded us what it means to be an american hero, a war hero who carried the burden of his service with him all of his life. his courage, his patriotism, his respect for the values he fought for informed his views and his votes in this chamber of the ch. the senate is diminished with his pass being, a hero, a powerful voice for reason, rationality, and common sense and reason, ration national, and common sense was tobacco of course in short supply. he will be missed not only by all of house had the privilege to serve with him but by a nation who needs more leaders like him. we, all of us, remember his
lasting influence, his way of making us look into the heart of the matter without prejudice or preconceived political impressions. he knew thousand get to the crux of an issue and he led the way so many times for the rest of you and we followed his lead and the nation is better for it. all of us who worked with him as chairman of the appropriations committee respected his word and his commitment to fairness. he was always willing to listen, always willing to hear your side, always willing to reach out across the aisle for what he believed was right. and most recently he was a voice of support and wisdom in our efforts to secure disaster relief for my home state of new jersey. he empathized with the needs of new jerseyans just as he addressed the needs of i hadians for decades. there's no more gracious man than dan inouye, who one who was more respectful than the senior senator from hawaii. our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife and his family and to the people of hawaii today. we have lost an incredibly great
pastora yesterday at the age he had been hospitalized since early december. senator inouye who served in the u.s. house in 1959 before being elected to the senate in 1962 was serving his ninth term in office after winning their reelection in 2010 was 75% of the vote. a winner of the distinguished service cross for heroism, senator inouye lost his right arm in combat during world war ii. he later received a medal of honor along with another number of japanese american soldiers. from bill clinton in 2000. here is a conversation with the senator from 2008. welcome to the latest interview in the united states capitol historical society's series of oral history interviews to the economy former
member of congress from connecticut and i am the president of the united states capitol and historical society. this interview with senator daniel inouye is part of a special series featuring asian-pacific members of congress. in these interviews current and fellow members have relived their memories of people, places and events that have shaped their public career. it is our hope that these recollections will provide listeners with a deeper appreciation prehuman dimension of representative government in this temple of liberty we know as the united states capitol. senator daniel inouye was born in honolulu hawaii on september 7th, 1924 and was named after a methodist minister who had adopted his mother. in march, 1943, he enlisted in the u.s. army's 44 regimental a team. he saw combat in italy and
southern france and was badly wounded during an engagement for which he was awarded the distinguished service cross which was later upgraded to the medal of honor, the highest award for military valor. with financial assistance from the g.i. bill, inouye graduated from the university of hawaii and the george washington university law school. when hawaii became a state on august 21st, 1959, daniel inouye ran for the united states house of representatives as the new state's first congressman. leaders elected to the united states senate in 1962, he is currently serving his eighth term in the united states senate. an hour earlier interviews in a series, other people we've spoken to have talked about the first time they were sworn in as a member of congress. and in 1959 you became the first member from hawaii. what was that like when you were first on the floor of the house
of representatives? >> well, i've spent some time in washington before this. as you know, i went to law school, but i have never been on the floor of the chamber, and so it was an awesome experience for me to be among the multitude and to have the speaker of the house swear me in. it was a simple ceremony but i will never forget. >> i can imagine. many members come to washington they manage to find a mentor, a senior member who seems to take them under the wing and help them. was their anyone you looked to at that time or anyone who kind of looked after you in the early days? >> there were several. one was neil o'brien, the subcommittee chairman on territories, the committee that had jurisdiction over statehood.
and the congressman nelson of colorado who was the chairman of the full committee, the interior committee. and those two on day one took over and told me what to do and what to get and what to buy. the question that most astounding as far as i'm concerned is the speaker of the house. for example, on my first day, i found myself and my office all by myself with just furnishings, nothing on all and the telephone rang and there was the speaker. he said if you are free, come on over. and i didn't know where the speaker's office was. but it was august, it was a hot day. s a subway. i ran across the ground.
finally made it up the steps but i learned after that i used the tunnell. and i got to see him and believe it or not, the speaker gave me a tour of the capitol. he was a tour guide he showed me the shoeshine boy and says u.k. and 25 cents but if you can afford you give him a tip. there's a parlor shop, the bank, and then he took the on the floor and said that's where i sit. that's where you will sit. someday you'll sit there, by the chairman. and then i addressed mr. speaker and i will address you as the gentleman from hawaii. i will be damned if i'm going to call you by your name since i can't pronounce it. [laughter] and we got to be good friends. he invited me to the texas table
because we had no hawaii table in the dining room. and the chicago fellows and pennsylvania fellows and new york fellows were all good to me. >> like your colleague, daniel akaka and former transportation chairman norman, world war ii was important in the event in their lives and in your life as well. you serve in the most highly decorated unit in the history of the united states army and received a bronze star, distinguished service cross and middle of honor. can you tell us what you learned from that experience, and how did that experience impact your public career? >> well, there are certain things that haunt me even to this day. and that is the realization of that the war can change a person's character and personality.
one might be content and say i'm a good person. now, for example one week before i got into the service and put on my uniform i was and sunday school teacher and i sang in acquire. my mother was a devout methodist , christian temperance movement. they don't get any more difficult than that. the whole family was that way. then after training and going overseas, i recalled telling the first german -- killing the first german. the thing that haunts me is i was proud, and the fellows around me patty on the back and said terrific. now i just killed a human being. and to think that war can change
a person's a drastically has been with me all the time, so when it comes into going into the war, i am very cautious. for example, i was against giving the president the authorization to make a preemptive strike on iraq, because i didn't think it was a war that was fully justified, and it was not a war the was plentiful. so, this haunted me throughout my life. >> let's talk about how you got involved in politics and in public service. when did you decide to enter public service and had your previous experiences and your education prepared you for that? >> well, as a young boy i shattered my arm, compact tractor and i was deeply
impressed by the orthopedic surgeon that fixed me up. from then on i decided that my goal in life was to become someone like him, an orthopedic surgeon, not just a surgeon but an orthopedic surgeon. and towards that end, i studied when i got into college the first semester i went into premed. but then i got old enough to volunteer. so when i got to be 18i volunteered, and when i was on my final battle when i was wounded and i lost my arm, it became apparent that i couldn't be an orthopedic surgeon although my professors tried to convince me to stay in medicine. but i decided something else. and in those days, the military
gave a whole series of examinations written and otherwise, aptitude tests. and after the tests had been completed, the panel concluded that i should be in some sort of activity involving a lot of people. for example, i should either be a teacher, a social worker, a minister or politician. [laughter] >> interesting combination. >> they were getting paid $125 a month in hawaii and i said forget that. in the ministry i felt was not for me because i sent to much although my mother thought i would be fabulous. and that left political activity and i was convinced i knew
nothing about politics. i didn't care for any at that time. i took a look at it and when i got into the hospital in michigan, one of the fellows i met was modeled -- bob dole and we became good friends even to this day. i asked him what are your plans. and he, without hesitating, said i'm going to be a clerk. after that i'm going to run for the state house, first opening in the commerce. that's where i'm going. i figured that's a good idea. so i went to law school and became assistant prosecutor when the territorial losses became available i ran for that office and when the state could came along i got to congress a little ahead of bob.
>> you were in the territorial legislature then before you came here. >> two terms in the house and in the senate. >> and then came here as a member of the house and who did you come here without that time? >> only one member of that time. >> you mentioned senator dole and the fact you were then in the hospital with him in michigan. it's amazing that some of these friendships were formed long before any public service. he talks about being a friend of -- excuse me, the senator from wyoming, al simpson, and meeting him when he was a boy scout together.
and you have a relationship with bob dole. >> all three of us were in the hospital at the same time. and all three became senators about the same time. >> that is amazing. >> senator, you were in the territorial legislature when hawaii was about to become a state and decided to run for congress. what prompted that decision and what was that campaign like in an area that had never experienced a campaign like that before? >> wealth, to be first and editing is a great experience because you are the pioneer and you don't know what their rules are. my first campaign -- this may shock you -- costs $15,000 for congress. and this was the inaugural campaign for statehood.
i have a budget of $10,000 with about 4,000 grassroots workers. and i got a contribution totaling $5,000 people contribute such. but i accepted them and we ran on the budget of 15,000. my campaign for the senate cost me 60,000 the first time. i won't tell you what my opponents spent, but they spent many, many times more than i did. when hawaii became a state, the party leaders suggested that i should run for the senate, which i did. then about two weeks later, the
elder statesman, the elders of the party decided to run. one lesson very distinguished judge member of the legal fraternity served as governor and lieutenant governor, social services director, education director, and so i withdrew because that's the way i was brought up is to respect my elders. and the man that was selected for the short term said i will finish this term and i retire in favor of inouye. and he told the people to vote for me, and i ran for the senate in 62 and their ibm.
>> at that time of course as you mentioned earlier, the state of hawaii had a one congressman. so running for the senate was not a different area for you. >> same area. >> was it difficult at that time in the early days of statehood to run? >> it was much more interesting because today you can literally say in honolulu campaign because you have television and radio and you have the fees' you can send around the place. i would rather go around the villages and townships. that to me was exciting. and i still do my best whenever time permits to go to these places. now, in about three weeks i'm
going back to hawaii and about that time this trip and visiting the small island and also a privately-owned island but there are people there that are my constituents and i wanted to see them and report to them what's happening here. i realized i could make more in some school auditorium in honolulu, more than meeting the 200, but i get my kicks out of that. >> in your career you have certainly accomplished a great deal and have been here a long time. but a couple of the most important congressional investigations in recent history have involved you as well. you have been involved in one of
the investigators in the watergate committee and the iran contra hearings. you have been a prosecutor before you came to the house. how much has that background and that service on those committees formed your thoughts regarding public service in the country? >> well, my service as the assistant prosecutor didn't mean that much. one thing that impressed me is in this land no one is above the law. in other places if you are the king or the ever for the dictator you are above all, you may call that in the united states, it is a subject to the law and the deeds or misdeeds you read about it in books, but see it in operation is something
else. the other thing that impressed me about these hearings was the power of the media and television especially. up until then, i was totally unknown other than hawaii which isn't even 1% of the population. but, after watergate, i began receiving not just tens of letters, but hundreds of thousands of letters, and one day he says according to the latest poll, the most recognizable person is the president of the united states and guess who is next to him? he said its you. he said you look different. [laughter]
but the media can be powerful. >> one of the important issues facing the nation today is balancing the need for national security while protecting civil rights and maintaining the freedoms in the nation cherishes. what is your perspective on the current situation? >> maintaining security and maintaining our freedom is absolutely essential that's true, but to do that at the expense of destroying our human rights and civil rights is not acceptable. i would say that if the matter is so severe that we are on the verge of war then the people should be aware certain things are going to happen and are happening. if we are going to tap telephones, i think the people of the united states should be made aware who we are tapping and why we are tapping.
it shouldn't be done with doctors. >> you were first elected to represent hawaii and house, and then you've been in the senate now since 1963. and i sure many legislative accomplishments, a couple where the native hawaiian education act and the native hawaiian health care act. tell us about those and why they were most important to you. >> well, i suppose it goes back to my mother because my mother -- her parents were plantation workers and at that moment there is no social service in the territory so she was literally out in the streets and along came away hawaii in couple that took her hand and took her home. that's the way to do it. they adopted her. she lived with them as a healthy
child and she never forgot that. she always reminded me of a gentle compassionate people peace alliance are but as a result, they have been exploited, taken advantage of so you must be your best to protect them. when i became a politician, hawaii and score on the bottom of the social and economic and political ladder. i did my best to see that they were provided with the basic necessities of life, education and health. over and above what we were providing. they lived in the slums, they lived in the equivalent of reservations in the countryside
far away from the civilization, so we brought medicine and education at their. estimate the broken branch the conventional scholars, and more or in steam argued that increasing partisanship in congress has undermined the public's confidence in the institution as well as its ability to perform its constitutional role. how would you compare your experience in congress today? have you noticed an increasing partisanship, a lack of, the? has that hinder the ability of congress to legislate and what you see as the solution assuming there is a problem with uzi as the solution to the problem? >> there are times i would like to describe it as two different worlds. the world that i was introduced to in 1959 was it a partisan
world it was a world in which debates were loud and clear but after they were over, the men would get together for a smoke or a drink or have dinner together or visit each other, discuss problems and deutsch on the democrats their best friends being republicans and vice versa which was common, something you don't see today. i tried my very best to be as positive as i can be and today it is no secret one of my best buddies is a man from alaska, republican ted stevens, and i like him. we don't agree. in fact according to the record
>> and they don't even know them. and i agree, the idea of yelling and screaming and fighting for principle and then going to dinner or was a time-honored tradition which has really disappeared. and that, i have to agree -- >> but you also remember that this is a land of immigrants, and it's not europe, it's not asia, it's not africa, but it's a combination of all. the only so-called natives were the indians. the rest of us were foreigners, and sometimes we forget that. >> what, what do you see as a solution to this problem? is there a solution? >> i think those of us who are a
bit older should make an extra effort or to demonstrate what nonpartisanship can result in. i've tried to do that in my regular work, showing my colleagues, see, you can see all these things happening. and those who serve on our committees get the message. >> well, with your committees especially and with your relationship with ted stevens and as the politics have changed here over the years and democrats in control at one time or republicans the next, it has never seemed to make that much of a difference on your committee as far as the ability to produce great results. because you've worked together. >> the other rule that i follow, if an incumbent republican is running, i avoid going to that
state. because if you go in that state and say nasty things about him, he won't forget it. [laughter] when he gets back. >> our final question is the legacy question. over and above the things you've accomplished or are yet to accomplish, how would you like to be remembered? >> this may sound foolish, but i just want people to know i tried my best. >> can't ask for any more than that. senator, thank you very, very much. >> senator inn you way passed away yesterday at the age of 88 due to respiratory complications. his office released a statement saying his last word was "aloha." senator lawmakers have been giving tribute to him all day today, and we expect to see more of those this afternoon. also, you can find out more about his life by going to
c-span's video library. go to c-span.org and search his name. >> and we're live now at the national press club here in washington. today's luncheon speaker is defense secretary leon panetta on your screen. he's here to talk about the future of the u.s. military. it's just getting underway. >> secretary pa panetta said afterwards. [laughter] yet in an interview with "esquire," he said if he invited kim jong un over for dinner, he'd cook him some noki, serve him a glass of wine and try to understand how the guy thinks. clearly, the piano-playing, dog-loving secretary of defense is a complex man. his list of accomplishments over 74 years spans two branches of government, education and even a little bit of farm labor on his california ranch. before taking office as the 23rd
secretary of defense on july 4, 2011, secretary panetta served more than two years as cia director. after three years as chief of staff to president clinton, secretary panetta and his wife, sylvia, co-directed the leon and sylvia panetta center promoting public service. he served eight terms in congress, rising in 1989 to chairman of the house budget committee. that set the stage for his next job, president clinton's director of the office of management and budget. today we hope to hear more about the raid that killed osama bin laden, the role of modern military and america's foreign policy, and what's next on secretary panetta's agenda. please join me in welcoming to the national press club secretary of defense, leon panetta. [applause]
>> thank you very much, theresa, for that kind introduction, and thank you for the invitation to be here today. i look forward to the opportunity to go back and pick walnuts back in carmel valley. [laughter] i've told this story before, but it makes the point. when i was young, my father -- when he first planted that walnut orchard, as it grew, he would go around with a pole and hook and shake each of the branches. and my brother and i would be underneath collecting the walnuts. when i got elected to congress, my italian father said you've been well trained to go to washington. [laughter] because you've been dodging nuts all your life. [laughter] [applause] true.
it was great training. [laughter] i've had the opportunity to be here at the press club and, obviously, some of my past jobs as a member of congress, as omb director and then as chief of staff. in those jobs words were both my weapon and my shield. in this job as secretary of defense, i have a hell of a lot more going for me. [laughter] but in a democracy words remain the most powerful weapon in our arsenal. and it's for that reason that it is an honor for me to again be here at the national press club. i've long had a deep and can abiding respect -- and abiding
respect for the washington press corps. you play an essential role in making our democracy strong by holding leaders and and holding institutions accountable to the people they serve. as secretary of defense and in my past jobs, i learned that it was important to be accessible to the press and to be transparent with them with regards to the issues and the challenges that you confront. and in this job i've tried to be as accessible as i can to the pentagon press corps, to engage regularly with reporters and to encourage other senior officials in the department to do the same. it is an especially important time to communicate our vision and our priorities as a
department. because, as i've said time and time and time again over this past year, i believe that we are at a strategic turning point. after more than a decade of war, the longest extended period of conflict in the history of the united states. at the beginning of 2012, president obama and the military and civilian leaders of the department came together to publicly release a new defense strategy. it was designed to help the military effectively navigate this turning point and prepare for the future. under that strategy our goal was to reshape the force of the 21st century, to try to meet the new
security challenges that we're confronting in this world and try to help the country at the same time reduce the deficits that we're confronting. we were handed a number in the budget control act to reduce the defense budget by $487 billion over the next decade. almost a half a trillion dollars. and based on my own experience at the time, i knew that the approach should be not just to simply cut it across the board and hollow out the fort, but to try to develop a strategy for what is it we want the defense department to be not just now, but going into the future as well. and that was the purpose why we developed the strategy. as the year 2012 draws to a
close, today i want to describe the strategic environment that is shaping our future plans, the progress we have made toward implementing this strategy and the risks that we face as we work every day to try to keep america safe and secure. before i continue let me just pay tribute to a couple people here who join me at the head table. my deputy secretary, ash carter, has played and continues to play a crucial role in helping me and dod develop and implement in the strategy, and i deeply appreciate his dedication and commitment to the department. and i also want to pay tribute to my undersecretary for policy, jim miller, who's also here, who also worked very hard on that
strategy to insure that we develop the right strategy for the future. and i should also say marty dempsey and all of the members, our service chiefs, members of the joint chiefs of staff, all participated, we all participated in a kind of unprecedented effort to try to openly discuss what were the best steps we could take for the future. this is a time of historic change for the united states military. one year ago today soldiers from the first cavalry division crossed out of iraq into kuwait as part of the last convoy of u.s. troops to leave iraq. that war came to an end. last year we also participated in a complex but successful nato
mission that helped bring down gadhafi and give libya back to the libyan people. this was a complex operation. when you have that many nations involved in a mission, how do you decide targets, how do you determine who goes after those targets? and yet we were able to bring that kind of coordination together, and it served nato and the united states very well in that effort. and it creates, i think, very much a model for how we should approach the future if we have to face that kind of situation again. our military and intelligence operations x that's one of the things i'm very proud of over these last four years, is the integration between intelligence and military operations when it comes to going after terrorists. over the last year as a result of those operations, we continue to significantly weaken
al-qaeda's core leadership and put real pressure on their affiliates. we are also now working to bring the conflict in afghanistan to a successful transition by the end of 2014. last week i made my eighth trip to afghanistan. i had a chance to sit down with all of our military commanders throughout the region, throughout the country. i also went to kandahar and met with our military commanders there and also had the opportunity to meet with afghan leaders as well. all of them, all of them believe that we have fundamentally turned the tide in that effort after years in which we lacked the right strategy and the necessary resources to try to achieve the mission we are embarked on. we now have a plan in place, a campaign plan endorsed in chicago by nato that has strong international support.
we've reversed a five-year trend of growing violence. the taliban to this day has not been able over this last year to regain any of the territory they lost. we are building afghan security forces that are on track to take the lead for securing the entire country next year. we continue to transition both governance and security to the afghans, 75% of the population has now been transitioned to afghan security and control, and next year we will have 100%. but we've also made clear that our commitment to afghanistan as we draw down by the end of 2014, our commitment will continue. we are transitioning, we are not
leaving. we will maintain an enduring presence aimed at supporting after afghan forces -- at supporting afghan forces and insuring the mission that we were embarked on in afghanistan, the mission that al-qaeda never genre regains afghanistan as a safe haven from which to attack the united states or our allies. so after more than -- [applause] thanks. after more than ten years of continuous warfare, deployment after deployment after deployment of our men and women in uniform in these wars, the united states is truly at a critical point. as i said, large-scale conflicts in iraq and afghanistan are drawing to an end.
an era of blank check defense spending is over. and forces will be reduced. and can all of this occurs -- and all of this occurs, all of this occurs as the united states faces an array of asymmetric threats in the world. even while it is obvious that we do not live in a world where another superpower threatens our military supremacy, it is equally obvious ha that the threats to our -- that the threats to our security and our global interests are not receding. as they appeared to do in past wars, coming out of world war ii, coming out of korea, coming out of vietnam, coming out of the end of the cold war where
the threats receded. the fact is today we till confront -- we still confront these threats in the world, threats that are more complex, more disbursted and -- dispersed and, in many ways, more dangerous. we have made progress. we have made progress against al-qaeda's core leaders and it affiliates in the fatah. we continue to do it in yemen and in somalia. but al-qaeda is seeking new footholds throughout the middle east. and in countries like mali, north africa. it remains determined to attack the united states and remains one of the serious threats that we must deal with. north korea, iran continue to
pose a proliferation threat and are engaged in activities that are destabilizing northeast asia and the middle east. the conflict in syria is bringing a violent end to a regime that harbors a large stockpile of chemical and biological weapons, and extremists seek to destabilize a nuclear-armed pakistan. increasing military or spending -- military spending by rising powers in the asia pacific region and turmoil across the middle east and north africa are altering the strategic landscape. at the same time, the nature of military conflict is changing because of the new technologies
like cyber and the proliferation of missiles and wmd. we are seeing potential adversaries, state and nonstate actors alike, acquire more advanced hybrid and high-end capabilities designed to frustrate the conventional advantages of our armed forces. this means that the military services must remain vigilant, they must remain strong, they must remain prepared to operate in a way that differs significantly from the past. we will continue to face terrorism and deadly attacks by ieds. but we must also be ready for more capable adversaries to a attack our forces and our homeland in cyberspace.
to attack and launch precision strikes against forward bases. to attempt to cripple our power grid, our financial systems, our government systems. to attempt to deny us freedom of action through asymmetric attacks. as i said, the goal of our new defense strategy to help shape the force of the 21st century, to try to adapt our forces and operating concepts so that we are better prepared for an unpredictable and dangerous future even in an era of constrained resources. we have been determined to avoid the approach taken in past
drawdowns where, as i said, there were deep, across-the-board cuts that hollowed out the force and weakened our military, left the military demoralized and unready to carry out the missions assigned to it. instead, we have set priorities and made tough decisions to try to build the force of the future and to remain the strongest military power on the face of the earth. the strategy consists of five elements. we have already made significant progress this year towards implementing that strategy. and let me describe, if i can, the strategy and what we have done. the first element of the strategy is to build a force that is clearly going to be smaller and leaner. that's a reality. we are going to be smaller, we are going to be leaner.
coming out of these last wars. but we must insure that at the same time the military is agile, flexible and technologically advanced and prepared to deploy as quickly as we can to confront crises in this dangerous world. facing constrained resources and the drawdown of two with troop-intensive wars, we made a decision to favor a smaller and more ready force over a larger force or that would be less well equipped and less trained. as a result, army end strength is going to be gradually reduced to 490,000 soldiers over these next 5-10 years from a high of about 570,000. still well above the force levels that we had in 9/11.
and the size of the marine corps will also be reduced slightly to about 182,000 from a peak of about 202,000 during the past decade. we are also making investments to be capable of more quickly confronting a wider range of threats across a more dispersed geography. this past february the navy and marine corps conducted their first large-scale amphibious exercise in more than ten years. in march the army conducted its first exercise in its new decisive action training environment that emphasizes combined arms maneuver against a combination of irregular and near-peer conventional opponents. the second element of our defense strategy is to maintain
our force projection where we need it; in the middle east and in the asia pacific region. the asia-pacific region is, obviously, an area of growing importance to our economy and our security. and the middle east, obviously, represents continuing threats to our security as well. even after the withdrawal of troops from iraq, we have maintained a substantial military presence in the middle east in order to deter aggression, respond to crisis, insure regional stability in the face of historic unrest and the continuing threats from iran. last week i visited some of our troops based in kuwait, part of a robust gulf posture that
includes roughly 50,000 troops, dozens of ships, fighters, bombers, advanced intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platforms. we are partnering closely with the gulf states to boost their capacity in critical areas such as missile defense and countermining which will help reduce the pressure to sustain these large deployments over the long term. i also visited the air base in turkey where i announced the deployment of the two u.s. patriot missile batteries as part of the nato effort to try to help protect our turkish allies against the threat of missiles from syria. even as we have asserted our strong and enduring commitment to the middle east, we are also
renewing and expanding our engagement in the asia-pacific region. the core of our rebalance is modernizing our economisting network of alliances and security partnerships throughout the region and developing new security relations as well. over the past year, we reached major agreements with japan to realign our forces and jointly develop guam as a strategic hub. we've worked to strengthen cooperation with the republic of korea in many space, in cyberspace and in intelligence. and we began a new marine rotational deployment to australia as well as increased air force cooperation. likewise, we are deepening our or engagement and developing deployments with allies and partners such as singapore and the philippines. and expanding our mil-to-mil
dialogue in exchanges with china. we are also enhancing our presence and capabilities in the region. that includes reallocating the naval fleet to achieve in these next few years a 60/40 split between the pacific and the atlantic oceans. hopefully, we will do that by 2020. increasing army and marine presence in the region after iraq and afghanistan, locating our most advanced aircraft in the pacific including new deployments of f-22s and the mv-22 ospreys to japan. and laying the groundwork for the first overseas deployment of the f-35 joint strike fighter in 2017. the third element of our strategy that as we do force
projection in the asia pacific and in the middle east, we still have to maintain our global leadership and presence by building innovative partnerships and partner capacity across the globe and using these innovative rotational deployments as a way to do exercises and training with other countries, developing their capabilities so that they can help provide for their own security. in latin america, in africa, in the europe and elsewhere. the past decade of war has reinforced the lesson that one of the most effective ways to address long-term security challenges is to help build the capabilities of our allies. we have seen this approach with our counterinsurgency campaigns in iraq and afghanistan, and our counterterrorism efforts in yemen and somalia. we are expanding our security
force assistance to a wider range of partners in order to address a broader range of security challenges in the asia pacific, in the middle east, and as i said, in europe, africa and latin america. to implement this element of the strategy, the services are retaining the security cooperation capabilities we have honed over a decade of war and making investments in regional expertise. for example, through the army's new regionally-aligned brigade structure or they are able to, in fact, engage on a rotational bay is sis to assist other countries -- basis to assist other countries. the entire u.s. government is working to make our security cooperation, particularly foreign military sales, more responsive and more effective, to cut through the bureaucracy, to cut through the red tape, to be able to provide the assistance that we need to other
countries without delay. we're particularly seeking to boost defense trade with rising powers like brazil and india. i visited these countries recently to help advance those growing defense partnerships and ash carter has also made an effort in a new joint u.s./india initiative to boost defense cooperation and trade and streamline our respective export control processes. in order to remain the security partner of choice, the united states must maintain our decisive military edge and adapt to meeting emergency threats. the fourth element of the new defense strategy is that we must always remain capable of being able to confront and defeat aggression from more than one adversary at a time anywhere,
anytime. that means if we're engaged in a conflict on the korean peninsula and iran attempts to close the straits of hormuz, we must be capable of being able to respond decisively to both locations. with the strategy we've developed, we believe we have that capability. we're maintaining our ability to simultaneously operate in multiple theaters by investing in critical power projection capabilities. our aircraft carrier fleet, our big deck amphibious fleet, a new afloat forward staging base with and long-range strike capabilities. we're also making new investments in the next generation bomber, a next generation tanker that will afford our air forces greater mobility and working every day to put our joint strike fighter
program on a firmer footing. to stay ahead of the growing capabilities of potential adversaries and insure our ability to quickly defeat aggression, we have begun to re-examine our plans in order to insure that we are prepared for the most realistic scenarios. for new and unconventional threats and for asymmetric attacks. we are also refining emerging operational concepts including joint operational access in air/sea battle that will insure our ability to project power in areas where our enemies seek to deny us access. and the fifth element, the last element of our strategy, is that this cannot just be about cutting back on defense. we must also be able to invest in the future. to protect and prioritize key investments in technology and
new capabilities as well as our capacity to grow, to adapt and to mobilize as needed. throughout the strategy review, i made clear that this cannot be simply an exercise, a budget exercise in deciding where we're going to cut. we've made those decisions. we've looked at better efficiencies. we have looked at reductions in force structure. we have looked at procurement reforms. we have looked at compensation. all of those areas were part of our budget proposal to try to achieve the $487 billion in savings. but if we are to maintain the finest military in the world, finest military force, the finest military power in the world, we have got to invest in priority missions for the future. for example, despite budget reductions we are expanding our
fleet of unmanned systems. this is the future, including new carrier launch surveillance and strike aircraft. in order to boost priority counterterrorism and build partner capacity efforts, we're continuing a planned growth in special operations forces which will reach 72,000 by 2017, more than double the number we had on 9/11. we have protected investments in countering weapons of mass destruction and accelerating testing of mobile air sampling systems and ground sensors for nuclear forensics, and we are significantly increasing our cyber capabilities including our greatest asset, talented, bright manpower. the department has also recently developed new rules of engagement in cyberspace that clarify our mission to defend the nation and will enable us to
more quickly respond to cyber threats. we are also protecting our ability to regrow and mobilize the force by emphasizing our guard and our reserve readiness and protecting a strong industrial base. if we face a crisis, if i have to mobilize, the last damn thing i can do is to contract that respondent -- responsibility out to another country. i have got to rely on our industrial security base to be there and be able to respond. [applause] these are the five elements of the defense strategy and some of the important steps that we've taken so far to implement it. as a department, we are continuing to refine that strategy, and we will continue to do that. to assess the risks that might prevent us from effectively implementing it. but right now as i speak, i see
two principal risks. the first risk is the stress on the force which is still operating at a very high tempo, more than 11 years after september 11th. we are still at war in afghanistan. we have been on a crisis posture in the middle east and north africa for the past year. and we will continue to maintain a strong presence in that region even as we rebalance to the asia-pacific area. our outstanding men and women, our outstanding men and women in uniform are the foundation of everything we do. so i've often said i've got great weapons, i've got great ships, i've got great bombers. none of that is worth a damn without the u.s. men and women in uniform that serve this
country. [applause] we need to insure, we need to insure that service members and their families have the support that they have earned in areas like health and education and employment, and they transition back into their communities so that they can be, be able to go back home and reestablish their ties to their communities. in our budget we've made a concerted effort to insure the health of the force, the readiness, by protecting operations and maintenance accounts, but keeping the fastest and most flexible weapons platforms, sustaining investment to high quality personnel and research in science and technology. but never the less, there is pressure on the department to retain excess force structure and infrastructure instead of
investing in the training and equipment that makes our force agile and flexible and ready. aircraft, ships, tanks, bases, even those that have outlived their usefulness have a natural political constituency. readiness does not. what's more, readiness is too off -- often sacrificed in favor of a larger and less effective force. i am determined to avoid that outcome. therefore, i've directed that readiness be treated as a strategic imperative for the department, and we have launched an initiative to assess and improve our readiness across the board. our effort to do everything possible to insure a ready force also explains why we express concerns about what we saw in the house and senate 2013
defense authorization bills. what they did was in their markups and in the bills that passed each of the houses diverted about $74 billion of what we asked for in savings in our proposed budget to the congress, and they diverted them to other areas that, frankly, we don't need. a final legislation i know is now being negotiabilitied in conference, and -- negotiated in congress. and we are working -- i know the congress, i come from the congress, and we will work with our partners there to try and improve it. and i am hopeful that we will arrive at a bill that allows us to continue implementing the strategy we've designed effectively. we must make every dollar count, and we must continue to carefully manage the balance, sustaining current operations, being ready to respond to crisis and emerging threats, preparing for future operations and investing in the capabilities of the future.
balancing these needs effectively requires resources and budget stability which brings me to the second and greatest risk facing this new defense strategy: a political system that is depriving the department of the budget certainty we need in order to plan for the future. for more than a year this department has been operating under the shadow of sequestration, this mindless mechanism that was put in place in order to somehow force the congress to do the right thing. because of political gridlock, this department still faces the possibility of another round of across-the-board cuts totaling almost a half a trillion dollars that will inflict lasting damage on our national defense and hurt the very p -- the very men and
women who protect this country. wherever i visit our troops, wherever i visit our troops they make clear their concern about those cuts. what does it mean for them, and what does it mean for their families. it is unacceptable to me that men and women who put their lives on the line every day in distant lands have to worry about whether those here in washington can effectively support them. we're down to the wire now. in these next few days, congress feeds to make the right decision -- needs to make the right decision and to avoid the fiscal disaster that awaits us. my hope is that they will do the right thing and that we will achieve a bipartisan consensus on deficit reduction and the trajectory of defense spending in the future. otherwise we will weaken this
nation in the minds of our allies, our partners and our potential adversaries. and undermine the work and the sacrifices that our troops are making every single day. it's easy to get cynical and frustrated in this town. and after 40 years i know my level of cynicism and frustration. but my confidence and my hope for the future is restored every time i have the opportunity to visit with our troops on the front lines as i did last week. if this them i see the spirit -- in them i see the spirit of public service that has kept this country strong for more than two centuries and which has helped us to overcome every period of crisis and adversity in our history. that spirit of public service is
also in evidence here at this monument to democracy, the national press club. journalists who commit themselves to doggedly pursuing the truth and telling the everyday stories of american people are public servants in their own right. on my last trip, i was honored to be accompanied by cami mccormack, an award-winning radio reporter for cbs news who three years ago suffered a terrible injury from an ied attack wile -- while covering the war in afghanistan. it was true lip an emotional -- truly an emotional experience to be with her as she returned back to afghanistan for the first time after that injury. she put her own life at risk in order to tell the story of that war. and in her and so many other war correspondents, we see the
highest ideals of democracy upheld. we will soon unveil a new exhibit outside the pentagon press briefing room to honor those journalists who have died in the line of duty over the past decade of war. alongside the more than 6,000 american service members who have paid the ultimate price since september 11th, these journalists died to preserve our democracy and a government of, by and for all people. they are heroes, all of them, and i know they will remain forever in our hearts and minds as we continue the hard work of fighting to build a better and safer and more secure future for our children and for the united states of america. thank you very much. [applause] >> what, what is your honest
position on the attacks of 9/11 of this year? the benghazi attacks? >> the benghazi attacks, you know, i know there are -- i believe there will be a report coming out tomorrow by the pickering group that will, obviously, present their view of what took place and where the problems were. my sense is that on that day that when you look at what took place in benghazi, that it is, you know, there's always with these kinds of situations there's a mix here. but clearly with regards to one of the facilities involved a direct attack on that facility. i think that there's no question that extremists were involved in those attacks, and i think that,
you know, we were able to try to respond as best we could at the time. we have learned a lot, and we will continue to learn a lot from that incident. i think it's very important for us in an area where our people can be exposed the that kind of threat that we be able to respond and respond quickly in order to make sure that that doesn't happen again. >> have you seen the benghazi arb, and do you support the referral of mike vickers for criminal prosecution on basis of leaking classified info to "zero dark thirty" producers? >> you know, that matter is before the ig, and i'm not going to comment on it at this time. what was the other question? the first part? >> [inaudible] >> be have i seen -- do the report? >> no, i have not. >> one of the proposed cutbacks to the defense department floated in the press was to do away with the service secretary as being duplicative. is this suggestion being given serious consideration, and if
not, why not? >> well, you know, we obviously continue to look at areas where we can achieve efficiencies at the department of defense, and there's no question there is duplication, there is overhead in a bureaucracy of three million people. there clearly are areas where we can provide degenerative arthritisser efficiencies -- greater efficiencies. we were able, bob gates before me began that effort, achieved, i believe, about $150 billion in savings. we've added about $60-$70 billion on top of that in terms of further efficiencies. we'll continue to review where greater efficiencies can be achieved. right now, and i asked, i asked that question when i first became secretary, you know, what is the role of the service secretary vis-a-vis the service chief? and the reality is that there is an important role for them because they are civilians,
civilians are involved in providing policy in their areas. they also have to negotiate a lot of the politics of capitol hill. so there is an important role for them to play in terms of their particular service. but having said that, there are a hell of a lot of other places where we can achieve savings in the pentagon, and we. and we will. >> as the defense department deals with downsizing the services, have you considered cuts to the number of flag and general officers? [laughter] >> you know, again, i think that's part and parcel of, you know, as you do force reduction, and as i said, we are going to be reducing the force structure in the army down to 490,000, we'll reduce the marines as well. and i think as that happens that they've got to review not just, you know, the reductions in our troops, but also the reduction
in terms of the command structure as well. so this, this should be part of the review process as we try to achieve savings in the force reduction. >> have you considered making cuts to your staff? [laughter] >> hell, yes. [laughter] i think, i think -- i don't think, i don't think there should be anything that is sacrosanct when you've got to face the kind of budget constrictions that we face. i mean, look, i cut almost half a trillion from the defense budget. it's the largest number that we've cut from the defense budget certainly in the time that i've worked on budgets, and identify been work on budgets for -- and i've been working on budgets for 40 years. and, you know, in order to achieve those savings, we had to look at every area. let me just repeat the areas that you have to look at. one is efficiencies. you can't get it all out of
efficiency, but you sure can get some significant savings from the a department that large in cutbacks of unnecessary personnel. number two, force structure reductions. number three, procurement reforms. we have got, you know, a whole area of procurement reform, something that ash knows very well. the fact is that, you know, we've built weapons systems that continue to be delayed, continue to have cost escalation, continue to be added to, and the result is by the damn time that these things come out, they've lost their usage because you've already gone on to another new technology. we need to, we need to strengthen our procurement practices, and we have. we've also gotten rid of some of the weaponization that's not needed. and the last area's compensation which is always a difficult area. but compensation at the defense department has grown by 80%. i have a health care bill at the defense department of $50 billion. i cannot do justice to everything that i've got to maintain in terms of readiness
and not try to do cost controls in the compensation area as well, and that's another area where we recommended savings as well. so everything has to be looked at if you're serious about trying to achieve the kind of savings that we need to achieve in order to address the budget deficit. >> there are many wounded warriors in our medical system today, and their number is growing. what is being done to insure or adequate levels of funding remains in the wounded warrior program? >> well, that's, i mean, i had three guidelines when i looked at having to cut $487 billion. one was i said we have to maintain the strongest military in the world. two, that we cannot hollow out the force, we can't just cut across the board. and, three, we have to maintain faith with those that have been deployed time and time again. the savings we're going to achieve in compensation will apply to the future, and we will achieve savings, you know, looking at retirement programs as well as health care programs for the future.
but the benefits that we have promised those who served, certainly those that have been wounded i think we need to stand by. and so there are no cuts in the programs that serve our wounded warriors, and we will make sure that they are maintained. [applause] in drones are fast becoming a vital part in warfare. do we have adequate defense against an attack on this capitol? drones? >> when i talked about unmanned systems, the fact is unmanned systems are increasing in the world that we're involved. in terms of using drone capability, and it served us very well particularly in the fight against terrorism. having said that, we do have to keep track of other countries that decide to get into the uav
business, and they are. iran, other countries in the middle east are also beginning to develop that capability. we have got to be able to be able, as they do, to be able to track where those uavs are and take steps to insure that particularly when it comes to surveillance that we can do everything possible to try to make sure that they are not capable of surveilling what, you know, what they're after. that requires a lot of technology and development, but it is an area that we are focused on in order to protect ourselves in the future. >> under what conditions do you anticipate further u.s. involvement in syria beyond enforcing a no-fly zone, and what would be the u.s. response to those conditions? >> well, as you know the effort has been an international effort to try to bring as much pressure on syria to gets a sad to step down -- to get assad to step
down. our primary effort has been dedicated to three areas. number one, to try to provide, obviously, humanitarian relief to the large number of refugees both in turkey and in jordan, and we are doing that. we're providing significant humanitarian relief to try to assist those who have tried to escape the terrible tragedy in syria. secondly, to try to maintain control over the cbw sites and try to monitor those sites to insure that they do not fall into the wrong hands. so working with other countries in the region, we are making an effort to monitor that situation and to insure that that does not happen. it's a result of that monitoring that we were able to issue a very clear warning to syria not to take the step to make use of any of this cbw, or there would be serious consequences, and we still stand by that statement. thirdly, we are helping the opposition. we are not providing any lethal
assistance, but we are providing nonlethal help to the opposition to try to develop their capability so that in the event that assad does come down, we will have identified those leaders who can hopefully provide for a smooth political transition. this is not going to be easy. it requires a strong international effort to insure this is headed in the right direction. it would be helpful, it would be helpful if russia would participate in the effort to try to insure that there is a smooth political transition. >> the latest report to congress on afghanistan says insurgent attacks increased slightly in this year at a time when the u.s. still had 20,000 surge troops on the ground. how can security get better in afghanistan as those troops leave? >> well, you know, the reality is that in the period that was included there, there was a slight increase in attacks. but the overall numbers if you look at the entire year, the level of violence is down.
it's down by almost 60% in kabul, it's down by almost 50-60% in other populated areas where we've made the transition. the violence levels are down. the fact is that the afghan army, the afghan police have gotten much better at providing security can in those -- security in those areas that we've transitioned to. every one of those major populated areas that have been transitioned is now being secured by the afghan army and police, and that is the hope for the future. i mean, building up that force is a key to our ability to succeed in this mission for the future. we're going to continue. i mean, you know, the taliban is resilient, and they will continue to try to conduct attacks. they'll continue to do ied attacks, they'll continue to try to do high-profile assassinations, they'll bottom to try to do what they can to draw attention to their efforts.
but overall they are, they are losing. they have not been able to regain any territory that they've lost, and we continue to put pressure on them through both the afghans and the u.s. presence there. i think that has been, in my book, the significant turning point in 2011 was after the first time we saw the transition working, the afghan army able to do its job >> you've got to be kidding me. [laughter] you've got to be kidding me. you know, in this town with that kind of e-mail, do you think he could have survived as director of the cia? i don't think so. [laughter] >> the pentagon recently censored navy seals for participating with video game developers without permission, but mark owen has a bestseller. why hasn't the pentagon taken any steps since his book went on sale in september? >> let me see that one again. [laughter]
>> you know, i think the, on the seals, obviously, the seals have a commitment that, you know, if they're going to write a book, they've got to run it past the pentagon. and the seal who wrote the book on the events there did not do that. and that violates, you know, an oath that he took at the time that he became a seal. with regards to this other author, i'm not sure what the situation was, but he didn't violate that kind of requirement. >> israeli leaders have said they may act against iran if they feel its nuclear program has gone too far. is the u.s. willing to use its considerable financial leverage where israel to -- with israel to prevent a unilateral strike in. >> you know, i think the one thing both the united states and israel i think have come to agreement on is the goal with regards to iran.
neither country wants an iran that can develop a nuclear weapon. the united states has made that clear, israel's made that clear. the real question is how do we continue to bring pressure on iran not to take that step in the international community has come together, it's come together in a very effective effort to bring sanctions, to bring diplomatic pressure, economic pressure on iran, to penalize it for its efforts to develop a nuclear capability. and the end result of that is to try to push them to the negotiating table, to try to see if we can resolve these issues diplomatically. even the prime minister of israel has said that when it comes to dealing with iran that war ought to be the last option, not the first option and that we ought to try to exhaust every effort at trying to determine whether or not diplomatically and through negotiations we can resolve this issue. we are now in that effort and, hopefully, that will be the way we resolve it.
but, please, make b no mistake. if we determine that they are, have made the decision to proceed with developing a nuclear weapon, the united states considers that to be a red line. >> before i get to the last question, i would like to present you with our traditional npc coffee mug. [laughter] it makes making those tough decisions that much easier. [laughter] and our version of our medallion coin, and our last -- >> i need to give you a coin, otherwise i'll owe you a drink. [laughter] >> we'll go with this. can you tell us about your golden retriever bravo's role in the osama bin laden operation? [laughter] >> um, i -- as some of you know, i think -- i'm sorry, but i think it was post that said he was an irish setter, and he's just not an irish setter. [laughter] he's a golden, he's a golden retriever. although he's red. he's got a deep red which is,
great dog, great colors. and i, sylvia and i with bravo when i was at our institute, we used to bring bravo to work with us. and so, you know, when i came back to these jobs, you know, sylvia continued to bring bravo there, and i used to bring bravo back with me. and he used to come to the office when i was cia director. and bravo sat in on almost all of the meetings -- [laughter] involving the operation against bin laden. and, you know, to this day he hasn't told a damn soul what happened. [laughter] [applause] >> thank you for coming today. i'd also like to thank the national press club staff including its journalism institute and broadcast center for organizing today's event. finally, here's a reminder that you can find more information about the national press club on our web site, and if you'd like
[inaudible conversations] >> you can see these remarks by defense secretary panetta again in the c-span video library. the u.s. senate is in recess now as senators attend their weekly party caucuses. lawmakers are likely to continue tributes to hawaii senator dan dan -- daniel inouye. they'll be back at 2:15 eastern. of course, we'll have live coverage of the senate when members return here on c-span2.
earlier in today's session majority leader harry reid began the day offering remarks on the passing of hawaii senator inouye. we will show you as much as we can until the senate gavels back in atbi 2:15 eastern. >> his personal friendship, i valued so very, very much. he was a colleague, but really . friend. me so many times, helped me do my best here, my best has been with the help ofpo him. as i mentioned briefly yesterday, he always had so muco confidence in me. years ago, years ago when i was a senator struggling in call centers here, he told me two decades ago i would be running the senate someday. i never even contemplated, thought about that, desired
that. things worked out that he was right. senator inouye, one of the the finest men i have ever known, a real american hero. my friend who's on the floor, the assistant leader, has heard me talk about my mentor, michael callahan. taught me in high school, helpeh me with money as i was going to law school and he was on ahe w pension. he was a disabled veteran. he was w just such a good friend of mine, and he and senatornouy inouye were friends. they talked about what it's like to not have a limb. callahan's was a leg, inouye'sdh was an arm x. they talked, and they were friends. and michael callahan worked back here as an aide in the summers and got to know senator inouye. my thoughts, of course, with his family, including his wife,
irene, his son, ken, their daughter-in-law jessica. he has a stepdaughter, jennifer and a granddaughter, maggie, named after, of course, his first wife. their loss is the nation's loss. last night we lost a noble souln daniel inn youway lived a long d and product i life.ay still, i speak for daniel's senate family when i say we're devastated by his passing. but wile we will all -- while we will all miss him, his legacy will live in the senate and in the state of hawaii as long as history is written. his place in the history books will not fade. the second longest-servingervi senator in our history, senator inouye was elected to the senate
in 1962. only robert byrd served longer.r senator inouye's tradition of service began long before he uni came to the united states senate. of he was working as a medical volunteer when japanese war planes attacked pearl harbor. a boy, a teenager. w from the time he was just a kidn he wanted to be a doctor, a medical doctor. butrent a different fate awaiten inouye. after the attack, as we all know too well, japanese-americans were deemed enemy aliens and ali were, therefore, not subject to the draft. in spite of that, in spite of the humiliation, more than 110,000 people of japanese ancestry were imprisoned in
american internment camps. i have, we've seen the pictures, we've heard the stories. they were in prison. yet dan inouye and other japanese-americans, in spite of the unfair a designation of beii an enemy alien, volunteeredded to fight for this nation'serse freedom overseas, although many of their own families were denied freedom, home, when they were overseas. senator inouye fought famously with the famous 42nd combat team in world war ii and was grievout lu wounded in the battle. the citation, the words for his medal of honor are as follows: every medal of honor recipient, they write a paragraph or twowo about why he was given this giv award.-
on april 21st, 1945, inouye wasn grievously wounded while leading an assault on a heavily-defended ridge in tuscany, italy. the ridge served as a strong s point along theer strip of germn fortifications known as a gothin line which represent the last and most dogged line of german defense in all of italy. of asas he led his platoon in a flanking maneuver, three german machine gunsd opened fire from covered positions just 40 yardse away, pinning his men to the u ground.k inouye was shot in the stomach. ignoring his wound, he proceed today attack and destroy thed first machine gun nest with hans grenades.hine after being informed of the severity of his wound by hisy platoon sergeant, he refused treatment and rallied his men for an attack on the second machine gun position which he also successfully destroyed before collapsing from blood
loss. as his squad distracted the third machine gunner, inouye drew within 10 yards. as he raised himself up and cocked his right arm to throw his last grenade into the fighting position, g a german inside fighter rifle grenade that struck him in the right elbow,severing most of his arm and leaving his own hand grenadd reflectsively clench inside a fist that suddenly didn't belong to him anymore. stay away fearing his wrist dro would voluntarily relax and droe the grenade.unke to his left hand. as the german aimed his rifle tn finish him off, inouye tossed the grenade into the bunker and it. he stumbled to his feet and
continued forward silencing the last german resistance with a one-handed burst from his thompson before tumbling unconscious to the bottom of thc ridge. awoke to see hishe a hovering over him, his only comment before being carried away was to gruffly order themur to return to their positions since, as he pointed out, nobodu called off the war.he that is the citation on his medal of honor. his arm was later amputated in a field hospital, and's sent back to the united states to recover. but it took years for him tohi recover. i can remember in the lbj room over here his talking after and patty murray and others talked about what a difficult time the returning veterans were having from iraq about some of his experiences.
he took, they trained him to t drivehe vehicles, he took drives license tests in more than one state. he became very perm and abo talked -- personal and talked about some of the things they taught him missing an arm he had to do. it was a remarkable presentation that he he made. and senator inouye didn't talk very much.. he was a silent man, didn't tali very much at all. he had a dynamic voice.we v we haven't felt that voice the f last few years because he hasn't been as powerful as he was, ase' he'ss aged. what a beautiful voice he had. and that hospital they took himh to in michigan, senator inouye made his two lifelong friends; one senator bob dole who, as we know, became the republican nominee for president of the united states and sta majority leader here in the senate, and his other lifetime friend, the
late senator phil hart who was known as the conscience of theve senate and the hart building, massive senate office building, is named after him. asked by his son why he wasan classified as an enemy alien, the senator said in his usual calm manner, for the children. the children there couldould be no finer role model thanel senator dan inouye.he dan was a recipient of the medal ofe honor, a congressional gold medal, the highest honor congress can bestow. he also received thehe distinguished service cross, a bronze star for valor and, of course, a purple heart. dan inouye showed the same dedication in congress that he displayed on the battlefield. i want to take just a little bib here, mr. president, and talk about a meeting that i had.y i mentioned it very briefly last night, but it was ten days ago.
i knew that senator inouye to wasn't feeling well, so i went down to his office. and he's got a remarkable office. beautiful office. isn but there isn't one single thing on the walls depict what a great man he is. there are no awards, there are no commemorative statues. all he has in his office are w pictures of washington and hawaii. that'sth the humility that he showed his entire life. there was no staff there, just we talked for an hour. oh, and i would always remember it, but his having passed away yesterday, it will be embedded in my mind. we as we left, we both -- >> a portion of majority leader' reid'st tribute to hawaii senatr danielle inouye who passed away yesterday at the age of 88.im we expecte, more tributes from s colleagues throughout the day
package for hurricane sandy victims. live now to the floor of the u.s. senate. to know him and blessed by his sacrifice in defense of american freedom. we served together on the armed services committee and then on the appropriations committee as well. danny's insight was invaluable to our nation's defense and military policy. he did america stronger. i had the pleasure of working with him when we traveled together to bosnia to visit our troops in the very early stages of that conflict. we later went to the middle east on a codel with senator stevens as well. one of the pictures in my offices is senator stevens, senator inouye, senator snowe and myself in our helmets and flak jackets the first time we flew into sarajevo in the early 1990's when the serbs had still been shooting from the hills
into the airport. mr. president, in 1995, on the 50th anniversary of world war ii, senator inouye and a number of other world war ii veterans gathered at the smithsonian to reminisce about their time in battle. senator inouye recalled the morning of december 7 at pearl harbor when he recognized that the men in the japanese planes looked like him. and he said he knew then his life would never be the same. as soon as the army permitted japanese-americans to volunteer, he signed up and ventured to the mainland united states for the first time in his life. he and his fellow hawaiians of japanese descent worried about how they would be treated in the united states. but, as he recalled it, they
encountered kindness and respect at every stop their train made. by the time he finished his training and prepared to depart for europe, he said he had learned that this was truly a country worth dying for and certainly one worth sacrificing an arm in order to preserve our freedom and our way of life. he did lose his arm and it was during this time that he also distinguished himself to earn the congressional medal of honor, the highest military award in this country for valor. mr. president, there's often talk of partisan acrimony in washington, but we know that strong friendships can form across party lines. senator inouye and senator ted stevens had such a friendship. they were both war heroes from
the last two states to join the union, and they both recognized and guarded the congressional prerogatives under our constitution to play the primary role in determining appropriations to fund the government. when they were the two senior senators on the appropriations committee and on the commerce committee, they considered themselves as cochairs and officially designated each other as that. when control of the senate changed hands, it was not unusual for one to retain key members of the other's staffs. so today i add mine to the many voices mourning his passing and say to his family, you are in our thoughts and prayers. mr. president, danny inouye was something in our senate that i think we should all strive to be
and that is he was a warrior but he was a gentle man. he was a man who was loyal to the core for not only his beliefs but also his friends. and if he gave you his word, his word was good. he is someone that every one of us who knew him cared for and regarded as a giant among us. in fact, i would say today that the senate has lost a gentle giant. thank you, mr. president. and i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from maryland. mr. cardin: mr. president, i join with senator hutchison in paying tribute to senator daniel k. inouye. i rise today to pay tribute to our dear colleague. senator inouye was not one of the tallest senators. in fact, he had a slight built and a quite demeanor, but he was a giant. he will be missed by all here in
the senate. people of his beloved hawaii will miss him. all americans will miss him. in the immediate aftermath of the attack on pearl harbor, senator inouye was declared an enemy alien because of his japanese ancestry. but in 1943, when the u.s. army dropped its enlistment ban on japanese-americans, he enlisted in the army and volunteered to be part of the 442nd regimental combat team. the 442nd became the most highly decorated infantry regiment in the history of the united states army. the 442nd, known by its motto "go for broke" was awarded eight presidential unit citations and 21 of its members, including senator inouye, were awarded the medal of honor for their heroism during world war ii. following world war ii, senator inouye finished his undergraduate studies at the university of hawaii and then earned a law degree from george
washington university. in 1953, he was elected to the hawaii territorial house of representatives and was immediately elected majority leader. he served two terms there and was elected to the hawaii territorial senate in 1957. midway through his first term in the territorial senate, hawaii achieved statehood, he won a seat in the united states house of representatives as hawaii's first full member, and took office on august 21, 1959, the same date hawaii became a state. and he was reelected in 1960 and then in 1962 he was elected to the united states senate and was reelected eight times, only once with less than 69% of the vote. senator inouye has been in the congress since hawaii was a state. he's the second longest serving senator in our nation's history and he has served with distinction, just as he served
with distinction in the united states army. others on this floor have already detailed his bravery in battle, his service on the watergate and iran-contra committees, and his accomplishment as the first chairman of the senate select committee on intelligence. and as chairman of the commerce and appropriations committee. i would like to highlight his work on behalf of the victims of racial and economic and social inequality and his commitment to make -- making the senate operate as the founding fathers envisioned. a statement on senator inouye's web site says, "dan inouye was also among the first to speak out against injustice, whether interned japanese-americans, filipino world war ii veterans, native americans, and native hawaiians." how true. a few hundred yards from this chamber is the smithsonian's magnificent national museum of the american indian. senator inouye introduced the legislation to create that museum and fought for the native american and native hawaiian and pacific islanders' recognition
and rights and restitution as chairman of the senate committee on indian affairs. here in the senate, senator inouye treated all of his colleagues with respect and courtesy and always reached across the aisle to forge bipartisan solutions to our nation's biggest challenges. his friendship with former republican leader bob dole, who he met while the two of them were recuperating from grievous combat injuries, along, i might say, another wounded veteran who became a giant in the united states senate, senator phil hart of michigan, served as an example we should strive to emulate. he was a member of the so-called gang of 14, again reaching across the aisle at a time when partisan tempers were particularly high. mr. president, there are few, if any, americans who have been more heroic in battle, more accomplished as a public serva servant, more dedicated to family and country and humanity than daniel k. inouye. and yet he was one -- also one
of the most humble and self-effacing people. what a tremendous example of life well lived. lived he has left for all of us as we mourn his death, celebrate his life and give thanks for his service to the people of hawaii, the united states senate and the united states of america. to senator inouye, we say aloha. with that, mr. president, i would suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
mr. harkin: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from iowa. mr. harkin: mr. president, i ask that further proceedings under the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. harkin: mr. president, the united states senate, both as a legislative body and as a fami family, is in mourning today after the passing of its most senior and revered member, senator daniel inouye of hawaii. in his final days, senator
inouye was asked how he wanted to be remembered. he replied with characteristic modesty, "i represented the people of hawaii and this nation honestly and to the best of my ability. i think i did okay." with similar understatement, speaking about the extraordinary act of heroism in combat for which he was awarded the congressional medal of honor, he explained that it was -- and i quote him -- quote -- "a case of temporary insanity." mr. president, modest cit modesd reserve were trademark qualities of our beloved danny inouye. but we can speak more forthrightly about this very extraordinary person. yes, senator inouye represented the people of hawaii and this nation honestly and to the best of his ability, but he didn't do
just okay. daniel inouye was a y great american, a public servant of extraordinary accomplishment. his qualities of character and conscience and steadfastness have set the standard here in the senate for over five decades. think about this: in 1973 and 1974 ras a senate select -- as a senate select committee investigated the crimes of watergate, which senator did we count on to take charge with tough but fair questioning of those involved? of course we counted on senator inouye. in 1976, after revelations of abuse of power by the c.i.a. and the f.b.i., which senator did we count on to oversee reforms as
the first chairman of the select committee on intelligence? of course we counted on senator inouye. in 1987, as the iran-contra scandal rocked the reagan administration, which senator did we count on to lead a tough but fair inquiry as chairman of the select committee appointed to investigate the affair? of course we counted on senator inouye. time and again across over seven decades the united states of america has counted on daniel inouye, and he always delivered. he always responded to the call of duty with courage, selflessness and excellence. as we all know, during the second world war, dan served in the 442nd regimental combat team. after losing his right arm and sustaining other grave injuries in combat, he spent two years in
army hospitals. at one of those hospitals he met two other wounded veterans: a soldier from kansas named bob dole and a michigan boy named phillip hart. all three would go on to become giants of senate history. it is difficult to imagine, but after returning from the war, lieutenant daniel inouye was wearing an empty right sleeve pinned to his army uniform and was denied service at a san francisco barber shop. the barber dismissed him with the words "we don't serve japs here." one of daniel inouye's great legacies in his successful fight to defeat that brand of racism and discrimination was his total fight against any form of discrimination against anyone, especially people with disabilities. throughout his political career, he fought for civil rights and social justice not only for
japanese-americans but for all americans. mr. president, i have lost not only a friend of nearly four decades, also my chairman on the committee on appropriations and its subcommittee on defense. senator inouye was well known as a stalwart advocate for national defense and for veterans, but he also fought very passionately to advance education, the national institutes of health, other programs that are in the jurisdiction of my appropriations subcommittee on labor, health, human services and education. i will never forget what senator inouye said one time in a meeting in which my bill on health and education, labor, n.i.h., centers for disease control; all of the things are in that bill came forward.
and remember, senator inouye, chairman of the -- it was then at that time the chairman of the defense appropriations subcommittee. and he said something i will never forget. he said, senator harkin -- no, he said i chair the defense appropriations subcommittee. he said that's the subcommittee that defends america. he said, senator harkin chairs the subcommittee on labor and health and education and human services. that's the subcommittee that defines america. so senator inouye was not a one-dimensional person. he was not just someone who fought for our veterans and
fought for the strong defense of our country. i also remember him saying one time, repeating the famous words of president truman that the strength of america comes not just from the number of tanks and guns and warplanes that we have, but from the health and welfare and education of our people. mr. president, in tributes on the floor yesterday and today, colleagues are remembering dan inouye as one of the greatest senators of our time and indeed of any time. but knowing then and the values he held dear, he would want no greater tribute than to be remembered as a loyal friend, a man of honor, of decency and of humility. senator inouye was that and much more. senator inouye was the finest of men. for half a century the senate has been graced by his dignified
the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. harkin: mr. president, i come to the floor now to bid farewell to one of the senate's most respected members: senator olympia snowe of the great state of maine. she chose to retire this year after a distinguished career in public service spanning nearly four decades. first in the maine legislature, six years in the u.s. house, and the last 18 years here in the u.s. senate. throughout this remarkable career, she has been respected for her often independence, always putting her value and country ahead of party and partisanship. she can of course being a very effective and persuasive advocate for the conservative causes she holds dear. but as we all know and appreciate, she is willing to buck party loyalty when she believes it is in error or when she believes the better part of our country and our future depends upon bipartisanship. i cite, for example, when she
voted in favor of the recovery act and the dodd-frank reform of wall street. i especially admire senator snowe's talent for reaching across the aisle and building bridges in order to get things done. on that score, she has represented the united states and her state of maine at its very best. and that is just one of the many reasons why we are sad that she has chosen voluntarily to retire. mr. president, olympia snowe has been a wonderful colleague and friend, always congenial, always willing to listen, always willing to examine different sides of an issue. what more could we ask of any united states senator? we have been fortunate to have had a senator of her high caliber, intelligence and character in this body for the last 18 years. i join with the entire senate family in wishing her and john
the very best in the years ahead. mr. president, in these closing days of the 112th congress, the senate is saying farewell to again one of our most popular and respected members, senator jeff bingaman of new mexico. when jeff came to this body 30 years ago, he had already led a life of accomplishment created in small-town new mexico, silver city. he was an eagle scout, graduated from harvard college, stanford law school, where he met his future wife, ann. while at stanford, he worked in senator robert f. kennedy's campaign for president. at the age of 35, he was elected new mexico attorney general in 1978. and four years later at the age of 39, elected to the united states senate. during his three decades in this body, jeff bingaman has been a classic workhorse senator as opposed to being a show horse
senator. he is truly remarkable and distinctive among senators for his willingness to shun the limelight and share the credit in order to get important things done for his state and for this country. senator bingaman has been a much valued colleague of mine on the health, education, labor and pensions committee, but he has really made his mark in the senate a lasting mark in his role as chair of the energy and natural resources committee. as chair and also at times ranking member of that committee, he has played a leading role in shaping energy policy for our nation, authoring bipartisan legislation promoting a balanced energy portfolio encompassing all energy sources. senator bingaman worked closely with his new mexico colleague, senator pete domenici to pass the landmark 2005 energy policy act signed into law by president george w. bush.
signed, i might add, appropriately at sandia national laboratories in albuquerque, new mexico. that comprehensive law established groundbreaking policies on many fronts including a renewable fuel standard for biofuels, support for alternative vehicles, loan guarantees for new energy technologies that reduce greenhouse gases, establishing policies to upgrade the electrical grid plus a whole range of measures to promote energy efficiency. in 2007, he again collaborated with senator domenici in securing passage of the energy independence and security act. this act included an ambitious increase in vehicle fuel efficiency standards from 25 miles per gallon to 35 miles per gallon by the year 2020 as well as significantly greater commitments to the use of biofuels. these two provisions are largely responsible for the significant decrease in oil imports that we've seen over the past several years. more broadly, senator bingaman
played a critical role in ensuring the vitality of america's energy research and development community. championing energy programs at all levels, including universities, national laboratories and in private industry. and, mr. president, i can't close without mentioning a great living legacy of the senator from new mexico, his 2009 public lands management bill that set aside more than two million acres in nine states as protected wilderness, including a 5,300 acre national monument to protect fossils located north of las cru kr*e s, new mexico. -- i can say senator bingaman is among the greatest who set aside public land for future generations, people like roosevelt and others.
senator bingaman takes his rightful place there. mr. president, for the last three decades in this body senator bingaman has been a tireless advocate for the people of new mexico, a determined champion for the future of clean and renewable energy for the united states. he's been an outstanding senator, a wonderful friend. i join with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in wishing jeff and ann the very best in the years ahead. mr. president, with that, i yield the floor. and i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
a senator: ask the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mrs. gillibrand: i rise today to urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support our efforts to come to the relief of millions of americans who are suffering in the wake of superstorm sandy. i want to thank my fellow senators from the northeast, especially senators lautenberg and menendez, and senator schumer for all of their leadership. we've been working in unison with many of our colleagues and we have been testifying at hearings and talked to our other colleagues since the storm hit. i also want to give special thanks to senator landrieu, who because her state has suffered so much, she has had not only deep experience in advocating
for families who are suffering, but she's demonstrated extraordinary leadership in bringing together a bill that can begin to meet some of those needs. i also want to thank senator boxer for holding a hearing in the environment and public works committee. that hearing allowed all of the senators to speak on behalf of their states, our members can of our delegations to bear witness to what actually took place. now, superstorm sandy was a storm unlike anything we had ever seen in the northeast before. the sheer magnitude and force struck the most densely populated parts of the region. as you can see here, the purple is where the storm hit hardest, then the red, on to the yellow. in sandy's wake, more than 40 new yorkers lost their lives and hundreds of thousands more have lost their homes or seen significant damage to their neighborhoods, their businesses, and their families are currently
still suffering. i'll just share one story to show the depth of the challenge that these families are facing. this one man, his name is pedro corarea. he's from staten island. pedro is a lifelong new yorkers. when he saw the twin towers fall on 9/11, he answered the call of duty. went to iraq, he served our country. and since returning home to his family, he continues to serve in public service. he and his wife have two kids ages two and six their oakwood beach home. as sandy approached, pedro was very smart. he got his family and his children out. he got them to higher ground, to a safer place. unfortunately, he stayed, and the brutal winds hit his home and his community so hard, winds of unbelievable force, it blew his roof off, it collapsed the structure of his house, flood
waters flowed in. with the rising water, he literally felt his life was at risk. he called his wife and kids to say goodbye. but he was a strong man and he endured. he actually was able to fight the storm waters and swam to safety to a neighbor's house. now, you'd think that was going to be the worst for pedro and his family but it's not. it's actually not. his house was completely destroyed. but as he's begun his efforts to rebuild, he's found roadblock after roadblock, challenge after challenge, and difficulty in that small effort of beginning to rebuild. he called his insurance company. his insurance is capped at half of the value of his home. he called fema. fema offered him $2,800. now, this is a man any of us
would be proud to call our own son. he lived through 9/11. he went to fight for our count country. he continues public service. and now he's literally in the fight for his own life, for his own family's well being and safety. his only choice currently is bankruptcy. now, americans are watching us and asking, are we going to come together to help these families? will we stand as one body and do the right thing by these families, these communities, these businesses that are just trying to get back on their fe feet? one thing is clear -- there are too many of these stories for any of us to bear. now, after spending time in the communities that were hardest hit, from new york city, to the hudson valley, to long island, i can tell you, the images of the devastation are worse than i've personally ever seen or witnessed. i've spent day after day meeting
with families whose lives have been shattered, homes destroyed, like this one. and many of them are worried, because obviously as winter sets in, they don't think they can return to their homes. how will they get their kids back in school. how will they rebuild their lives? but amidst all this -- amid all of this destruction, one story continues to emerge -- neighbors helping neighbors, unbelievable acts of generosity, kindness. i've met volunteers from every state in this country who came to help sandy's victims. young kids who want to do their part. i met a bunch of kids, veterans, who had already served in iraq and afghanistan, that were there just to help people clean out their basements. they put on some gloves, they put on their work boots and they just shoveled out basements for days and days.
met one gentleman who, like this house, had a boat in the middle of his restaurant and he just said to me, he said, kirsten, we'll rebuild and we'll rebuild better. and we agreed we'd have dinner that the restaurant a year from now. so that resolve, that determination to build is something that is never in short supply in new york. as we know, new yorkers, we're very tough. we can get knocked down but every single time we will get up. we may be forced to bend but we will not break. and we can't do it alone. we need the rest of this body, the rest of congress to come to our support. now, there's been a lot of discussion i've had with my colleagues over the past few days about the bill. we're moving too quickly, it costs too much. but, please, for a moment think of devastation in your own states, think of talking to a family with children who have no
place to go. imagine what it would be like to be without a home, particularly during these holidays. families need just a small amount of support to begin to rebuild. now, new york, because of where it was hit, a lot of our infrastructure was damaged and a lot of these projects are extremely expensive, but these projects are emergency spending. major transportation infrastructure, like the battery -- the brooklyn battery tunnel. this tunnel itself, this is a subway, but the brooklyn battery tunnel alone would take $700 million to rebuild. so when we're talking about a bill, you can't say, well, we'll just fund a little bit today and we'll fund the rest tomorrow. because that's not how business works. that's not how a contract works. you either contract to rebuild the tunnel or you don't. you either make the changes to rebuild it or you don't. you can't say, well, we'll put down a little now.
no state or city can operate that way. if you don't know the funds are there in advance, you cannot start to rebuild. the same is true for our houses. we've estimated there's $10 billion of damage to these homes. if you say, we'll just give you a little now, well, how is that homeowner going to know if they'll ever be able to rebuild if no one is there to help them? we have always funded disaster projects when they are needed. we have not asked for offsets. we have not asked for them to be paid for in advance. that's what a disaster is. that's what disaster funding is about. so i think it's important that we look to new york and say, we will be there for you, we will stand with you. new york has stood by every other state, every other region in the country when they have had disaster come to their doorstep. another concern my colleagues have brought up is this issue of what portion of the bill is for
future prevention, we call it mitigation. the reality is is if you're going to rebuild a subway like this and you don't do it in a way that protects against flooding the next time, then you're wasting your money. so mitigation is attached to the each -- to each and every project that it's going to be used for. so when we fix the tunnel, when we fix the subway, when we fix any part of our city, that it will be done in a way that's smart and not blind to future risks. some have also asked the question about army corps of engineers' projects. now, for those who aren't in washingtonspeak, what the army corps of engineers funds are a lot of the projects related to our coastal lines or to any kind of waterway. they do the engineering required and then the work that has to be done to make sure a beach isn't
vulnerable after a massive storm like we've seen. because of sandy, much of the army corps infrastructure that provided this critical protection was washed away or significantly damaged, leaving a lot of our shoreline exposed. so even if a minor storm hits, lives will be at risk. now, what we look in history, after hurricane katrina, congress and the bush administration immediately provided the army corps with $3.3 billion of repair and mitigation with no offsets. even funds appropriated in 2008 for the gulf coast hurricanes, three years after the storms were hit, were designated as disaster and emergency funding. in fact, since 1989, congress has passed 36 emergency appropriations for disaster without any specifically dedicated outside o offsets. now, mr. president, it's been 50 days since hurricane sandy hit
our shores. we need to act swiftly. when hurricane katrina battered the gulf coast, the members of this body and the house united. we passed two emergency spending relief bills worth $60 billion within ten days. congress did the same for hurricane andrew and within weeks of the twin towers falling on 9/11. i know that the members of this body can come together. when disasters strike, we always find a way to do the right thing. it's time to do the same today. it's the fundamental role of government to protect people, to help rebuild communities when disasters strike. when so many lives have been destroyed and so many communities flay rubble, when businesses don't -- lay in rubble, when businesses don't
know how to begin to rebuild, that is when we have to stand strong and when we have to come together. no doubt, we have serious challenges ahead of us, but none of us were sent here to congress to do what's easy. we serve to do what's right, especially when it's hard, especially when families are counting on us, so i ask my colleagues to find goodwill, to open their hearts and stand by those families who have suffered so much in the northeast. i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from rhode island. mr. reed: i ask that the calling of the quorum be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. reed: thank you, mr. president. i rise as so many of my colleagues have to mourn and pay tribute to senator daniel inouye of hawaii. he was a giant of the senate. he was an individual whose courage, whose compassion, whose commitment to this country has never been exceeded by anyone who served here, indeed by any american i can think of. a few years ago, i was asked to introduce the senator at an event, and i put down on a card some points that i have kept
kept on my desk and will forever keep on my desk. second lieutenant daniel k. inouye, e company, 442nd regimental combat team, san terazo, italy, april 21, 1945. that was the day that he was wounded leading his platoon against an enemy pillbox, the day that he would ultimately be awarded the congressional medal of honor for his actions. then i have another date -- may 8, 1945. that was v.e. day, the end of the war. 17 days before the end of the war, when berlin wassen -- was encircled and collapsing, when american forces were rushing and the end was clear and indeed every soldier recognized that the war was coming to an end, senator inouye didn't stop
serving, didn't stop sacrificing, didn't stop giving his all to protect his soldiers and accomplish his mission. indeed, that spirit of never giving up, of never failing to do his duty animated his service in the senate, animated his service to this country and to the state of hawaii. at the time i gave these remarks, he was one of 90 living holders of the congressional medal of honor. today, we mourn his passing. his contributions to hawaii, his contributions to this senate which he held in the highest esteem and which he personified so grandly. i think one of the factors that led him to a career in public service and led him to such distinguished service was the recognition, not theoretically
but practically that despite his great suffering and sacrifice, he was lucky because there were many other young men and women who perished in that war and in subsequent wars, that he had sacrificed much but had not given his life, very nearly he gave his life. at that time, at the end, the poet laureate of the united states wrote -- "they say we were young. we have died. remember us. they say we have done what we could, but until it is finished, it is not done. they say we have given our lives, but until it's finished, no one can know what our lives gave. they say our deaths are not ours, they are yours. they will mean what you make them. they say whether our lives and our deaths were for peace or for new hope were for nothing.
we cannot say. it is you who must say this. in everything dan inouye did, he spoke for those soldiers. he gave their life's meaning by selfless service and sacrifice to this nation. he gave it every day by making this place, this country live up to its highest ideals, a place of opportunity for all, a place of fairness and decency. he did it, as few did, and so those voices that were stilled in 1945 and in the korean war and in the war in vietnam and subsequent wars always had a voice here, and it wasn't just words. it was actions. his life gave meaning, and that might be one of the highest compliments that anyone can achieve in this life. we all know his extraordinary service in so many different ways. we know also in one of the great
coincidences that three young men were in a michigan veterans administration hospital -- dan inouye, phil hart and bob dole, american heroes, and that later they would come to this senate and serve with distinction. i think it was particularly meaningful that just a few days ago, senator robert dole, another great american, was on the floor of this senate still serving, still emblematic of the greatest generation. we will miss him. there are few words and not enough eloquence to describe the loss. i do particularly want to thank and extend my condolences to his wife irene, to his son ken, to his daughter-in-law jessica, to
his granddaughter maggie and his stepdaughter jennifer hirano. they have lost more than any of us because they have lost a husband, a father and a grandfather. let me just conclude with the words uttered centuries ago. the bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding go out to meet it." dan inouye knew the dangers. dan inouye knew that the glory was fleeting and in fact in combat wasn't particularly glorious at all, but he knew it was honorable to serve. he knew it was honorable to sacrifice for his soldiers and for his comrades. he knew it was honorable and
decent to serve his state and this nation, and he never failed to go forth to meet the challenges of his time. now it is our time. now we must give words and meaning to the voices that have been stilled in the service of this nation, and one of those giants and one of those powerful voices was senator daniel inouye. the test will be whether we can measure up to what he did, and i hope for the sake of this country we can. and with that, mr. president, i would request unanimous consent and then yield the floor. i ask unanimous consent that morning business be extended until 4:00 p.m. with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reed: i yield the floor.
a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from louisiana. mr. vitter: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, i rise today to thank my senate colleagues. yesterday, we passed a reauthorization of the lake pontchartrain basin restoration act. that's very significant for my state of louisiana, particularly southeast louisiana. today i expect that that package will be similarly approved by the u.s. house and passed into law to fully reauthorize this important restoration program. mr. president, i will get in a minute to why it is important and positive and noteworthy. let me just mention in passing, it's significant to me, it happened to be the first bill i ever passed in the congress. i came to the u.s. house in a special election in 1999, and
that very soon after that we passed into law in my freshman term this legislation in 2001. more important than that, it's been a very positive, productive program cleaning up a big part of louisiana and parts of mississippi. the lake pontchartrain basin is about 16 parishes in louisiana, four counties in mississippi, southeast louisiana. lake pontchartrain and areas surrounding lake pontchartrain, some of the most populated part of our state, at least 1.5 million residents. when i was a kid, unfortunately, lake pontchartrain had really come into a sad state, was visibly dirty. nobody would have thought of swimming there at the time. soon after that, however, a positive grassroots effort started to clean up the lake.
it wasn't some big government program, it wasn't some edict from the e.p.a. or anyone else. it was a grassroots citizens' effort. it was really embodied by a great organization that was founded and still exists, the lake pontchartrain basin foundation, and that is nonprofit, private foundation, that group of active citizens and stakeholders got together around the need to clean up the lake and make it a suitable lake once again and clean up all the surrounding parishes in that watershed. that effort had great success from when i was in high school for the next several decades, and then as i was coming to the congress, we wanted to take the next step and really amplify those efforts. and so with an enormous amount
of input from that citizens' group, other local stakeholders, we came up with a model completely voluntary, proactive cleanup effort housed in the e.p.a., focused exclusively on the lake pontchartrain basin. that's when we acted, 1999, 2000, passing that legislation in 2001. it's had enormous positive impact. it created a real partnership, again built from the ground up, from local stakeholders, from that local group from civic activists, and it granted restoration efforts similar status as other important restoration efforts around the country, and over the last many years, it's had real impact. as the then-head of the pontchartrain basin executive
restoration committee said -- quote -- "it's been the catalyst for over 100 projects that have reduced pollution from surge plants, dairy operations and helped preserve louisiana's fragile coast, and the results are quantifiable. lake pontchartrain is again fishable and swimmable." close quote. and that's really the ultimate test. you know, mr. president, that's the ultimate measure, when citizens can go out and swim in a lake as they can now, when they can go out and do actively fish in a lake in a way they never did to that extent a decade and two decades ago, that's the ultimate validation, that's the ultimate measure. well, we did reauthorize the program in 2006, and now again in 2012 we're reauthorizing it again. basing it on the same continuing
model, a from the ground up enterprise, a proactive, voluntary effort. not some washington bureaucrat throwing a huge cumbersome rule book at local stakeholders but building from the ground up through voluntary proactive restoration efforts, getting those stakeholders together, the people who know the lay of the land the best and acting based on their priorities and their recommendations. that was the model from the beginning. that was the model before this legislation with the grassroots effort that preceded it, and that continues. that's the model we'll continue to use, and i hope in some small way that can be the model that we use more and more actively in environmental cleanup around the country. certainly, that's the positive perspective i will bring as the
new ranking republican on the environment and public works committee. so again mr. president, i thank my colleagues, democrats and republicans, for passing this reauthorization. it's important and productive and positive. it will continue to be on the ground in southeast louisiana. i very much look forward to that reauthorization passing the u.s. house, being signed into law so that those activists and stakeholders and citizens on the ground in southeast louisiana can help lead that important continuing work. thank you, mr. president. i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from oregon. mr. merkley: i ask the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. merkley: thank you, mr. president. i rise for a few moments to share a few thoughts about our friend and colleague who passed away yesterday, senator dan inouye. it was a shock to be here on the floor yesterday when his passing was announced. and it's still a shock today to
see that it is, indeed, real, the beautiful bowl of white roses on his desk. and i wanted to share just a remembrance or two. when i was 19, i was struggling with what direction to take in life. and thought public policy might be something worth pursuing. so i asked my father, i said -- my father read the newspaper every day and would sit and watch the evening news and run a commentary on the world. and i asked him, if i was to try to get a summer internship in washington, d.c. to see how government really works, who
should i apply to? and, of course, he noted that i should apply to my home state senator, senator packwood and senator hatfield. and i asked him if there were any national senators who stood out. and he said that there are four that i think you should try to talk to. senator kennedy, senator humphrey, senator church, and senator inouye. and i proceeded to write letters and seek to see if i could get an internship with any of my home state senators or any of those four. and i didn't -- i didn't succeed outside my state, i did get an internship with senator hatfield which changed the course of my life. but when i was elected to the u.s. senate, senator hatfield asked me to bring colleagues to his -- greetings to his
colleagues who served with him, particularly senator inouye because senator hatfield had chaired appropriations and senator inouye was chairing appropriations. and that was a tremendous introduction because it led to one of my first conversations when i came to the u.s. senate was with senator dan inouye. he showed me his spectacular view down the mall looking towards the washington monument and said, any time you want to come and use the balcony, you should -- you should come and use it. it's one of the best places in washington. and shared the -- the joy he took in just the beauty of -- of that space. and we shared stories about the old days, the days when senator hatfield and senator inouye worked together on appropriations. and we also had a chance to talk about some of the -- the challenges that have occurred in
the committee in recent times, how much harder it is to get appropriation bills to the floor and have them considered in a bipartisan nature. and i indicated to -- to senator inouye then how interested i would be in serving on appropriations, how important to oregon it would be, and this began a series of dialogue over the last four years about that. it was tremendous honor to have the chance to share these last four years with senator dan inouye. i think all who have spoken have recognized that he did extraordinary job of commanding folks and taking on difficult tasks in world war ii and received the highest recognition for doing so. and he did so in the context
that was extraordinary, in which japanese-americans had been really relegated to a second-tier status during the war. and he chose a path that led to first-tier recognition for the leadership and bravery that he exhibited. and he did no less a spectacular job here in the u.s. senate. just days away from completing 50 years. 50 years of being here on the floor of the senate advocating for working people, advocating for his home state, working for a vision of where all families can prosper. his life was extraordinarily well lived.
consent that the quorum call be lifted. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. knel nelson: mr. president,i want to speak about my friend, our friend, danny inouye. it's been a week of emotion, and when you look at that black-draped desk with the white flowers, it's hard to believe that so much a part of this institution is gone as a living, breathing part of the institution. but as a part of its history, its memory, its institutions, its values, danny epitomized all
of that. that is particularly true that he was first a gentleman. i guess you'd have to say first he was a patriot, and all you needed to do to see how much he was a patriot was the fact that he had won arm missing when he charged single-handedly as that army lieutenant, that german machine gun nest and took them out and lost his arm and ended up 20 months in the hospital. of course, we all know he got the medal of honor years later, recognition well deserved. a patriot. also, though, because of being a
public servant for well over a half a century, a public servant as a young lieutenant, a public servant as elected to the first territorial legislature of hawaii in 1954, elected its first congressman when it became a state in 1959, and then in 1 1962, ever since, a public servant serving his state, the first japanese-american senator. his name is synonymous with hawaii. and so it was fitting that it is told by his stha staff that hist word was "aloha." patriot. but second, he was a gentleman.
and that is a value that all of us in the u.s. congress ought to remember. it all emanates from some of the greatest moral teachings on planet earth, what those of us refer to in the new testament as the golden rule, but treat others as you want to be treated. or put in the old english, do unto others as you would have them do unto you. that is a principle, a moral principle that runs throughout every major faith on the face of the planet. danny inouye exemplified that value, that uniquely american value.
and somewhere we seem to go on astray. we go astray now from what we learn in newtown, connecticut. we go astray when we see how some of us treat each other in this chamber. the old adage is not just to go along to get along. you get along a lot better if you get along. or to put it in the old country boy wisdom, you can attract a lot more flies with honey than you can with vinegar. that's the life that our colleague led. some people call it a throwback to the gentlemanly days of the
united states senate, a throwback when courtliness and deference -- i hope it's not a throwback. i hope we're not throwing back anything. i hope we will remember the life of danny inouye. he -- he -- he felt this so strongly that when he was a chairman of committee, he didn't refer to the ranking republican as the ranking member. he called them the vice chairm chairman. now, of course, that was uniquely senator inouye but it also was practical. because he could get more done if he's sitting there as chairman and his vice chairman is sitting right next to him. and so we have a lot to learn in
these emotional times of losing a valued friend and colleague. but his life exemplified -- exemplifies the best part of the united states senate. we can sure get a lot more done if we'd start coming together just like danny inouye taught us all. mr. president, i yield the floor and i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the republican leader. mr. mcconnell: i ask that further proceedings under the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: the u.s. senate has been conducting its business here in washington for just over 200 years, and for more than a fifth of that time, senator dan
inouye of hawaii stood in its ranks. it was just one of the many aston iraqing fetes for a man -- feats for man who rarely called attention to himself but had every reason to do so. in a life of honors, he was never drawn to fanfare, and that always made him a different kind of senator. so today we mourn not hole a friend-- friend-- we mourn not only a friend and a colleague, but also everything he represented to a nation that will always need courageous and principled men like dan inouye, if it is to flourish and succeed. the people who worked with dan inouye might have known that he served in world war ii, but they could have gone years without nothing that he was one of the most decorated soldiers of his time. to dan his achievements were simply part of the job, and
there were many. they start with his military heroism, of course, and they continued throughout his long career of public service. he was the iconic political figure of the 50th state. until his death, he was the only original member of a congressional delegation still serving in congress, and there's scarcely an acre of hawaii or a person in the state that dan hasn't affected or influenced. over many years of diligent committee work, he helped ensure that an entire generation of uniformed military went into battle well-prepared and that they were well-cared-for when they returned. yet despite all this, dan's quiet demeanor and strict
adherence to an older code of honor and professionalism made him a stranger to controversy throughout his many decades in public office. he was the kind of man, the kind of public servant, in other words, that america has always been grateful to have. especially in her darkest hours, men who lead by example and expect nothing in return. one of my favorite dan inouye stories took place right here in the capitol back in 1959. the memory of a hard-fought war against the japanese was fresh in many minds as the speaker of the house sam rayburn prepared to administer the oath to a young war hero who was not only the first member from hawaii but the first american of japanese descent ever elected to congress.
"raise your right hand and repeat after me," rayburn said. and here's how another congressman would later record what followed: the hush deepened, as the young congressman raised not his right hand but his left and repeated the oath of office. there was no right hand. it had been lost in combat by that young american soldier in world war ii. and who can deny that at that moment a ton of prejudice slipped quietly to the floor of the house of representatives? it's a perfect image of how dan led by example throughout his long career with quiet dignity and unquestioned integrity. it started earl i didn' started.
-- it started early for dan. he and his friends always thought of themselves as americans. yet after pearl harbor they suddenly found themselves lumped in with the enemy. it was one of the reasons so many of them felt such an intense desire to serve. their loyalty and patriotism had been questioned. and they were determined -- determined -- to prove their allegiance beyond any doubt. when the army lifted its ban on japanese-americans, dan and his friends jumped at the chance to serve. an astonishing 80% of military-age men of japanese descent who lived in hawaii volunteered. 23% were accepted including dan,
an 18-year-old student in hawaii. together they formed what would become the most decorated military unit in history, the famed 442nd regimental combat team. as platoon leader, dan spent three bloody months in the rome arno campaign and two brutal weeks rescuing a texas battalion that was surrounded by german forces, an operation military historians often describe as one of the most significant battles of the 20th century. after the rescue, dan was sent back to italy where on april 21, 1945, in a ridge near san terenzo, he displayed extraordinary bravery for which he would later receive the medal of honor. dan then spent nearly two years in a michigan army hospital where he also met bob dole and
phillip hart. dan had always wanted to be a surgeon, but that dream faded away on that ridge in italy. instead he became a very fine senator and one of the most impressive and effective public servants of our time. dan never let narrow party interests stand in the way of friendship or cooperation on matters of real national importance. his friendship with former republican senator ted stevens was one of the most storied in all of senate history. and i know i never hesitated to call on dan when i thought something truly important was at stake. as dan always said, to have friends, you've got to be a friend. it's a good principle. it's one he always lived up to. and it's one that's needed now
more than ever. elaine and i extend to irene and the entire inouye family our deepest sympathy on their loss, which is also the nation's loss. it was a privilege to have worked alongside this good man and to call him a friend. we will miss him, yet we're consoled by the thought that he has now finally heard those words he longed to hear: "well done, good and faithful servant. enter into your master's joy." mr. president, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
mr. grassley: i ask that the calling of the quorum be suspended. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. grassley: i'd like to speak for about three minutes in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. grassley: to my colleagues, i'd like to speak as many of my colleagues have about senator inouye. when i was a new senator, the first encounter i had with senator inouye is he invited me to go with him to the university of hawaii to debate some issue, and i don't remember exactly what the issue was, and obviously i didn't know what i was getting into because he had been in the senate by then a quarter of a century, i believe, and i was new, but i was glad to be invited and feel honored to
be invited, so i suppose every senator here is going to be able to have a lot of memories of senator inouye, so i come to the floor to pay tribute, as we ought to, to our friend. i've heard the tributes paid to senator inouye by his fellow senators, and that's gone on over the past several hours since his passing. it's a strong testament to the character of senator inouye that his loss as a friend and colleague is so deeply felt. senator inouye impressed many of us with his quiet determination, his dedication to right and wrong and his sheer decency. he was a gentle force in the united states senate, with emphasis upon force, but that adjective gentle is very legitimate. he had a strong work ethic and
was very productive on behalf of the entire united states, and of course as all of us do, we have to look out for the people in our state so he looked out for his beloved state of hawaii as well. because he was restrained in his misdemeanor when he spoke, he commanded real attention. he was well respected in the senate for his lifelong statesmanship and for his early displays of courage and sacrifice for our country. barely out of his teens, senator inouye confronted more tests of his bravery than the vast majority of us will face in a lifetime. he passed those tests with flying colors, and his representation of american interests in the heavy combat theaters of world war ii was something he had to pursue. for him it was not a perfunctory
act. even though he was an eyewitness to the japanese warplanes flying overhead in their assault on hawaii, he could not enlist in the u.s. military at a time because he was japanese american. he and others petitioned our government, and when they were allowed to enlist, he certainly did. he and his fellow americans of japanese descent went on to serve with tremendous skill and heroism. i encourage everyone to read about senator inouye's wartime experience, the medals he won and the bravery he established to win the medal of honor. he teaches all of us about answering the call to duty, with determination without hesitation, just as he did. his example of selflessness and
his elevation of common cause over individual interests are especially relevant in these trying times. in congress, if we all sacrifice more and worry about self-preservation less, we can accomplish a lot for the country senator inouye fought to save and to serve his people afterwards here in the united states senate. i'm glad to have served with and learn from senator inouye. i yield the floor. do you want me to do a quorum call? i yield the floor, senator leahy. mr. leahy: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from vermont. mr. leahy: madam president, what is the parliament situation? the presiding officer: the senate is in a period of morning business. mr. leahy: i thank the
distinguished presiding officer. i assume then that we're going back and forth? the presiding officer: the senator from louisiana. ms. landrieu: madam president, i would be happy to accommodate other senators, but i came to the floor to speak for about ten minutes on the supplemental. i see senator mccain. i don't know if he came to speak on senator inouye or the supplemental. senator merkley and senator stabenow want to offer an amendment or introduce an amendment. is that appropriate? the presiding officer: the senator is correct. that is appropriate. the senator from arizona. mr. mccain: i would request we do as usual in morning business, back and forth, if that's all right. if i could follow the senator from louisiana? the presiding officer: without objection. ms. landrieu: and if the senator would yield, the senators here, the senators from oregon and michigan, just wanted one minute to get their amendment in, and then i would speak for a few minutes and then senator mccain. would that be okay?
the presiding officer: without objection. mr. merkley: madam president? mr. leahy: madam president, i see the distinguished senators from arizona and others who may wish to be speaking in morning business. may i suggest that we close morning business, go back on the bill, and if somebody wishes to speak, as many do to our departed colleague, they could always ask consent and go back as if in morning business. i would ask the morning business be closed and we go back to h.r. 1. the presiding officer: morning business is closed. under the previous order, the senate will resume consideration of h.r. 1 which the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 14, h.r. 1, an act making appropriations for the department of defense, and so forth and for other purposes.
mr. merkley: madam president? i ask unanimous consent to set aside the pending amendment and call up my amendment number 3367. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection, the clerk will report the amendment. the clerk: the senator from oregon, mr. merkley, proposes an amendment numbered 3367. at the end of title 1, add the following -- mr. merkley: madam president? mr. leahy: i ask the reading be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. the senator from oregon. mr. merkley: madam president, i am going to be very brief in respect for my colleagues who wish to speak. this amendment addresses an important disaster that occurred in many places across our country this year. that is, extensive drought and extensive fires. i've come to this floor a number of times to describe those extensive fires and the damage they did to farmers and ranchers in my home state of oregon, and i know that many others have come to the floor to share their stories. as we address this extraordinarily important bill
to respond to the devastation of hurricane sandy, it's only right and well that we also address the disasters that occurred elsewhere in the country earlier in the year. there are five provisions of this program that i am going to leave it in the hands of our distinguished chair of agriculture to address, but i'll come back at a further point and speak to it at greater length. just suffice to say, our farmers and ranchers have waited patiently while we have attempted to complete the farm bills. the senate did extraordinary bipartisan work on the farm bill, but the house has not taken it up. we have not gotten these emergency provisions reauthorized, and now in the context of the bill before us, it's appropriate that we take action. thank you, and i yield to my colleague from michigan. ms. stabenow: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from michigan. ms. stabenow: let me just take a moment and thank senator merkley, senator baucus, wyden and mccaskill for joining us. i know others will join us as
well. we are still working very hard to complete a farm bills to have the house take action, but in the meantime we have disasters that have occurred, and this -- these provisions are lifted directly from what we already passed in the farm bill that address what has happened in terms of livestock drought and fires and assistance for fruit tree growers, and we will be speaking at a later time about it, but these are essential to be included for thousands and thousands of farmers and ranchers across the country. i thank my colleagues for allowing us to step in. ms. landrieu: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from louisiana. ms. landrieu: thank you, madam president. i am going to truncate my remarks to five minutes. i came to speak on the supplemental and the great needs in the northeast. generally, because i know that
there are other senators that have other items to discuss, and i will come back at a later time for extended remarks. but, madam president, i wanted to come to the floor just to say to all of my colleagues that i hope that we can be patient with one another, supportive of the tragedy that is unfolding in the northeast related to superstorm sandy, which i think has caused greater destruction than maybe many people in this chamber and the capitol realize. while katrina, something that i'm very familiar with, a storm that hit us over seven years ago, in august of 2005, got headline after headline after headline, week after week after week, television station after television station, superstorm sandy, because it hit a more dense area that is potentially not as -- i don't know, as
camera-friendly and maybe because of some of the other things that have subsequently happened, the terrible shooting and other issues in the country, i'm not sure that the public really quite understands how devastating this storm has been for a very important part of our country. and just to try to frame it in just a few statistics that might grab people. in my state, when katrina hit, in one weekend, we lost 18,000 small businesses, and to us it was a nightmare. we have about 1.2 million people in our metropolitan area, 18,000 businesses represented a tremendous loss, but the businesses that have been lost in new york and new jersey exceed 300,000. for homes, we lost 275,000 homes along the gulf coast. in new york alone, we have lost
over 350,000 homes, and those numbers are still coming in for new jersey. so while it's not on the television every night and cnn is not filming from the north, from new york or new jersey or any of these communities on a nightly basis like they did from new orleans and the gulf coast for weeks and weeks, it would be wrong for us in this congress to underestimate the damage that has been caused to this area. and one thing that i wanted to say today and i will come back for future remarks, it's not only the resources that we need to get to this region. $60 billion is not all that the region requested. they requested $90 billion and had good justification for asking for that. the president trimmed back those responses to get to the real core of what was needed for fema, for flood insurance, for corps of engineers, for
mitigation, for transportation, so that the recovery could get under way in a very balanced and robust way. it's not all that the region wanted, but it's a large enough package, madam president, to give hope to people in new jersey and new york and, yes, connecticut, maryland and a few other places were hard hit as well so that they can begin making plans for recovery. there are whole towns, portions of towns, communities. i got to actually get on the ground with senator menendez and visited one of the long beach communities in new jersey. i think it was long beach community there and saw just miles and miles and miles of shuttered businesses one after another along that jersey shore, and i just saw a small portion of it that day. it goes on for miles and miles and miles. now, just for the next minute or two, yes, insurance is going to cover some of these losses, but insurance is not going to cover
it all, and in the bill that we are about to talk about and are talking about it now, there is an authorization for $9 billion more for flood insurance. if we don't authorize this $9 billion which is part of the $60 billion, there will not be flood insurance claims paid to people who have paid into the flood insurance program, they will not be able to get their legitimate claims out. so that is one of the important reasons that we should pass the supplemental. the final 30 seconds i have, and i will come back and speak longer, is the mitigation part of this. after katrina, one of the smartest things that we did was to send money to the communities in the gulf coast to mitigate against future storm damage. it was about $14 billion total for several of our large corps projects. it was a lot of money. people grumbled and complained. but they sent it. the corps got the project built
on time and under budget. in this last storm that we had, isaac, which just hit, which people don't even remember -- we had a storm in august the same date as katrina, there wasn't a drop of water in orleans parish or jefferson parish except for lower parts of jefferson, not even in st. bernard. why? because the mitigation worked. so the two points i want to make and then yield to senator mccain and others on the floor, this bill is not everything that was requested but it is robust enough to do the job. number two, it has tools in it to help the recovery move sast faster, more streamlined, more efficient. and number three, mitigation works. so as this debate goes on, i know some people are getting hardened hearts about this bill already. i am asking you to understand that in a catastrophic disaster like this, regular process won't work. regular appropriations won't work.
supplemental disaster funding is essential, and not just for fema, but for transportation, for the corps, etc. and i thank senator leahy for his leadership at a very difficult time. m going to come back and speak more about this later, but wanted to get some of these statements in the record as we begin this debate, and i'm going to come back and talk more about the homeland security portion of this bill. and i yield the floor. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from arizona. mr. mccain: it's customary marry in the days before congress adjourns and i'm hopeful this congress will eventually, mercifully adjourn for members to offer farewells and testimonials to depart dparting colleagues. i a rise to say a few words about a senator leaving us and whose example i esteem and friendship i have relied on for many years. senator jon kyl and i have served the state of arizona
together for a quarter of a century, since jon was first elected to the other body and i to the senate in 1986. we've worked together in this body for the last 18 years. that's a long time to get to know someone with whom you share responsibilities to the state we are honored to represent, and i've gotten to know jon very well over these many years. and i can also say in all honesty that my admiration for him has grown every single day i've been privileged to serve with him. i share that admiration for jon with the people of arizona, who elected him to the senate three times and would have, i'm sure, comfortably elected him to a fourth term had he sought reelection. arizonans hold him in very high regard for very obvious reason. he's been a very diligent, very effectively advocate for their interests. i've object searched him closely as we tended to issues that might seem arcane and
unglamorous to senators from other states, but are among the most important and often the most contentious issues to arizonans. issues such as land exchanges and water rights settlements. i've never failed to be impressed by the qualities that jon brings to these matters. his unflappable patience, his tireless work ethic, his careful attention to detail, his determination to be fair to all parties involved, and to achieve results that are in the best interests of our state of arizona. i've tried to learn from his example and i wish i could say i've emulated him but regrettably as arizonans and my senate colleagues can attest, i still possess a short supply of some of jon's most conspicuous leadership qualities. his patience, for example,, his meticulous preparation and
thoroughness are, i'm sorry to say, not qualities i'll be remembered for. but they've been indispensable to the people of our state. it's a fortunate thing for them and for me that states are represented by two senators and that arizonans have had jon kyle to compensate for my shortcomings. jon works harder than almost any member of congress i know. we all joke about how we're often required to vote on legislation before we've had time to read it. but it's a poorly kept secret that we rarely if ever read from preamble to conclusion any of the bills we consider, even if we've had months to do so. jon does, though. he reads them. when you debate with him over legislation, you better know what you're talking about. because he does, and he's almost always better prepared than you are, not only to explain his argument but to explain yours as well. he often writes the bills he
sponsors, work that most of us happily rely on staff to perform. he takes his responsibilities as the author of legislation literally, rather than figuratively as most of us do. it's hard to imagine where he finds the time to hold himself to such exacting standards of responsibility, but he does, often working late into the night after the rest of us have gone home. when he reads bills and writes them and tends personally to the concerns of his constituents. he is a senator's senator. he's principled, purposeful, informed, collaborative, and able to get things done by cooperation and compromise without ever sacrificing the principles that motivate his public service. i would rather reason with opponents than insult them. he prefers accomplishments to acclaim. it's little wonder, then, why
our caucus elected and reelected him to our leadership. he has the complete confidence of every one of us. he is an easy man to trust with leadership responsibilities. he's scrupulous in his attention to his responsibilities, and fair-minded in use of authority. he has strong views on issues and advocates for them effectively, but if he can't persuade some members of our caucus to agree with him, he will do all he can to defend our rights to be heard and have our position considered fully by the senate. i think members on both sides of the aisle would testify to jon's fairness, collegiality and effectively. i think we'd all testify, too, to the credit his service has reflected on the senate, a place we all love but which we must admit doesn't always function as well or congenially as we would like, a failing that has not escaped the notice of the american people.
with jon the kind of politician who worried more about his press than his responsibilities to his constituents, his colleagues, and his country, i think many americans would recognize him as the kind of senator they wish there were more of here. it's been my privilege to work with jon not only on issues of unique importance to the state of arizona but on many of national importance. we worked together on comprehensive immigration reform in 2007. none of the sponsors of the legislation, including myself and my friend, the late senator kennedy, was more instrumental in forging the compromises necessary to put that bipartisan bill together, or more diligent and effective in defending it in debate. i was running for president that year, and often away from the senate. in addition to all the work jon
did to write the bill with senator kennedy and others, and seek support for it in both houses, he had to assume many of my responsibilities as well. he did a better job with them than i did and though we fell short of success, jon deserves none of the blame for failure and much of the credit for making the bill as broadly bipartisan as it was. and for providing the framework for what will be the kind of compromise i hope and believe that we will get to the president's desk in the next congress. longevity in public office president is always that important a distinction. i've served one term more than jon and for that minor accomplishment, i'm referred to as the senior senator from arizona. but honestly, i've always looked up to jon as my senior. he's been my leader, my senior partner in much of the work we've done in arizona, my
friend, and one of the people i most look up to in this place, an example of selfless, capable, honorable public service. he's leaving the senate and will have time now to spend with his lovely wife carroll, his son and daughter, and his grandchildren. he will have more time, too, to hike his beloved white mountains. i envy him that, but i think we would all concede the senate will miss him, and i will miss him particularly. thank you, my friend, for your service, your example, and your friendship. it's been a privilege. mr. kyl: madam president? the presiding officer: the other senator from arizona. mr. kyl: thank you, madam president. if my colleagues would indulge me so i might respond. i am deeply moved and very
appreciative of the remarks of my colleague, john mccain. people of arizona have been so fortunate to be represented by really a very few remarkable people in the state's history. only ten united states senators. john mccain is the ninth of those senators, and is as distinguished if not more distinguished than any who have served and represented the state of arizona. he has set a standard for modern representation after being elected to the house of representatives, none of the representatives from arizona were ever the same in their representation. he came home every week, maintained very close contact with his constituents, and set a pace that no one has since matched, let alone exceeded. so in many respects, john mccain has set a new standard for representation, but he didn't leave it at the state of
arizona. he is a national figure of the first magnitude, one of our great national leaders of the day. and it has been an incredible honor for me to serve with him both in representing the people of our state, but also working on the significant issues of the day. now, madam president, i will confess that some of the more mirthful moments have occurred on some of the sojourns that senator mccain has led abroad with our colleague, lindsey graham, sometimes senator joseph lieberman, and others, and these occasions also will bring great joy to me and my reminiscences because, of course, at the end of the day it is friendships probably more than almost anything else that we think of when we get toward the end of both career and toward the end of our life. senator mccain was far too generous in his description of
my capabilities. i want to thank him among other things for the responsibilities that he did enable me to undertake, things as the senior -- and yes, he is senior, both in age and seniority -- but the things which he has allowed me to do on behalf of the people of arizona, even though he could have taken those responsibilities unto himself as the senior senator. but he was interested in dividing responsibilities in a way that the two of us could represent our state and our constituents really to the maximum advantage. and i've always not only admired his approach and the people of arizona i would say should be grateful for that, but it enabled me to be involved in things and to have some extra responsibilities in areas that i otherwise would not have. and not all of these were he were things senator mccain deeply wanted to get into such
as the water settlements he mentioned but nonetheless he has been enormously cooperative in -- on behalf of the people of arizona in all of those endeavors. so, madam president, as i near my -- the end of my time here in the united states senate, i have a lot of different emotions and things i'd like to express. i regret one thing i won't be able to do is to speak on the senate floor extolling the virtues of my colleague john mccain when he's about to leave, but i assure you and i assure him that i'll do that from some other place. and that my deep respect for him, my appreciation, and my gratitude for what he has said here today i will in every way try to reciprocate at the time he finally completes his service only to the people of the state of arizona but to this nation of ours and frankly to people around the world. for me to have served with him
in this body for 18 years is truly an honor and i thank him for his comments today. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from massachusetts. mr. kerry: thank you, madam president. madam president, i appreciate the words of the senator from arizona about the senator from arizona, but wanted to just say i look forward to sharing some words on the floor at some point in the next few days about my friend, senator kyl. we've disagreed on things in some ways but boy, we've gotten to know each other and i respect his service enormously and look forward to having a chance to share some thoughts about that. madam president, i think all of us are aware that too often in public life words like "good friend" or" remarkable colleague" are used so often
they lose a little bit of their impact. but i think we all share powerfully ever since the majority leader announced is sad news last evening and we've seen so many come to the senate floor to talk about senator inouye, we all know that senator danny inouye really was all those things, and so much more. he was a quiet man, a humble man, a soft-spoken public servant, but those of us who were privileged to serve here for so long with dan inouye know that you really got to know him -- i got the privilege of sitting beside him and listening to some of his stories and talking about things that were happening in the senate -- and you really did get to love him and revere him. it was more than his uniquely american journey from the trenches of world war ii to the
halls of congress, more than his leadership and moral authority on everything from civil rights to watergate, the iran-contra hearings. it was more than the dan inouye that you could read about on paper. it was the man himself in the flesh who was bigger than the legend. and that's why the senate is going to feel his loss for a long time. we often hear the words "greatest generation." before tom brokaw coined the phrase, we knew it as was it referred to particularly here in the senate, where some of us were privileged to serve with people like bob dole, john glenn, fritz hollings, and so many others. danny was a bridge to that generation, the generation that i revered growing up in the shadows of world war ii. i remember talking with my dad and hearing how he had
volunteered for the army air corps, as war loomed over europe. and he shared with me his regret that when he came down with tuberculosis -- he was a pilot flying dc-3's, paratroopers, preparing to go over for the invasion -- but he came down with tuberculosis, then he was released from active duty, and in his perception never got his chance to defend the country. i think about just how much more complicated the prospect of going to war must have been for a young danny inouye. just 23 21 years old with dreamf becoming a surgeon, dreams interrupted by pearl harbor. here he was, the son of immigrants, who came to work in hawaii's pineapple fields. his entire life he had thought of himself as a patriotic american. then suddenly, at a time when
across the country young men were heeding the call to duty, dan inouye's own nation declared him and his family "alien enemies." but dan inouye's response was not to pull inward or to leave his country or to forsake his country. his response was to sign up and fight for the country that he loved so deeply, even at a time when his government's vision was clouded by the horror of pearl harbor, and fight for his country he did. he put on the uniform, and he showed us what both he and our country are really all about. we know that dan was a hero. we know that he lost his arm on the battlefield in italy. but i never once heard dan talk about the details of that action that would ultimately result in him being awarded the medal of honor. he was a quiet man who never
bragged and rarely spoke of himself at all. but the citation speaks volumes about him and who he became on a bleak april day when second lieutenant inouye and his platoon mounted the defense of a ridge guarding a critical road junction in san terenzo, italy. "with complete disregard for his personal safety, second lieutenant inouye crawled up the treacherous slope to within five yards of the nearby gun and hurled two grenades. before then mi could retaliate he stood up and neutralized a second machine gun nest, although wounded by a sniper's bullet, he continued to en gauge our hostile positions at close range until an exploding gre gre shattered his right arm. despise the intense pain, he
refused evacuation and continued to direct his platoon until enemy resistance was broken and his men were again deployed in defensive positions." that was dan inouye. he was a hero whose entire life's lesson was a victory over discrimination and anger. despite the spinning of bigotry at home, he lost his arm for his country, almost his life, and rather than being consumed by rancor, he became a voice for reconciliation. because of what he had experienced growing up as a japanese-american in what was still a heavily segregated country, dan always fought to make sure that no americans ever felt unsafe or unwelcome. this is our country, he famously said in his keynote address at the democratic national convention in chicago in 1968.
i still remember watching that speech. i was riveted watching it. i was in the navy serving then, watching that chicago convention. i was training before departing for vietnam. and it was strange, the juxtaposition of dan inouye's words and the hope and what he represented, juxtasuppose juxtae carnage in the streets, watching what seemed to be a country coming apart at the seams. but there was in young united states senator, this decorated world war ii veteran who spoke words that were chilling chilliy were prescient. he said that the trudy mention of the challenge facing us is a loss of faith. i do not mean simply a loss of religious faith. i mean a loss of faith in our country, in its purposes and its institutions. i mean a retreat from the
responsibilities of citizenship. he went ton say famously, "this is our country. its future is what we, its citizens, will make it, putting aside hatred on the one hand and timidity on the other, let us grow fresh faith in our purpose and new vigor in our citizenship." those words, madam president, would serve us well as we think about the challenges we face right now here in the senate. that is the kind of citizenship and patriotism that dan inouye stood for, not just in 1968 but every day that we were tested. after 9/11, danny was determined as anyone to bring to justice the terrorists that attacked us on that fateful day. the media stayed it was our pearl -- the media said that it was our pearl harbor. well, dan inouye remembered better than anybody the first pearl harbor.
he was there. he lived through it. but he also had deep convictions about historic lessons learned the hard way after the first pearl harbor, mistakes that he refused to see repeated 60 years later. in the aftermath of september 11, dan inouye sounded a warning. he said, "i hope that the mistakes and suffering imposed upon japanese-americans nearly 60 years ago will not be repeated again against arab-americans whose loyalties are now being called into question." it was a forceful defense. i think it was heard across the nation. dan understood that our values aren't just talk; they're about the choices we make, the causes we champion, and the people we fight for. and as dan reminded us in chicago in 1968, this is our country, and its future is what we, its citizens, make of it.
so he was an incredible person. during his long, painful recovery at percy army hospital in michigan, dan was down to 93 pounds and exhausted. he knew he'd never be a surgeon, as he'd once dreamed. he struggled then even to light a cigarette, and he wanted to curse at his nurse. unvowed, she taught him how to light a cigarette with one hand and said, from now on, you're going to be learning. well, dan inouye did learn, and happily we can say that he also taught. he taught all of us with the power of his example. during his convalescence at percy jones army hospital, he met a man by the name of bob dole. they became fast friends and they nursed themselves, both of them, back to health. about two short weeks ago, two
greatest-generation brothers ailing and approaching their 90th birthday, dan inouye and bob dole were still here teaching you teaching us what's worth fighting for. and i will never forget seeing danny with his oxygen tube walking up to bob dole before casting his vote in the hopes of helping disabled veterans when they travel overseas. here were these two older citizens telling the senate through actions and not words that we had to be better than this place has sometimes been in recent days. bob dole said something about danny that has deeper meaning now that he's left us. bob said right over there in that corner near the door, he said, looking at danny, "he was wounded a week from the day i was, and a mile from the place i was wounded.
and we ended up in the same hospital. he's a deaths i am a he a republican -- he's a democrat, and i'm a republican. but parties didn't make any difference. close quote. those are bonds that we ought to learn from, madam president. those are bonds that do a better job of honoring us today in this institution that dan inouye loved so deeply. dan inouye was a special kind public servant. he walked his own passage. -- he walked his own path. he got out of that hospital bed, returned to college, went on to george washington university for his law degree, got elected to the hawaii territorial legislature at the ripe old age of 30 and then on to the u.s. house of representatives as hawaii's first full member, after it won statehood in 1959. just three years later danny inouye was a united states senator and eventually he would rise to become the highest-ranking public official
of asian descent in united states history. i will never forget the critical role that he played in the special committees that investigated watergate in the 1970's and iran-contra in the 1980's. i was here during iran-contra, a freshman that approached those investigations with a certain zeal. i was in a hurry to find out the truth. but i learned from dan inowely that a good senator can navigate the truth while taking extraordinary care to nurture and protect the national interest. so when dan warned at the iran-contra hearings that there exists a "shadowy government that can pursue its own ideas of the national interest, free from all checks and balances and free from the law itself," we all understood the gravity and truth behind those words because we respected the integrity of the
statesman who spoke them. dan had a special sense of his own responsibilities. as the first member of congress from hawaii, he believed in the federal government's ability to make a difference in people's lives. he was chairman of the senate appropriations committee, as we all know, and for all the talk in the media about earmarks and pork-barrel spending, we saw in dan how one senator could actually advance the interests of their state and articulate a vision for that state, which didn't violate anybody's sensibilities about how we ought to be spending a federal tax dollar. he used his position unapologetically to bring home investments in hawaii, to build roads and bridges and classrooms, all of which changed people's lives on an island that most of us only thought of in the context of a vacation destination. to dan, it wasn't a resort; it was home; it was people.
and as the son of a japanese immigrant who came to work in those pineapple fields, dan needed to make no apologies about using the federal government to make life for the people he represented better. it was a perspective that endeared him to his colleagues here on both sides of the aisle, and no one more so than republican senator ted stevens. they became like brothers. theirs was a friendship that stood the test of time. and i often heard the stories from dan or from ted, who i got to know well, about hugh they would travel to -- about how they would travel to various parts of the world to see how america was investing its funds and how their friendship simply grew