tv U.S. Senate CSPAN December 18, 2012 5:00pm-7:59pm EST
youngerries. theirs was a friendship that withstood the test of time. this place would be a lot better off if we could forge bonds across party lines, just the way dan and ted did since the 1960's. they didn't capitulate, they didn't lose their values. they compromised and they always put what was best in the case of dan, hawaii, in the case of ted, alaska, and in both of their cases, the country, ahead of any kind of partisan squabbling. danny inouye lived a full and remarkable life. we will miss him dearly. he was proud of his japanese heritage, proud of his roots, proud of his service as a champion of veterans and veterans' rights. he loved our troops. it is fitting that a building at the walter reed army institute of research now bears his name. i often marveled at how hard he fought to regain his health in the face of mounting odds.
mr. mcconnell: mr. president, are we in a quorum call? the presiding officer: the republican leader. mr. mcconnell: mr. president, i rise to pay tribute to senator kay bailey hutchison who will be retiring at the end of the year. senator hutchison has been a dear friend and colleague for a long time. she has always been ready to offer wise counsel, and i have usually listened. it's truly bittersweet saying goodbye to kay. on the one hand, i understand her desire to spend more time with bailey and with houston. we're all glad she will now be able to cheer from the sidelines at the soccer games.
on the other hand, we'll miss seeing them practice their corner kicks on the second floor of the russell building. by the way, if you have ever been with kay on one of her early morning power walks, you know her kids -- you know where her kids get their energy. i'm told kay has worn out multiple members of congress, several staffers and quite a few others on those walks. and it's a fitting metaphor for her career. there are so many talents in the senate that it's easy to forget what remarkable stories many of them have. senator hutchison is without question one of the most impressive. raised in an era where women were a rarity in politics, kay forged her own path, kicking open the door of opportunity wherever she went. in the process, she has come to
personify texas independence. which is entirely fitting since one of kay's great, great, great grandfathers signed the texas declaration of independence. kay's many successes in life are a testament to her personal toughness and determination in the face of what would have seemed like insurmountable obstacles to many lesser talents. although she was brought up, as she once put it, to be a lady and to have good manners, and to be ready to get married, she always excelled in school. she was just one of a handful of women out of a class of literally hundreds to graduate from her university of texas law school class in 1967.
kay hit what she called her first brick wall right after graduation. law firms in texas just weren't hiring women back then, so she turned to an industry that would give her a chance of becoming houston's first female news reporter, indeed thanks to kay's success, two competing houston networks hired female reporters within six months of her arrival at kprc-tv, the nbc affiliate in 1967. appropriately, kay was assigned to cover the texas legislature, and she gave it her all. having inherited her dad's work ethic, she was soon being encouraged to run for office herself. at a time back then, few women served in the texas legislature. and not a single female republican had ever been elected to the state house.
but kay had an idea. if those law firms weren't going to let her interpret the law, she might as well ask her neighbors if they would elect her to make the law. so at the age of 28, kay ran for the texas house, and she dispatched her male opponents with ease. becoming one of just 13 republicans elected that year to the 150-member texas house. it was a tough transition. kay says that as a cheerleader at u.t., she wasn't really prepared for the combat of politics. as a cheerleader, she said she wanted everybody to like her but she overcame that, too. kay has engaged in a lot of tough battles over the years, and she has won most of them. one story along those lines relates to kay's office over in
the russell building. anybody who has ever been there knows that it's at the end of a dead-end hallway and that at the very end stands a very large flag of texas. well, apparently when kay put the flag out, the staff director of the rules committee didn't like it. he thought it violated a rule, so he mentioned it to his boss, senator john warner. now, legend has it that senator warner nodded gravely, gravely at the young man and told him he was free to approach senator hutchison but that he had no intention of taking on the mission himself. she's tough. following her service in the state legislature, kay worked as a businesswoman before winning election as state treasurer in 1990. three years later, when senator lloyd bentsen accepted an offer
to become president clinton's treasury secretary, kay jumped into the race to replace him. once again, she bested another all-male field to advance to a runoff against bentsen's appointed successor, trouncing the incumbent democrat with nearly 70% of the vote and becoming the first woman to represent the nation's second largest state in the u.s. senate. kay came to washington ready to work. she established herself early on as a leader on transportation and nasa and as a fighter for lower taxes and smaller, smarter government. kay won a claim as an advocate for science and competitiveness, helped secure bipartisan support for the landmark america competes act, and she became known throughout the state for the close attention she paid to constituents. shortly after her election to the senate, kay began a
tradition imitated by many others since of holding weekly constituent meetings over coffee whenever the senate's in session. the groups usually ranged in size from 100-150, and at any given coffee, you might come across families in bermuda shorts, bankers in pinstripes or college football players. over the years, kay has hosted about 50,000 people in her office through these coffees, but her attention to constituent service goes well beyond that. back home, she is one of the few politicians in texas who has actually visited all 254 counties, some of which are home to more cattle than people. and during kay's tenure, her office has helped broker the rescue of a texan from atop mount everest, evacuate an oil
worker and students during a revolution in albania, evacuate tourists from man chaw picu after a -- manchu picu after a flood and evacuate workers and missionaries from haiti after the devastating hurricanes of 2008. and all of us are grateful to senator hutchison for her work in finally recognizing the hundreds, hundreds of female farmer air -- army air force pis or wasps who flew noncombat missions in world war ii so male pilots would be free for the combat missions. 38 of these women lost their lives performing their duties, and we thank senator hutchison for raising awareness of their service and their sacrifice and honoring their memory. senator hutchison's thoughts are never far from our men and women in uniform. her office walls are filled with photos of her visits with our troops in bosnia, iraq and
elsewhere. and in the runup to the budget control act, she authored a bill to assure service men and women would be paid in the event of government shutdown, recruiting more than 80 cosponsors. she served as chair and ranking member of the military construction subcommittee of appropriations. she was a tenacious advocate for texas during the series of bracs, and the results speak for themselves. today one out of five army and air force personnel are stationed at military installations in texas, many of which were once considered likely candidates for closure. throughout her senate career, kay has worked hard to develop and maintain close relationships with fellow female senators from both parties. as a result of those friendships, kay helped co-author the book "nine and
counting, the women of the senate," in 2000. teaming up with senator feinstein to create the amber alert system and co-authored legislation with senator mikulski to provide stay-at-home moms with the same tax credits and opportunities as working women. one of her proudest achievements was to lead the successful fight to lessen the marriage penalties in our tax code. as the ranking committee on commerce, science and transportation, kay had wielded outside influence partly due to her strong working relationship with chairman rockefeller who sometimes refers to her as his co-chairperson. and i can say for myself that having kay at the leadership table has been a tremendous asset as i have navigated challenges over the years. a truly gifted politician, kay secured re-election by wide
margins in 1994, 2000 and 2006 and still holds the record for most votes in texas history. one reason is she will work with anyone, even those with whom she might not typically agree. if it helps texas. while he -- i know many are sorry to see this giant of texas politics leave the arena in washington, i'm sure every one of them admires the spirit in which she returns to ray and the kids and their busy dallas home. kay, on behalf of the entire senate, thank you for your extraordinary service and for your friendship. now, i know you won't miss having to answer that buzzer anymore, but we'll miss you. it's been a privilege to serve with you.
on behalf of the entire senate family, i wish you all the very best. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from kansas. mr. moran: i ask unanimous consent to address the senate as if in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. moran: mr. president, as we know, as we all know, it's been a difficult and tragic couple of days for america. we're so deeply saddened to hear the news from newtown, connecticut, on friday. as a parent, nothing in life is more important than the protection of our children. the death of a child, there is no recovery from. my heart goes out to all the families who lost loved ones in
this unspeakable tragedy. last night, we learned the death of -- learned of the death of our colleague, senator inouye. i want to mention today that just this past sunday, over the weekend, grief struck the capital city of kansas in my home state. officer jeff athalate fatally shot while on duty, investigating drug activity occurring inside a vehicle outside a neighborhood grocery store. as they approached the vehicle and orbded the okay -- ordered the occupants to get out the gunmen took the lives of both officers. when we lose someone in a community in kansas, it's not just a name. it's somebody we go to church with. it's somebody we know and care
about. these individuals are that to their friends and family in topeka and across our state. david had been part of the topeka police department for 21 years. he spent 13 years as a reserve officer and 8 years as a full-time officer. his service tkphot begin as a police officer. he served in the kansas national guard and recently retired. police chief ronald miller described david as someone who served his life to his country and to the city of tow pea kafplt david's service was a model to others including his son brandon who followed his dad's footsteps and served the topeka community as a police officer himself. the second officer -- jeff -- was 29 years old and joined the police department just last year chief miller said jeff was just
getting started in his career and had his entire life ahead of him. jeff grew up in carbondale and graduated with a degree in law enforcement. after graduation, jeff like his parents steve and susan who are both educators, decided to dedicate his life to public service. jeff was known by his friends for his smile, his great sense of humor and his kind heart. he leaves behind a three-year-old son, logan. these two men honorably served their community by faithfully carrying out the duties of a law enforcement officer. rather than shirking from danger, our police officers pledge to face danger with courage, and that is what these two men did. inscribed here in washington, d.c. at the national law enforcement memorial are these words: it is not how these officers died that made them
heroes. it is how they lived. today we remember david and jeff for their lives, for their lives that was in service to others, their lives that served topeka. we express our gratitude for their dedication to their community and to their country. we remember their families and their loved ones, and i ask all kansans, in fact all americans to join in remembering david and jeff's families in their thoughts and prayers this week. may god comfort them in their time of grief and be a source of strength for them. may he also protect all those who continue to serve us today. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from mississippi. mr. cochran: mr. president, the united states senate and our nation have lost one of our
finest leaders. daniel inouye of hawaii. he was an outstanding united states senator, a true statesman, a patriot and a gentleman. it's been an honor and pleasure to be able to work closely in the senate with dan inouye as a member of the senate appropriations committee. his service as chairman of the committee and especially the subcommittee on defense has been marked with consistently strong and thoughtful leadership. he was appreciated for his courtesies to other members and his seriousness of purpose as he carried out his important responsibilities. he has also earned the high praise he has received from the men and women of the armed
forces who are the best equipped and trained military force in the world because of his diligent efforts in their behalf. senator inouye was friendly and kind to all, but he was also a man of resolute courage and strength. he was very successful as an advocate for his state of hawaii and our nation. all americans should be grateful for his service in the united states senate. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
the presiding officer: the senator from louisiana. ms. landrieu: thank you. i'd like to ask unanimous consent to dispense with the roll call. quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. landrieu: thank you. earlier i came to the floor. senator leahy has been handling this bill for the last 24 hours or so. i came to the floor earlier to speak about the supplemental. i gave truncated remarks because senator mccain had personal remarks to make on behalf of his colleague, senator kyl. so i'd like to reengage in the debate regarding the supplemental for just a few minutes. and i know this day has been back and forth with personal tributes on the floor as well as the debate on hurricane -- on the supplemental for hurricane or super storm sandy. i wanted to document floor specifically as chair -- i
wanted to come to the floor specifically as the chair of the homeland security subcommittee which has jurisdiction over fema. i understand the other chairs of the appropriations committee has come down, whether for the corps of engineers mitigation issues in this bill or fishery issues, the subject of senator mikulski's committee; or housing and urban development, community block grants -- that's in h.u.d. -- or transportation under the jurisdiction of senator murray's committee. i'm honored to be the chair of the homeland security appropriations committee for several years ago and am proud that some of the reforms that we've put into place were actually seeing the -- we're actually seeing the benefits of today as our first responders respond to literally the worst disaster to hit the northeast in 50 years. and i wanted to just address a few things and to clarify some numbers for the record.
despite the fact that hurricane sandy, mr. president, is not on the news every night and cnn is not broadcasting from the shores of new york and new jersey -- that happened for a few days and then we've gone on to other pressing issues of the day. and as new challenges arise, the press attention will be diverted, as is natural. the problem is it may be natural but it's not necessarily good for people that have lost their homes, lost their businesses and without quick action from congress and robust, definitive, comprehensive support from the federal government, these individuals, these communities will not be able to recover. and i am living testimony as a senator from one of the state's hardest hit in recent memory from a natural disaster to really to be able to testify as almost an eyewitness -- as an eyewitness of what happened in
the aftermath of hurricanes katrina and what is possible in this recovery for hurricane sandy. it's been over seven weeks since hurricane sandy claimed the lives of more than 130 americans, destroying -- and i want to correct the record -- 340,000 homes and 200,000 businesses. just to put that in comparison, in hurricane katrina which primarily hit south louisiana and mississippi, we lost 275,000 homes. this is 340,000 homes that have been destroyed. more than hurricanes katrina and rita. and 200,000 businesses, substantial many more businesses than hurricanes katrina and rita -rblgs where we lost about 18,000 businesses. part of it is this area is more densely populated. the storm was broader in its
width if not more intense in some areas. it was broader geographically and the area is so densely populated. i think it is hard for people from less densely populated areas of the country to understand how much destruction can be leveled in a certain area. 200,000 businesses. and leaving more than 8.5 million families without power, heat or running water. many of those families have power, heat and running water now. not all. but just this week i picked up the phone, just as an anecdote but i think it is important, picked up the phone to call my good friend, the president of the urban league, former mayor of new orleans. the cell phone didn't answer. finally through a couple of connections i got through to him. their offices are in new york. he said, mary, i'm sorry i couldn't get you back sooner. our phones are still back from sandy. they haven't lost their home, but they were out of their home for some time.
but just because it's not on the news doesn't mean it's over with. there are businesses, nonprofits, individuals, and thousands of small businesses that without this package of hope and support, they're not going to get back to business to help get their communities back and help our economy running again. so the urban league is one example. there's still individuals without phone service, power, et cetera. and it's important for us to understand that insurance proceeds are not going to be enough, even with a well-insured population, not going to be enough to handle the catastrophe that befell this particular area of our country some just few weeks ago. over 500,000 people registered for temporary housing and individual assistance. fema provided over 14 million meals, over 16 million liters of
water, 1.6 million blankets and 100,000 tarps. d.o.d. delivered 9.3 million gallons of gasoline to 300 gas stations and over 270 million gallons of salt water were pumped out of transit tunnels. at the peek of the response, 17,000 federal personnel and over 11,000 national guardsmen were involved. the response was robust, it was efficient and i think the taxpayers of our country and i know the people of the region are grateful nor that new fema that showed up, not everything is perfect, we still have more work to do, but the response was much, much better than it was in katrina. however, that initial response is now over, and the recovery must begin. but the recovery cannot begin in earnest, no great plans can be laid, neither can governor christie nor governor cuomo more
mayor bloomberg or mayor cory booker or any of the mayors, the mayor of hoboken, connecticut, that testified before our committee this week, none of those mayors can get about framing the possibility of a recovery without knowing, a, that fema is going to have enough money to stick with this, which they do not now because they're going to run out of money in the spring, they've got to know that fema has enough money to go the distance. they don't now, without the supplemental, they won't. they have to know that they have some mitigation money in this bill to repair and fix some of the dunes that were well engineered that protected communities and to rebuild dunes that failed because they were not engineered properly. no one is going to reinvest or very few people will reinvest behind a dune that's going to fail again. these communities rely, it's a fisheries community along the coast, tourism along the coast, much like the gulf coast. so all of these pieces of the
recovery are very important. you can't send fema money without corps of engineers money. you can't send corps of engineers money without community development block grant money. because the recovery is a holistic recovery and most people are very smart, and many people like to hold on to what money they have left. they can't take the last little bit of their savings to rebuild their house or invest in their business if they don't know that the federal government has sent money for the dune repair, or that the federal government has sent enough money for their fire station to get up and running. what good is having a business with no fire protection? what good is having a business if there's no grocery store within 30 miles? all of these things work, and that's what we saw in katrina. it is not the -- the question is not whether fema has enough money. the question is whether h.u.d. has enough money --, well, it's an important question, fema has to but it's not the
only question. fema has to have money but so does h.u.d., so does transportation and so does the corps of engineers. now, in addition to what's happening along the east coast, nine states and the district of columbia have been declared major disasters -- well, nine states and the district of columbia for hurricane sandy. but it's not just hurricane sandy. we've had a record number last year of disasters around the country. so yes, there's some money in this bill for other disasters, and if we have to increase or decrease that sum to accommodate some of the interest of the members, we're going to have to do so. to get help not only to the northeast but to other areas of the country as well. senators from north dakota that experienced terrible flooding, we were a little bit short on sending money to them, perhaps we should fix that in this bill. there have been some agriculture
areas that have been very hard hit. we should fix that in this bill. americans that pay taxes and expect when they have catastrophic disasters for to us step up, i think that's a good expectation and i think it's a very fair expectation. mr. president, when this country went to war over a decade ago, we didn't pay for the $1.4 billion that it took to secure this nation from an outside threat. sometimes threats come right to our front door. and we've got to be willing to step up and give a small, compared to the $1.4 trillion we spent in iraq and afghanistan that was not offset, we should be willing to spend a very small portion, $60 billion in this case, over $100 billion for katrina and rita and a few billion here and there, it's not an insignificant amount of money, a billion dollars is a lot of money, it sounds like a lot to anyone listening but relative to the cost of the
war, it is a very small investment in our own country, helping americans that have played by the rules, done everything they were asked to do, even have insurance, and yet without this bill there's not enough money in the insurance program to cover their claim when they file it. in this bill, if we don't pass it, there's not enough money for fema to do their job. there's not any money in the corps of engineers, there's not enough money for transportation, taxpayers in the northeast and around the country deserve our best effort. so if there is a member that believes that there is something in this bill, whether it's in my section of the bill, homeland security, or whether it's in another, that doesn't feel like our request in here is justified, please come offer an amendment, let us debate it, maybe we can make some changes or modifications. but i can say from personal -- unfortunately, from personal experience and from watching the
mayors that i represent, all 300-plus mayors in the state, dozens of them, their communities were destroyed by katrina, watching them struggle month after month, year after year, not knowing what money was coming from washington, whether the levies would get repaired for not, whether there would be a community development block grant. i can tell you it is better to fund this on the front end like this, give them the money, let them make their plans and then in a year or two if it's not enough they can come back and we can make some adjustments. as opposed to not acting or giving them too little to start. the recovery will not get off in a very balanced way. and it will cost the taxpayers so much more in the long run. so i'm kind of responsible for the fema portion, for the flood insurance portion, and for some of the reforms that are
represented in this bill. and i want talk for just a minute about those reforms. because sometimes it's not just about investing money and giving money from washington. sometimes it's giving money in a way that saves taxpayers money in the long run. or for ?refg a way with reforms -- for investing in a way for reforms. this is not your grandfather's fema. this is a new fema. we have some new reforms that are authorized in this bill that are going to help the recovery go more quickly, and i'd like to talk about that for just a minute. some of the reforms that are in this bill, this is a reform-minded supplemental, it is drafted to do a more efficient, more effective, and smarter recovery, saving taxpayers money over time. it reauthorizes two expired pilot programs for -- from the post-katrina management reform
act, allows the use of money to repair rental housing units and to expedite debris removal procedures. if you have not been a witness to a catastrophic disaster, you cannot imagine the amount of debris generated from either a massive fire or a massive flood. and the old rules that fema operated under were a waste of money, a waste of time and lost opportunity. so we've expedited debris removal. you can't even start rebuilding a community until you can get rid of the debris. it sounds, you know, like common sense, and it is, but there are some bureaucratic hurdles we're trying to fix those in this bill. it allows the state to draw in a portion of its hazard mitigation funding from fema in order to leverage mitigation opportunities in the reconstruction process. under the current program, it takes 18 to 36 months months for funding to become available. by then most reconstruction is complete and underway. this would expedite, sort of
forward fund some of those projects. another smart move to save taxpayers money. it provides grants on the basis of flexible fixed estimates for removal of debris. it codifies temporary legislative measures that were enacted to facilitate smafortder recovery after katrina and react reat, including thirdport aarp traition -- third-party arbitration. it allows fema to con sol date facilities. -- consolidate facilities. specifically if you lost ten fire stations in an area, instead of fema reimbursing you one at a time for each fire station, you could make a general estimate and receive a global settlement. we did this for our schools in new orleans, 100 out of 146 were destroyed. mr. president, it was one of the smartest things we ever did. because before we passed this reform legislation, fema was asking us to count every piece
of chalk that was missing. every eraser that was missing. every broken pane of glass and would only refund the building of that exact building on that exact spot. we were able to have a global settlement would we could reconstruct our schools, not to build a school system stem that had been built for the past century but to build a school system for the next century. that's what makes sense. that's what's in this reform supplemental splel. better tools -- supplemental. better tools, more carefully designed to save taxpayers money and help expedite a recovery of one of the most important financial centers in the world. not just in the united states, but in the world. every part of this country is important, but this particular part of the country, a lot of the rest of us depend on them operating at full speed, particularly as this recovery moves to our rear view mirror. let me just say two or three
more things. it reduces bureaucratic waste by eliminating the current practice of duplicative agency reviews for the same project. it will allow the rebuilding to, of course, consider environmental needs, but it does not require an environmental review by every agency for the same project. it helps to streamline that, which i think makes sense and honors the environment at the same time. it includes tribal governments for the first time, which is an important, i think, addition, and, again, it requires an assessment of hurricane sandy's impact on local government budgets in the event that they might need to borrow some additional money to continue to operate. so, again, the $60 billion number is a large number, it's billions of dollars is not by
any means pocket change, but compared to the money that was outlaid for the wars, $1.4 trillion, when disaster comes knocking at the door in our hometowns whether it's hoboken, new jersey or new orleans, louisiana, or minot, north dakota, taxpayers that live by the rules and pay their taxes every year expect not a handout, not an easy recovery, but they do expect the federal government to step up and at least be a partner in their recovery. there are local taxes that are going to have to be raised. there are hundreds and thousands of hours of volunteer efforts that go into rebuilding the communities. churches and faith-based organizations show up and do more than their share. but the federal government most certainly should step up and help the northeast, and a few other disasters that are still open, all of this money will come back to us a hundredfold as these businesses get back up on
their feet, start peag taxes to the community, hire people that have been laid off. in fact, it creates a little bit of a stimulus boom in those communities which benefits the tax base as well as taxes are checked from every home that's rebuilt, everyone business that's reopened. so it's a smart investment for us. i would really recommend to my colleagues, if you have specific objections to a specific part of the bill, file an amendment, we can discuss it, we can debate it, perhaps we can shave a little here or a little there, perhaps there are things that could be done differently. but this has gone under careful review by the administration, by the different members of the appropriations committee on both sides of the aisle, and, of course, vetted and screened by government christie, a strong republican leader in our country, governor cuomo, a strong democratic leader in our
country, numerous mayors and elected officials have looked at this. this is not something that was just written in the dark of night somewhere by somebody that doesn't understand about disasters. it was carefully crafted for a very strong recovery for the northeast. so, mr. president, i thank the members for their suggestions and look forward to the debate and hopefully we can get this supplemental done before this congress adjourns. i think the people of the northeast and the rest of our country is depending on us to do that and i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from arizona. mr. mccain: is the parliamentary situation in order that i could send an amendment to the desk? i have an amendment at the desk and ask for its immediate consideration. the presiding officer: is there objection to setting aside the pending amendment? without objection. mr. mccain: mr. president?
number 3355, mccain-coburn. i ask unanimous consent senator coburn be added as cosponsor. the clerk: mr. mccain for himself and mr. coburn proposes amendment number 3355. mr. mccain: i ask that further reading of the amendment be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mccain: mr. president, this amendment is ver a very sie one. it calls for striking the funding of some $58 million for the as. program for planting trees ton private property. it is actually a farm bill subsidy program that's run by a relatively unknown agency that's called the farm service
administration, which is primarily responsible for managing crop insurance. under this program, private landowners with about 50 acres of land can apply for up to $500,000 in free grants for tree-planting activities. obviously, this has nothing to do with an emergency, and there's nothing in the supplemental that limits the funding to hurricane sandy areas. under this bill, this $58 million can be used just about anywhere. i'd like to make a few remarks about the bill itself, so we have this in the right context here. first of all, i want our colleagues, everyone, to understand that there are none of us who do not support -- there's no one who doesn't support giving the much-needed funding as quickly as possible to help relieve the tragedy of
hurricane san dix and w sandy. we believe there are certain parts that we should pass immediately. but we also believe that there are other parts in this bill that have nothing to do with hurricane sandy, and many of the programs in this bill won't even take effect before the year 2015. we're about to reach the year 2013. so -- and we can't -- and we can't consider this much-needed appropriation outside of the context we now have nearly $17 trillion debt. and, obviously, none of this $60 billion, which is now going to be added to the debt because none of it is paire paid for. so let's be clear about this. of thwith $16 trillion debt,
mortgaging of our children's future -- mr. president, i note the presence of the majority leader. mr. president, i note the presence of the majority leader. did he wish to speak? mr. president, again, i'd like to say, every one of my colleagues on this side of the aisle want to act quickly to provide the much-needed relief for the people who have been impacted by the horrible effects of hurricane sandy. but we cannot consider this legislation in a vacuum. we're looking at a $17 trillion debt, somewhere between $16 trillion and $17 trillion. we have committed generational theft. we have mortgaged our children and our grandchildren's future. and so we must be very careful
as to how much more of the taxpayers' dollars spent, for what, and when is this money necessary. that's the questions this body should be asking itself. and i would argue that there's a whole lot of billions of dollars in this bill that fit into the categories of, one, not necessary, as a result of the impact of this -- of the hurricane sandy, and certainly not an emergency situation. so i'd like to go over some of the projects that are in this bill and some of them hold merit. some of the projects in this bill are very meritorious. it goes way beyond emergency aid and funds projects. as i said, at a time when we face these deficits we can't justify this spending. and again i want to emphasize,
some of the projects are meritorious, but they should go through the normal budget and appropriations process where congress has time to vet the need for such spending requests. the c.b.o. examined both the senate bill and the administration's request and found -- and this is from the congressional budget office -- 64% of the funds appropriated under the sandy supplemental will not be spent until fiscal years 2015 to 2022 and after. therefore, raising concerns about the rush to spend $60.4 billion without any attempt to pay for it. two weeks ago fema director fugate said that the disaster relief fund currently has enough money and will not need additional funding until the spring of 2013. c.b.o.'s assessment combined
with the statement of director fugate clearly shows that we need to pass a sandy supplemental bill that only includes prioritized disaster aid funding. i and my colleague from oklahoma, senator coburn, have been examining this bill over the last few days, and i will tell my colleagues, we've not gotten all the way through it; we haven't identified a lot of the -- of these spending bills, what they're for and where they came from. the appropriators and their staff, i always admire, they've turned it into an art form, and our ability to ferret out some of these appropriationppropriats required a great deal of hard work earchth. -- hard work and effort. so we have billions to replace "federal assets" damaged by the storm, including automobiles owned by the federal government.
the federal government currently owns or leases over 630,000 vehicles. you think we could find replacements within our current inventory? shouldn't we focus on providing relief to those trying to rebuild their lives before replace being a bureaucrat's car. $2 million to repair damage to the roofs of museums in washington, d.c., while many in hurricane sandy' sandy's path sl have no roof over their own heads. money for fisheries as far as aaway as alaska. $125 million for the department of agriculture's emergency watershed protection program which helps restore watersheds damaged by wildfires and drought for areas including colorado -- and, by the way, including my own state of arizona, and that money is needed. it is needed.
we are having wildfires across the southwest and the west in unprecedented fashion because we are in severe drought. and i want that money for the department of agriculture's emergency watershed protection program, but it has nothing to do with hurricane sandy. and that's what's wrong with this bill. i'll fight for the $125 million that would help my state of arizona, and i'll fight to find ways to pay for it, and i'll do both. but we're including $125 million for the department of agriculture's emergency watershed protection program, which is several hundred miles away from the path of hurricane sandy. $20 million for a nationwide water resources priority study. while studies are important, they're not emergencies, and should be submitted during the upcoming budget debate. now, we need badly a water
resources priority study. there was just a recent study about the colorado river basin and how we are going to run out of water. but, again, the water resources priority study is not associated with hurricane sandy. $15 million for nasa facilities, though nasa itself has called its damage from the hurricane "minimal." one day after the storm hit, nasa's wallop island put out a statement, "initial assessment team surveyed roads and facilities at nasa's wallop's flight facility today reporting a number of downed trees but otherwise minimal impact in the wake of hurricane sandy." does this mean that we need $is $--$15 million for nasa's facilities? $336 million for taxpayer-supported amtrak without a detailed plan for how the money will be spent. some of the funding will go for
repairs, money will also go to increasing capacity and future mitigation efforts. amtrak is up and running. amtrak is up and unking. you can go right over here not very far from here at union station and get on am trafnlgt it's not apparent why this fund something deemed "emergency spending" and including in this emergency package. further mitigation should be debated next year. amtrak loses billions of dollars every year. that's because we subsidize unneeded and unnecessary routes. the route on the east coast from here to new york, for example, makes money, but we cling to those routes that neither make money nor does anybody care to patronize. $5.3 billion for the army corps of engineers. more than the army corps of engineers' annual budget. d $ $5.3 billion, more than ther
annual budget. included in the senate bill is $50 million in funding for more studies which will most definitely lead to additional army corps projects. and a new task force established by executive order. more projects are not something the army corps can handle. they're currently experiencing a backlog of projects of approximately $70 billion. furthermore, a 2010 report released by the government accountability office noted that carryover funds have increased "due to the large amount of supplemental funding the corps has received in recent years." clearly supplemental spending on the army corps has not paid off. the bill includes $12 billion to $13 billion for future disaster mitigation activities and studies, withoutic a single way
to pay for it. i think we need future disaster mitigation activities. we need studies. we are experiencing climate situations which we never anticipated, certainly hurricane sandy was never anticipated by any of us. we need the studies. but that's not an emergency to handle the effects of hurricane sandy and should come out of normal funding and paid for. i support these studies, but should they come out of the taxpayers' pocket without a way to pay for it? there's no justification to include these projects in this emergency spending bill. waiting to fund these projects until next year during the normal budget and appropriations process will have a better understanding of the path forward and reduce the possibility of waste, fraud, and abuse. there is a $10 million to improve weather forecasting
capabilities and infrastructure. $10 million to improve weather forecasting capabilities and infrastructure. do we really, really need to include that as an emergency funding bill for hurricane sandy? as i mentioned at the beginning, at some point we're going to have to start paying for things. at some point we're going to run out of chinese money. at some point we're going to be like greece. at some point the american people are going to say, enough. every american family has to balance their budget. every american family has to make tough decisions. why don't we make some tough decisions, if we want to have things paid for like weather capabilities, like amtrak, like replace federal assets, buying vehicles when we have 660,000
vehicles in the inventory. why don't we start making tough decisions. i often mention that the approval rating that we have of the american people is rather interestingly low. the last one i saw was i 11% approval. no wonder -- no wonder. we're about -- in a matter of literally hours -- to spend about $60 billion of the american taxpayers' money, estimates of some is that it should be around $24 billion. without hearings, without the kinds of scrutiny that it deserves and the normal appropriations process. and i understand why we need some of this money in emergency fashion. but it's like the train leaving the station. it's loaded up with pork, and it's moving and so everybody
wants to get on board. it's not the way that the congress should do business. so, mr. president, i will ask for the yeas and nays on my amendment, which is to strike funding for $58 million for the tree planting subsidy known as the forest restoration program for planting trees on private property. the presiding officer: is the senator asking for the yeas and nays? mr. mccain: i'm asking for the yeas and nays. the presiding officer: is there sufficient second? there does not appear to be. mr. mccain: then i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
the presiding officer: is there objection? mr. mccain: i ask for the yeas and nays on my amendment. sproeup is there a sufficient second? -- the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there does not appear to be a sufficient second. mr. mccain: i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
the presiding officer: the senator from michigan. ms. stabenow: i would ask to suspend the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. stabenow: i appreciate my colleague's consideration. i would like consent to speak in morning business. i ask unanimous consent to speak in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. stabenow: thank you very much. mr. president, i rise today as so many colleagues have done throughout the day to pay tribute to a tremendous colleague that we lost yesterday, a friend to all of us, someone that we have all learned a tremendous amount from on both sides of the aisle, but how to work together. senator daniel inouye of hawaii. he was an outstanding senator, a cherished colleague, and a dear, dear friend. we all know he dedicated his life to serving our country first as a soldier in world war ii, being willing to put his life on the line for our freedoms, for our country. and then as a member of congress
for 53 years. senator inouye was hawaii's first congressman. think about that. the first congressman. and today marks the first day in the history of our country that the state of hawaii has not been represented in congress by dan inouye. he also had a special connection to my home state of michigan, as senator levin and i both have been very proud of that fact. he was a patient at a hospital in battle creek during world war ii, where he met phil hart and bob dole. and can you imagine those three great men coming together serving our country, wounded, doing rehabilitation at a hospital together in michigan and all going on to be involved
in public service as united states senators. that building is still standing. it is no longer a hospital. it's another federal building. it's our great honor in michigan to have that building named the hart dole inouye federal center honoring all three of these outstanding leaders. senator inouye was a great mentor for me as well as so many of us in the senate. coming to the senate always encouraging me, during the elections always telling me to hang in there and theupbgdz would -- things would go well and it would be great. always the person with the smile on his face encouraging each and every one of us. he was there encouraging me when we were fighting for our economic lives in michigan with the automobile industry saying it was going to be okay, we'd be
able to get through it and that things would be better on the other side. and he was right. with the help of so many people here and with the president. he also has consistently said to me, i want to help your city of detroit. i want to make sure i can do everything i can to support that great city. and he has been a wonderful friend and supporter on that front as well. he also received a distinguished honor given by the arab-american community in michigan after he helped us establish the first national arab-american museum. and after 9/11, when there were stories of young arab-american children and girls who were being harassed or attacked with, wearing their traditional
tkpwa*rb -- garb, he called up leaders in michigan to tell them that they had his support as a japanese-american, knowing what he had gone through at a very difficult time in our country's history. he showed incredible support to a great part of michigan. he's beloved by so many around michigan, but no more than those who are in the arab-american community who are business leaders, community leaders, who found themselves, just because of their heritage, in very difficult circumstances, he has shown great support to them and was a great role model to them. and so i was proud to be a part of honoring him a few years ago in michigan with the highest award coming from that
community. he touched lives everywhere he went. he served with quiet dignity, had a strong, firm conscience. he set an example for each one of us. it was a true patriot and a true american hero in every sense of the word. the united states senate and the american people will miss him greatly. and my thoughts and prayers are with his family this evening. thank you very much, mr. president. mr. tester: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from montana. mr. tester: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent to set aside the pending amendment and call up my amendment number 3350. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection, so ordered. the clerk will -- the presiding officer: the senator from montana, mr. tester and others -- mr. tester: i ask reading be dispensed with.
the presiding officer: without objection. mr. tester: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that senator tim johnson of south dakota be added as a cosponsor to amendment 3350. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. tester: i'd like to make a few remarks on amendment 3350. this past summer was the third-worst fire year in the history of this great country. over 9.2 million acres burned and many of those acres were in the state of montana. the drought that drove this year's fire season persists and is projected to worsen in 2013. this trend isn't stopping. conditions are changing on the ground. i think we're all seeing impacts. i'm certainly seeing impacts on my family farm and we're seeing impacts across the forest. this county in western montana is no exception.
my amendment with senator udall does two things. first it provides funding to prepare for wildfire and the amount of the 2013 fire season is expected to cost. second, it requires the g.a.o. to make recommendations on a better model to project the cost of wildfires into the future. wildfires are continuing to burn and burn hotter and faster and larger and earlier and doing more damage than in past years. we need to assure -- we need to make sure that we have the resources to address these catastrophic events that are here this next year and with a study into the future. with that, i want to thank you. i yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
mr. reid: is the senate having the quorum call called? the presiding officer: the senate is in a quorum call. mr. reid: i ask consent that be terminated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: the senate has been considering the supplemental appropriation bill for two days now. the republicans, i'm told, are in the process of figuring out
what they want to do. we have other concerns, as you know, we had the tragedy in connecticut, the untimely death of our friend, senator inouye, but time doesn't stop for anything. it keeps marching on. christmas is coming. we have a fiscal cliff that's in the horizon. so i hope we can make progress on this bill in the morning. if not, i'll be forced to file cloture to try to figure out a path forward on this bill. it's been open for amendment, that's what my friends said they wanted, that's what they have. we have the d.o.d. authorization. we need to complete action on that conference report that's been completed now. we expect that they will file tonight or tomorrow so we need to complete that before the end of the week. christmas is seven days from today. we have judicial nominations, we've been making some progress with the district court
nominations. we have to do three more before the end of the week. we have executive nominations we need to consider before the end of the week. fisa, mr. president, this is an important piece of legislation. imperfect as it is, it is what is necessary to help us be protected from the evil that's in the world. we have to complete this before we leave here this week. today's tuesday. so everyone else can do the math just as well as i can about how many days are left. so i ask unanimous consent that at a time to be determined by me after consultation with senator mcconnell, the senate proceed to the consideration of calendar number 463, s. 3276, that the only first-degree amendments in order to the bill be the following, judiciary committee reported substitute, leahy sunset, leahy oversight, wyden
public report,, wiendz back door searches, and merkley which is about declassification of fisa court opinions. that there be an hour of debate equally divided and controlled between the opponents and proponents on each amendment, that there be up two two hours of debate on the bill equally divided between the proponents and opponents, upon the use or yielding back of that time, the senate proceed to vote in relation to the amendments in the order listed, that there be no amendments in order to any of the amendments prior to the votes, that upon disposition of the amendments the bill be read a third time and the senate proceed to vote on passage of the bill if amended. before the chair rules on this, mr. president, it's pretty easy to figure out how much time this includes. this is the better part of a day, the better part of a day if we got this consent done. so i ask that chair approve the consent agreement. the presiding officer: is there objection? ? >> reserving the right to
object, and i do intend to object. first of all, i want to say to the leader thanks for moving towards the fisa bill. mr. chambliss: you're examining right, this is a bill that must be done by the end of the year so we can be sure the intelligence community is able to gather in a lawful and legal way the kind of intelligence that keeps americans safe and secure. there are two documents, one a statement of administration policy from the white house where they have agreed to the bill that has already passed the house, and secondly, a letter from the leadership of the intelligence community, namely, the director of national intelligence as well as the attorney general directed to the leadership both of which letters and statements support the house bill. and it's because of that and because of the fact that if the house bill comes through here and i understand we may have to have debate, may have to have
amendments debated, whatever the leader decides, but the important thing is that we can hopefully get that bill passed and accepted it directly to the president's desk. so i ask unanimous consent that the letter from the d.n.i. and the attorney general dated february 8 as well as the statement of mption policy dated september 10 be included in the record and, mr. president, i do object. the presiding officer: objection is heard. and without objection the letters will be included. mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: i'll continue to work on path forward if anyone has any ideas how to help me with that, i would be happy to listen to them but this is something we must do before we leave here. christmas is not more important than this legislation. i'm sorry, i hope i'm not offending anyone, but that's the way it is. we have to get something done on this before the end of the year and i think we would be walking on very, very thin ice to try to
a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma. mr. coburn: i ask the pending amendment be set aside and amendment 3368 be called up. the presiding officer: is there objection? the majority leader. mr. reid: i want to do amendments but i feel somewhat -- i feel somewhat ill at ease here with not having anybody managing the bill at all. so i would hope that my friend will -- we'll be happy to try to talk to senator leahy and i'll talk to -- but i'm not in a position here. i'm -- one thing i'm not going to do regardless of what the managers say, have a big stack of amendments here we're going to be worrying about. so i don't know where everybody is, but the managers aren't
here. so i'm happy to -- mr. coburn: through the chair i'd ask the majority leader, he does not want amendments to be made pending for us to debate? mr. reid: do we have amendments pending now? the presiding officer: there are amendments pending. mr. reid: how many amendments pending? the presiding officer: there's a substitute amendment and four first-degree amendments pending. mr. reid: you're filing a first-degree amendment? mr. coburn: i am. mr. reid: one more couldn't do much damage. mr. coburn: i have five i was going to place pending and i'll be happy to work with the managers. mr. reid: i say to my friend again through you, mr. president, i'm happy to do one, but i'm not going -- the managers i haven't talked to them in the last couple hours. i'm not agreed to five amendments. i have no idea what's in them. if you want to lay down one of the amendments tonight that's fine but until we have managers
on the floor, i'm not going to agree to that. the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma. mr. coburn: i ask unanimous consent the pending amendment be set aside and that amendment number 3371 be called up. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection, the clerk will report the amendment. the clerk: the senator from oklahoma mr. coburn for himself and mr. mccain proposes amendment number 3371 -- mr. coburn: i ask unanimous consent the amendment be considered as read. the presiding officer: without objection. the majority leader. mr. reid: i would also say to my friend, the junior senator from oklahoma, the managers are going to be here bright and early in the morning and i'm confident -- in fact, i'll call one of them right now and if you could be here. mr. coburn: i have no choice but to accede to your wishes, so i i'd make a final point --
ms. mikulski: will the senator r from oklahoma yield for a question? i have a question, i wonder if it's rolled into my bill, i might extend some courtesy here. mr. coburn: this is updating the damage, oklahoma has had more declarations declared but we haven't updated the per capita indicator in a long time so we've had no increase in that, so what is happening, it's too easy to get a declaration declared. i'm trying to have them update that to where it's more reflective of the true cost. ms. mikulski: i appreciate the senator's advocacy for oklahoma. mr. coburn: this would actually hurt oklahoma. ms. mikulski: what i wanted to say to the senator from oklahoma, my committee deals with coastal impact. the issue the senator wishes to raise is with the subcommittee on homeland security.
so if it had dealt with my part of the bill, by have stayed here and we could have had our debate. because i know what you're trying to do and i appreciate it, which is to move the senate forward in an be expeditious way. mr. coburn: i thank the senator. the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma. mr. coburn: we have a build beforeth us that's $64 billion and i've spent the last week trying to get o.m.b. and the department of commerce, the background on all these requests. and what i can tell you is there is immediate needs for about $24 billion that we ought to be passing through this chamber to take care of immediate needs over the next two years in relation to this tragedy in terms of sandy. almost every amendment i'm going to offer or hope to offer is about transparency, is about
limiting who can have access like people who are in arrears on their taxes for years and years and years, that what we learn on homeland security committee who has the authorization of most of these programs, which i will become ranking member of, that out of the $100 billion plus we spent on katrina, $11 billion of it got wasted and one of the reasons is it got waisd, we didn't have transparency and we didn't have good-government amendments and we're getting ready to make that mistake again. so i was asked to come down and have amendments pending and now that i can't have amendments pending, i think i'll just talk in general about this bill for a moment, if i might. there's no one in the senate that does not want to meet the needs of the people who have suffered from this horrific
storm. how we do that is important. meeting immediate needs in terms of the insurance fund for flooding. that's something everybody would agree on that. nobody's going to object to that. we're going to be short on that. but also what's important in that is that we should have a provision that if you were in a floodplain and didn't buy the insurance, we certainly should not be ponying up our grandkids' money to pay for you when you chose not to insure it. and the reason that's important, there's two moral principles why that's important. one is we're going to endorse irresponsibility. number two is if we don't put that provision in this bill, the flood insurance program is never going to work, because everybody in the future is going to say, don't worry, you don't have to buy the flood insurance; the congress is going to take care of you. so it's just those kind of
good-government things that i'm trying to put into this bill and now i unabl to bring amendmentso the floor, which is -- there's no reason not to bring amendments to the floor right now. we're going to pick and choose what amendments we're going to bring to the floor when we have good-government amendments? i'm at a loss to know why we would object to good-government amendments. i understand the majority leader's reasoning. we now have five amendments pending on this bill. takfiv fir six of the agencies. this bill is going to be more understand that what all five of those -- more than what all poof of those agencies spend in a year. 64% of this bill won't even get obligated until 2015 at the
earliest? i also would remind my colleagues on 0 $64 billion bill, under our rules, we don't have to offset any spending anywhere. under the rules. so this $64 billion when we know we're wasting hundreds of billions every year in agencies throughout in government, we're going to borrow $64 billion and not do the good-government cleanup, transparency -- one of our amendment amendments is abog a web site so everybody can see. one of our amendments is about not having no-bid contracts or sole-source contracts. and we have all this experience from katrina where we know where the money was wasted and now we're precluded from putting amendments on the floor that would keep us from wasting money in this very emergency supplemental bill. it shows the dysfunction of the
senate. in 2005 and 2006, we would not have had this happen. amendments would be offered. they'd get voted down or embarrassed into not asking for a vote or withdrawn. now we're going to pick and choose good-government amendments. in other words, we don't want good government. that's what we're saismght and we don't want to do - the hard work of making things efficient and effective when we go to spend $64 billion. i don't get t i don't understand it. generations will not understand it that follow us. and i yield the floor. mr. tester: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from montana. mr. tester: mr. president, i rise today to offer condolences, and i ask unanimous consent that it be placed in the proper spot in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. tester: mr. president, i rise today to offer my consequently doleences to the
families -- i rise today to offer my condolences to the families of the families in new towrntion connecticut, and also to offer my condolences to the families of daniel k. inouye, the senator from hawaii. for nearly a week now my thoughts and prayers have been with everyone in connecticut and all those families whose lives have been changed by the murders in newtown. like so many americans, charlotte and i continue to struggle with the news. we prayed for lives that were lost. we grieve for their families. their loved ones. as a former teacher but more importantly as a father and grandfather, i can't begin to make sense of the violence, especially against children. children, our future, the same age as my grandkids, supposed to
the unthinkable actions of an assassin. no one can make sense out of it. i don't think we ever will. but we can offer hope. we can offer our solid dart as americans -- sol darety as americans to unilateral nigh tragedy to look ahead, shaken with grief but strengthened with courage. in the days and weeks ahead, we will work together to address the unspeakable violence that has hurt our nation. as a senator, it is my responsibility to address the growing issue of violence in america, particularly as it applies to schools and public places and to stand up to ensure the safety of our children. while we mourn the deaths of innocent children and their educators, we must bring ourselves together for an honest, real national conversation about every aspect of this terrible attack.
it will be a difficult conversation, but it is the responsible and necessary next step for the children of this country, for the children of montana, and i look forward to rising to the challenge. earlier today i had the opportunity to sit in the president's chair, and i heard many members of this body speak of senator inouye. some spoke of his distinguished voice, a senator's senator, a great hero, a true patriot, a singularly iconic leader, an incredibly great man, a giant of the senate, a mountain of hawaii -- the list goes on and on and on. you know, they say the hardest thing to get in life is a friend, and the easiest thing to lose in life is a friend.
danny inouye was a friend. i'll never forget when one of my neighbors came out to visit me. dan's office is right next-door to mine in the hart building. came out to visit -- now, make no mistake about it before -- before came to this body, i knew dan inouye's past as a war hero, part of the watergate investigative committee. he was truly somebody i knew before i got here through the media. well, so did my neighbor. but after i'd been here for awhile i began to take dan for granted. he was just one of us. my neighbor was there. he was standing in the anteroom of my office. dan inouye came out of his office and nye my neighbor's eyes -- and my neighbor's eyes almost fell out. he wanted to meet dan inouye. why? because he was a great american. knew it and he knew this was an opportunity he shouldn't pass up. he stoppei stopped into dan inos
office today and passed along my condolences to the staff and had the opportunity to walk back into dan's office. one of the things pointed tout me was a sugar contract that sat right above his chair, right in front of him, what he looked at when he sat at that desk, a sugar contract that his parents had. why? so he didn't forget where he came from. and all the time dan inouye served in this body, he was probably as grounded as anybody could be because he never forgot where he came from. when i first got here, i was trying to get on the appropriations committee. i went and visited with senator inouye. he said he'd help. and he did. when dan inouye went to montana -- well, actually he was going to cody, wyoming, a few years ago. he drove down to cody for a
veteranss' event, drove through forests that were brown and dead. he came back and asked me, what's going on with the forests in montana? i said, bill, i've go dan, i've. dan's response was, sign me up as a cosponsor. he was always there to help. i remember one time in the cloakroom he was talking -- he was tell ago war story about after he had got his arm blown off. they were laying in stretchers in the 1940's -- which medicine has come a long way since then, remember -- they were laying on stretchers and he was talking about -- and there were many folks here, many had multiple limbs that were missing, and he said, there was a man of the cloth that was giving last-rites. and they came to dan and dan said, no i'm not going anywhere.
and he stayed with us, thank goodness, and came to the u.s. senate, came to congress and then the you's snavment -- and then the u.s. senate. what a man, what an incredible man he was. he always saturat sat at our tat kacaucus lunch. and when he came in he referred to me as "big one" and then proceeded to lecture me as to why i needed to lose weight, if i was going to stick around here for a while. i always appreciated that. another times i was in his office visiting about some legislation. and out of the blue, he asked me how many men i had on staff. and i was going down the list counting them, and he says, you know how many i got? no. he said, i got two, because women are better. that was dan inouye. he probably had a connection to every state in the union. montana was no exception.
he always spoke of mike mansfield with great passion, and when i was in his office earlier today on the wall he had a picture of ted stevens and l.b.j., warren rudman and of course mike mansfield. and on that picture, mike mansfield, then majority leader, had written to my friend, senator dan inouye, "with admiration, respect, and affection. ""i can't say it any better. mr. president, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from mississippi. mr. wicker: i ask unanimous consent that i be allowed to speak as if in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. wicker: mr. president, i rise tonight to pay tribute to jamie ray ellis, a beloved member of my staff who passed away on tuesday, november 27, at the age of 65.
jamie he will lis ellis served d country proudly as a liaison in tomb location he handled veterans issued, a role he filled with compassion, ability, and integrity. it was a natural fit. jamie brought to the position his own background of military service and experience as a volunteer veteran service officer for the local chapter of the vietnam veterans of america. he had a deep understanding of the unique circumstances our veterans face, and he worked tirelessly to make their lives better. his help and kindness will not be forgotten. this ability to work well with others was evident throughout jamie's career. from his years in public service to his success in business, he knew how to lead, a talent that served him well as president of ellis brothers timber and wonderwood products in
mississippi. before joining my office, he was a valued independent sales agent for lawson products in illinois. jamie deserved the respect that veterans and others bestowed upon him. he served in the u.s. air force from 1966 to 19 70, spending nearly three years in southeast asia. he then served in the national guard. in his home community of south tillow, jamie was a 32nd-degree mason and schreiner and member of the first united methodist church. helen keller once said, "the world ha is moved along not only the mighty shoves of its heroes but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker." jamie was a true and honest worker, like ms. keller describes.
and he was a hero to those he helped. there is no doubt his contributions have made the world a better place than he found t i'm thankful to have known jamie ellis and to have had him on my surtax my wife gale and i extend our deepest sympathy to his loved ones. to many, jamie was a fellow veteran and good friend. to his family he was a devoted son, husband, fathers, brother, and grandfather. our thoughts and prayers are with his family, especially his wife of 42 years judy, and their three children and nine grandchildren. he will be truly missed. thank you, mr. president. and i note 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 colorado. mr. udall: i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be lifted. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. udall: i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. udall: mr. president, i yield the floor and would note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
reflections and reminiscenses about our dearly departed senator dan inouye. yesterday afternoon, i came into the chamber expecting to vote on a matter or two, and i was stunned and devastated to hear the news like the rest of my colleagues that we'd lost senator inouye. when i think of what a senator is and should be, i think of dan inouye. you know, when i came to the senate ten years ago now, i would say that three undisputed giants in the -- in this hall. there may be more, but there were three undisputed giants i think everybody recognized as giants in the senate. one would be ted stevens. one would be ted kennedy. and the other would be dan inouye.
there's something about those three men, those three senators, that just put them in a class by themselves. some of it's the force of their personality, some is their legislative accomplishments, some is just their ability to get it done when the chips are down, to have the integrity, to understand the vital role that the senate plays in our federal system, and i think dan inouye had all of those traits and he also had character. and character is something that it's hard to describe, it's hard to quantify, it's hard to define sometimes, but there's no doubt that senator inouye had character. mr. president, yesterday morning i got off the plane and like many of us, i raced into the office and i noticed i had a big bundle of papers waiting for me to look at, andy have a
chance to look at -- i didn't have a chance to look at those. i plopped them on my desk and i thought i'd go deal with those later. and later turned out to be the next morning, which was this morning. so i've been thinking about losing our friend, dan inouye over the last, you know, 12 or 14 hours or so and i was sitting in my office starting to go through this stack of papers and there at the bottom of the stack i saw a christmas card that had come with senator inouye and his wife. and i thought this christmas card really summed up one of the traits that make senator inouye so special. it's from dan and irene, who certainly we offer our prayers and our support for irene right now, but the photo was taken at the maui arts and cultural
center, the performing arts facility providing music, dance and theatrical performances sells art exhibitions. it's about hawaiian culture and education and there they are on their christmas card promoting hawaii and talking -- just never stopping in that quest to make us aware of the special nature of that state and the importance of that state, and so many of the great qualities of that state. and i look at senator inouye's picture on the christmas card, and what i see is that very kind and very generous but also as our fellow senators will testify, and have testified repeatedly today, that very encouraging face and way of dan inouye. you know, i actually a year or so ago on my own initiative
wanted to know a little bit more about him. it's rare to have a congressional medal of honor recipient in your midst, much more rare to work with that person every day, and i had the great fortune and extreme pleasure of being on two of senator inouye's committees that he chaired. he chaired the commerce committee for a while and he chaired the appropriations committee. and i serve on both those with him as chair. and in both of those, by the way, i saw the great bipartisan working relationship he had. i want to talk about that again in just a moment. but about a year or two ago i thought i need to know more about senator inouye so i started reading and of course you can go to wikipedia or whatnot, but there are several books and several resources available where they talk about his life story.
and, of course, with senator akaka and senator inouye they were both born in the territory of hawaii, not the state of hawaii, but the territory of hawaii. and when you start to read about dan inouye's life, his young life, you start to think this is just an ordinary, average guy. he's going to grow up, be pretty nondescript, who knows what he's going to do with the rest of his life. but when he's a youngster he does things like he parks cars at ballgames. he cuts his classmates' hair for money. these little things that we all do, he saved his money and he bought a -- and trained a flock of homing pigeons. he had a postage stamp collection. all this ordinary good old american stuff that boys do as they're growing up. but his life took a dramatic turn on december 7, 1941.
he was an eyewitness, like senator akaka and senator akaka often tells the story, but dan inouye was an eyewitness to the bombing of pearl har pour. he was too young to join the military at that point but he wasn't too young to serve, and the way he served was he worked as a medicine nick the aftermath -- medic in the@math -- aftermath of that. he said he saw a lot of blood when he worked around the clock to help people. when he finally came of age to be able to serve, a year or two later, he joined the nisei 442nd regimental combat team and for a lot of people, a lot of americans, we may not appreciate exactly what or who the 442nd is. but it turns out it would become
the most highly decorated unit in the history of the u.s. army. most highly decorated unit in the history of the u.s. army. and, of course, senator inouye received the medal of honor for his service in that unit. there's one other distinction that it has. almost all the members were of japanese descent. and so here's this 17- 18-year-old young man who had eyewitness accounts of very harsh treatment by americans of japanese americans, in fact, one of the things -- one of the things that senator inouye did not talk a lot about but he did is he did some sort of good will tour back in the 1940's to japanese internment camps and he
came to the two in arkansas. my understanding is maybe members of the 442nd, i'm not quite sure how it worked but they were doing training or whatever, maybe down in louisiana, i'm not quite sure, but nonetheless they came and they went to the two japanese internment camps in arkansas. and he goes on to serve in world war ii with tremendous distinction. in fact, there's a few video interviews i'd recommend to people. c-span 2 ran one last night. it was unbelievable some of the stories he told about serving in the war and how it chappinged -- and how it changed his life. one of the things i love about him is he carried a burden. he carried a burden of those heroic war years with him the rest of his life. the fact that he had been so
effective in war haunted him. it stayed with him i'm sure till the day he died because i heard him talk about it just a few months ago. also, he struggled and suffered with his own type of discrimination because he's japanese-american, we may -- you know, my generation and certainly people younger tan me take that for -- take that for granted. you don't discriminate against japanese-americans. but certainly during the period of world war ii when a the although of people had not had much experience with asians and asian-americans, all they knew was that they had bombed pearl harbor and we were at war with them, so they all must be bad. but i remember senator inouye told a story -- in fact it was on pbs, the series called "the war," a keenin a ken burns movi. where he talked about the war,
talked about his arm and his rehab. my understanding was, he was catching the ship to go back to hawaii after his long rehabilitation and he thought he better stop in and get a haircut at a local barbershop on the west coax i believe it was in oaoakland, california. here he was, highly decorated world war ii veteran, had literally given his life for his country, tremendous sack fishings lived the rest of his life without his right arm, and the barber told him bluntly, he coyedsa "we don't cut jap hair. "that's the kind of thing that stays with you. that's the kind of thing that made no senator inouye special. i saw him meet with a young man just two months ago who had also lost his arm. this young man lost his arm to cancer.
but this young man introduced himself to senator inouye. i've always admired and respected you because of your disability and what you've done for other people with disabilities. and dan inouye looked at him square in the eye and say, "i don't consider it disability." you know, there again you see his characteristic. you get a glimpse of what he was all about. he also was the first japanese-american to ever be elected to congress. he was the first japanese-american to ever be sworn n the first japanese-american to ever serve in the united states senate. in fact, he was sworn into the house the very same day at hawaii became a state, and there's a story that circulated -- that has circulated in the house for decades now that when he went in to -- you know, he came in at kind of a special time because he'd won a special election for the statehood. and so he was in a class of one to be sworn in over there and sam rayburn, when he asked, you
know, did the normal swear-in thing, he just said, without thinking, raise your right hand and repeat after me. and of course senator inouye -- congressman inouye didn't have a right hand at that point. he'd left it knitly, fighting for -- he'd left it in italy, fighting for this country. he broke barriers large and small throughout his life. but one of the things i loved about him was i saw that relationship with ted stevens. i still remember their desks were right across the aisle from one another. i remember them working and working and working together an owl kinds of legislation -- on all kinds of legislation. and they were brothers. and, you know, their love and friendship transcended partisan divide certainly, but also really they were totally for the national interest. and i think they set a great example for all of us, how we can work together. they didn't always agree. if you look at their voting record, they voted opposite each
other a lot of times, but they worked together and they had an exemplary relationship that i think we can all follow. mr. president, i just want to say one or two more words. then i know i have other colleagues here that want to speak. we had senator inouye come to the senate prayer breakfast a few months ago. for those who are watching at home or don't know a whole lot about the senate, every wednesday morning that we're in session, we have a senate prayer breakfast and we have -- its it's senators only and former senators can cox but phs a very special time where we come together and share each other's lives and tell stories. and it was a treat to have dan inouye. it was hard for him to get here because he used to live out in rockville or bethesda, one or the oamplet other. but he came when he could. and he's the only speaker -- i've been here ten years, i've
been going to the prayer breakfast almost at that long. he is the only speaker i've ever seen in the senate prayer breakfast that got a standing ovation before he spoke, and he got a standing ovation avenue spoke. -- a standing ow ovation after e spoke. that's the kind of senator he was. that's the kind of man he was. he just had this spirit about him that -- this respect that just oozed, you know, from him that other people respected him so much, no matter what situation he was inment but this last story i'll tell may be one of the favorite stories about him. when he won his reelection back in 2010, apparently -- i didn't see it but i have heard this, that on the podium that night when he's accepting his election for the last term he would end
up serving, but when he's accepting his election for his ninth term, he stands up there and announces that he's going to run for his tenth term in 2016. and that's -- that's part of that indomitable spirit that we all will miss so much about senator inouye. so, mr. president, with that, i just want to thank my colleagues for all the wonderful things that he have they have said about senator inouye. i want to lift up his family in prayer, all of his staff -- he has a fantastic, wonderful surtax and i know everyone in hawaii is mourning the loss of this great man. mr. president, thank you, and i yield the floor. nor senator mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from new jersey. mr. menendez: mr. president, i rise to respond to some of the
commentcomments i've heard of my colleagues with reference to the sandy emergency supplemental and hopefully to give all of our colleagues who will be casting a vote here at some point an understanding as to why we hold a different view than some of the comments that have been made. one of those comments i could just generally put under the rubric that we can wait and do something smaller, various comments have been referenced in that respect. and some seem to be questioning whether this emergency is worthy of a robust federal response. they say the cost to help families rebuild and recover is too much, that it should be reduced, that it's not necessary, that in this emergency, unlike many other similar emergencies in the past, we should do something smaller and wait to do the rest later.
but i think those who suggest or make that argument don't seem to understand that a piecemeal recovery is a failed recovery. you can't rebuild half of a bridge unless you know that the entirety of the money that is necessary is committed. like the maniloken bridge in new jersey that i've shown many pictures of. you can't hire a contractor to ultimately replace an entire sewage treatment system that had enormous amount amounts ultimaty didispersing the sewer system directly into the hudson river because it was overcome. you can't replace that if you only have half of the funding. you can't hire a contractor to
rebuild half a home or restore half of a community, unless you know that the money is there and that you can depend upon it in order to finish the project. you need the money in place to rebuild entire projects and entire areas to ensure that families and businesses deaf stated by the storm -- devastated by the storm can recover. right now, mr. president, there are literally tens of thousands of small business owners trying to decide whether to reopen or pack it in. that's -- they're in a limbo. they're waiting to see what we, their federal government, does to respond to their tragedy. and they are making decisions in their lives and those of their businesses and everybody who's hired by those businesses, waiting -- however frozen to make those decisions waiting to
find out is the government going to offer me a small business own at low rates competitive with the marketplace and longer--term payment? will they give me a grant towards my rebuilding? what type of other benefits will i be able to derive in order to make a determination, can i open this business again? having just a sense that there is only some emergent moneys and not the moneys to be able to do that doesn't allow them to open up, doesn't allow them to make it decision, freezes them in time. same thing with the person who, as winter is biting in the northeast, faces the challenges of, well, what am i going to get from my government as it relates to rebuilding my home? should i go forth or not? so, it's as if some of our colleagues don't believe when we describe this tragedy ash an tri
welcome any of my colleagues to wants to visit us in new jersey, i invite them to come with me to see the embread breadth and depd scope of our devastation. i ask them, do you think governor christy is making this up? do you think that this fiscal hawk of the republican party is looking for federal aid that isn't desperately needed? do you think that we made up this photos of the damage? i can assure you, we didn't. this is a picture taken just as one part, one small part of the jersey shore. but if i could have a continuum that would bring us around this chamber it would look exactly like this. this is ortley beach that shows blocks and blocks and blocks going back of homes that have been totally destroyed. it's an image that can be seen up and down the new jersey coast.
here is another example in union beach, half a home -- half a home. but that whole community was significantly devastated. you know, you can see -- you know, if yo you were to see this community, rows and roses of houses reduced to rubble, and i think that that is the reality of what we have as a continuation of those neighborhoods in union beach. i was talkin to the mayor todayt of a group of mayors as their challenges, and this is an example of what he's facing throughout his community. so the storm damage is real, and the governors' requests for funding, which were actually $20 billion higher than the
supplemental that we are debating, is significant, that it was $20 billion higher than the amount that we're debating. and these requests were scrubbed by o.m.b. from the governo gove' original request, gone over by the committee with a fine-tooth comb. and everything in the bill is about declared disasters. so now it is time to come to our neighbor's help. the second thing is there are those who come to the floor and say that they're upset about the army corps's element of this disaster bill, that the budget in this bill is too rig us are. they say that planning and rebuilding for the future is a waste, that we can have another legislative opportunity to deal with the future but i would submit that those members who very much care about fiscal responsibility, that is neither
efficient nor is it effective, nor is it fiscally responsible. so what should we do? have the army corps go back exactly to what existed before? and what existed before in many kissecases did not sustain those communities, did not withhold the consequences of the surge, created enormous losses. we lost over 40 lives. we've lost over, you know, affected over 300,000 homes, 30 permanently gone, 30,000 permitly gone. so it seems to me if we want to be smart fiscally that planning for the future means rebuilding well and rebuilding smart. it means rebuilding in a way that protects us from future storms. we learned a lot from this superstorm. we know that army corps coastal defenses worked. where we had them in place the damage was minimal.
where we didn't there was more devastation, more damage, more destruction and more recovery costs. stockton college did a study of the army corps' beach engineering projects before and after the storm. what it found was unambiguous where the army corps able to commune a project recently the dunes helped and the damage was manageable. here's a picture taken at surf city, new jersey, right after the storm. this beach received beach engineering in 2007 as party army corps' long beach island shore protection project, and you can see that despite damage being done to the do you know, the do you know held and saved lives, saved property and saved us money. alternatively, the pictures of union beach that i previously referred to, it's a
working-class town that couldn't afford -- couldn't afford -- the local match for the army corps project. as you can see, you have an entire devastated neighborhood. so we see the fundamental difference. engineered beaches by the army corps, minimal destruction. those that weren't engineered, maximum destruction, costs and consequences. rebuilding defenses only to the standard that existed before the storm will just give us more of the same in the next storm. if we don't do things differently, we shouldn't expect a different outcome. you know, in this photo, you also see the home destroyed by the storm surge. we can help these homeowners rebuild, but if we don't rebuild smarter, better and with
stronger coastal protections, we'll be paying again after the next storm in terms of human suffering and federal funds. the storm proves what army corps of engineers, academic studies and officials have been telling us for years. that beach engineering works. it protects lives, protects property. it saves us money in the long run. mr. president, time is of the essence. the severe storm damage caused by sandy has left new jersey defenseless. as we enter what is our most vulnerable storm season, the winter nor'easter. we don't need a super storm sandy to have major consequences all the way up and down in the communities throughout new jersey. right now the jersey shore is like a person with a weak immune
system. the storms destroyed our defenses, and that's why we need to rebuild them quickly. if we don't, a relatively mild storm can cause catastrophic damage. so this is a challenge to us right now. right now. and so suggesting that the army corps budget is not one that we need right now and we can wait, well, these communities can't wait. these communities can't wait. and in fact, it will be far more costly to us. i think we have close to anywhere between three quarters of a billion and a billion dollars in army corps of engineer projects that have been approved. passed and been approved. but they have not had the funding. when you add those that would ensure that we don't end up here like ortley beach and that we can recover those like ortley
beach that have been battered and shattered, then i think it makes critical sense. finally, i know that there are some who suggest that mitigation is not worthy of this disaster that i think i've made the case here in the case of the army corps, though the army corps is not the only form of mitigation. mitigation means rebuilding smarter and stronger. whether it's through a flexible cdbg account that will allow the hardening of our electrical grid or elevating homes or via traditional army corps or fema programs, mitigation has long been a part of disaster supplemental appropriations. in the gulf coast, we spent $16 billion building a world-class storm protection system in louisiana.
$16 billion. in alabama and texas we used cdbg funding to raze homes and improve infrastructure. much of the infrastructure in our region damaged because of the super storm is eligible for reimbursement from fema. the stafford act has been the law of the land for many years. it says the federal government will assume the cost of repairs to critical infrastructure after an event like sandy. these communities, you talk to mayors in little ferry and moonachie and not the jersey shore, other places dramatically hit, when i was visiting them soon after the storm, the one mayor said to me, senator, i lost my police department. i lost my fire department and the city goes under water. they need to be protecting their citizens. they need to be able to fully fend upon the resources to -- fully fend upon resources to get back public safety efforts.
it does not make sense for congress to pay to get back our broken infrastructure, which we're legally required to do, without looking to protect our investment and prevent similar costly damage in the future. to me, that makes a lot more fiscal sense at the end of the day. so, we'll look forward to coming back to the floor again and again as we deal with these issues. but i do hope that our colleagues understand the urgency of now, the urgency of now. final point, mr. president, after katrina, in ten days -- in ten days -- the congress passed two emergency supplementals that totaled over a, a little over $62 billion. louisiana, alabama, mississippi. it has been six weeks -- six weeks -- not ten days -- six
weeks since the storm hit new jersey, new york and the northeast. and there hasn't been any action. the urgency of now is incredibly important. and the urgency of doing this robustly is incredibly important to the recovery of a region that is so important to the economic engine of this country. with that, mr. president, i yield the floor. mr. president, before i yield the floor, i see the senator from alaska is ready to speak. i've been asked to do some wrap-up items. if you would endulling us. mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the consideration of s. con res. 63 submitted earlier today. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: senate concurrent resolution 63, correcting the enrollment of s. 2367.
the presiding officer: without objection the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. menendez: i ask unanimous consent that the concurrent resolution be agreed to, the motion to reconsider be laid on the table, with no intervening action or debate and any statements related to the measure be placed in the record at the appropriate place as if read. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. menendez: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the consideration of s. con. res. 64 submitted earlier today. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: senate concurrent resolution 64 authorizing the use of the rotunda of the capitol for the lying in state of the remains of the late honorable daniel k. inouye. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection. mr. menendez: i ask unanimous consent the concurrent resolution be agreed to, the motion to reconsider be laid on the table, with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. menendez: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of s. res. 624
submitted earlier today. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: senate resolution 624 relative to the death of the honorable daniel k. inouye, senator from the state of hawaii. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection. mr. menendez: i ask unanimous consent the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, the motion to reconsider be label label with no intervening -- be laid on the table with no intervening action or debate and any statements relating to the record be placed in the record at the appropriate place as if read. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. menendez: i ask unanimous consent when the senate completes its business today it adjourn until 9:30 a.m. on wednesday, december 19, 2012, following the prayer and pledge, the journal of proceedings be approved to date, the morning hour deemed expired and the time for the two leaders be reserved for their use later in the day, that following any leaders' remarks, the senate be in a period of morning business for one hour with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten
minutes each with the time equally divided and controlled between the two leaders or their designees with the republicans controlling the first half and the majority controlling the final half, and that following morning business the senate resume consideration of h.r. 1, the legislative vehicle for the emergency supplemental appropriations bill. further, that senator hutchison be recognized at 11:30 a.m. for up to 30 minutes and senator kyl be recognized at 2:00 p.m. for up to 30 minutes each for the purpose of delivering retirement speeches. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. menendez: if there is no further business to come before the senate, i ask that it adjourn under the provisions of s. resolution 624 as a further mark of respect to the late senator daniel k. inouye of hawaii following the remarks of senator murkowski. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. menendez: thank you, mr. president. ms. murkowski: mr. president?
the presiding officer: the senator from alaska. ms. murkowski: it is only fitting that i be allowed to speak for a few minutes recognizing that here on this floor we have just advanced these resolutions in honor of our friend, our colleague and truly an incredible gentleman and statesman, senator daniel k. inouye. mr. president, in alaska and in this body as well, we regarded former senator ted stevens as "uncle ted." we called him "uncle ted" back home. it follows then that the people of alaska would regard his brother, our beloved daniel inouye, as our uncle as well. today the people of alaska are mourning the loss of senator inouye in the same way we would mourn the loss of one of our own. and that is because senator inouye is one of our own. regardless of whether he wanted
that burden of -- i know that perhaps at times he really did not want that. but we would think of him as alaska's third senator. a great many alaskans came to know, to love, and to rely on senator inouye to watch alaska's back. and he never let us down. senator inouye delivered a very touching, a very tender eulogy at ted stevens' funeral in august of 2010, and in that address he mentioned that millions and millions of words had been written of ted's accomplishments. and yet, as i was thinking about how i might frame my remarks about senator inouye's life, it dawned on me that millions and millions of words had also been written already about senator inouye. and that's because i think so many of ted's accomplishments came with dan inouye at his
side. and not coincidentally, many of dan's accomplishments occurred in the presence of ted. so really where do you begin? there is really so much that must be said, that should be said. i was present at the baptist temple when senator inouye delivered his eulogy. and i had the opportunity last evening after we learned the word of senator inouye's passing, i had the opportunity to view that video clip again. and as i listened to that eulogy, it came to me that everything that senator inouye said about ted told you as much about dan as it did about ted. there was so much that these two men shared. senator inouye related that he knew from the very beginning of the relationship that the two would have a great deal in
common. both represented former territories at the very edge of our great nation. territories that at times were treated as appendages to our nation. he characterized alaska and hawaii as the forgotten people. in those early years, he reminded us that it cost more to take a telephone call from honolulu to here in washington, d.c. than it did honolulu to tokyo. it was cheaper to call beijing than anchorage. and dan and ted set out to do something about that, and they did. they traveled to each other's states, they came to understand the unique challenges that each faced. senator inouye related on one trip to an alaska native village that he met a nurse. it actually wasn't a nurse, it was our community health aide, an individual from the village that had been trained to provide
basic medical care, and it occurred to both of them at that time that the new technology could enable a doctor at a major hospital hundreds or perhaps even thousands of miles away to observe and diagnose a patient via a video link. and so was born the alaska telemedicine network, one of its first of the kind in the world and truly a remarkable advancement and achievement in alaska, but it was born from their very conversations on that codel. and this is just one small example of the many dlab braitions that improved -- collaborations that improved lives for the native peoples of alaska and hawaii. and these collaborations created models by which nor inouye created models for hawaii and the people of the 48 states as well as. another thing that ted and dan
shared in common was that they were veterans. one of our colleagues described them as world war ii soul mates, men who loved the military, absolutely loved the military with every ounce of their being. they traveled together across the globe to zones of conflict to visit americans in uniform. and the tragedy of vietnam veterans returning home unappreciated was not lost on either of these veterans, and they devoted their lives to ensuring that our veterans would never again be disrespected. following ted's death, senator inouye came to this floor and he said the following of his fallen brother. he said, "when it came to policy, we disagreed more often than we agreed, but we were never disagreeable with one another. we were always positive and forthright." now, this remark came as perhaps
a little bit of a surprise to me because on the important issues that faced this country, they would most often arrive at significant -- at significant agreements that would allow the issues to advance in the senate. and neither one of them viewed bipartisanship in a negative context. it was not a dirty word. senator inouye said of ted, he said, "we made the word 'bipartisan' become real." real. and it's no coincidence that each would be described in these terms, that his word is his bond, good as gold. daniel inouye brought depth to every debate and dignity to every room in which he entered. he was a model senator, and in these times of turbulence within the senate, i think a role model
for so many of us. there was an elegance in this man that i think we should all strive to emulate. and i wonder often if those of us who did not come of age in that greatest generation are up to this challenge. but we should certainly strive to be. on behalf of the people of alaska, i express our deepest appreciation and condolences to his wife irene and to ken for sharing this extraordinary statesman with us and with the nation. and for that, we owe them a very sincere and genuine "thank you" -- mahalo. irene, of course, is doing important work with the u.s.-japan council. i look forward to working closely with her in that important role. when a significant figure in alaska passes, we often say that a big tree has fallen. in the islands, daniel inouye was the biggest of the big
trees. there is no way to minimize the loss that the people of hawaii are feeling. you can see it in the face of governor amber come by yesterday. he could barely control his tears as he conducted a lengthy news conference following senator inouye's passing. we saw our friend and colleague, senator akaka, as he delivered very sad remarks as well. in hawaii, as in alaska, these are personal -- these things are personal. losing a longtime senator feels like losing a member of your own family. well, mr. president, the senate ohana is less today because senator inouye is no longer with us. let me simply tai say that the people of alaska and the people of this great nation stand with the people of hawaii, and i offer my personal commitment to
the people of hawaii, as the now senior-most senator representing the decades-old alliance of ourtorum territories. your needs will not be forgotten. with that, mr. president, i thank you for a few extra minutes this evening to pay tribute to a great man, a good friend. with that, i yield the floor. and i suggest the absence of a quorum. no. the presiding officer: the senate stands adjourned until 9:30 a.m. on wednesday, december 19, 2012. and it does so under the provisions of senate resolution 624, as a further mark respect to the late-senator daniel k. inouye of hawaii. the senate say a little