Proceedings, Debates of the U.S. Congress
TRIBUTE TO DEPARTING SENATORS
(Senate - November 20, 2002)
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[Pages S11704-S11708] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] TRIBUTE TO DEPARTING SENATORS Mr. REID. Mr. President, I rise to pay tribute to our colleagues who are leaving the Senate. What many Americans do not realize is that the Senate is a place where many of us become friends. It is true that the 100 men and women who serve in this wonderful body arrive here with different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. We hold different philosophies and ideas, represent states with different and at times competing interests and needs, and we pursue different goals. But we all share a lot in common by virtue of being here, and in the course of working together on matters of national importance, we develop respect and admiration for our colleagues, and often genuine friendships are established. And so it is with the remarkable group of Senators who are completing their service as the 107th Congress draws to a close. Jean Carnahan I want to speak first about Jean Carnahan, who has accomplished many firsts in her lifetime, including being the first woman to represent Missouri in the United States Senate. She was also the first person in her family to graduate from college, in fact the first to graduate from high school. Senator Carnahan has served the people of Missouri so well over so many years, including her outstanding work during her time here in the Senate. We rightfully identify her with Missouri, but actually she grew up in Washington, DC, attending Anacostia High School and then George Washington University. Her return to Washington 2 years ago should have been a happy homecoming, but instead followed a calamity. Jean Carnahan arrived in the Senate having suffered a seemingly unbearable tragedy, the death of her husband Mel and her oldest son Randy in a plane crash. She not only had little time to grieve but also was immediately thrust into the public arena. Mel Carnahan had a distinguished 40-year career in Missouri politics serving as a judge, state representative, state treasurer, lieutenant governor, and for 8 years as a popular and respected governor and was a strong candidate for the United States Senate at the time of his death. Just days after the funerals for her husband and son, she was asked if she would serve in the Senate in Mel's place. It was a difficult decision, and one she had to make amid shock and sorrow. Jean Carnahan was not a politician, but she was her husband's political partner and trusted adviser for many years, starting soon after their marriage. She card-catalogued the names of every potential supporter and donor during her husband's career, wrote many of his speeches and wrote and delivered many of her own. Fortunately for Missouri and for us, she volunteered to serve, motivated by a desire to further the work that Mel and she had done together to help the people of Missouri. Talk about severe stress! Loss of her beloved husband, her high school sweetheart, lifelong companion, loss of her son, moving to a new home, changing jobs . . . all with people watching closely, openly questioning her abilities and wondering if she would succeed. Senator Carnahan has demonstrated remarkable composure and grace while proving that she was indeed up to the challenges of the Senate. She had to learn the intricacies of legislation and policy quickly, and I am sure she would have been even more effective if given the opportunity to serve longer. But she succeeded by seeking commonsense solutions to complex problems and helping to forge compromises. She didn't seek attention or credit for her accomplishments but worked hard and made a difference. Senator Carnahan's accomplishments include helping protect the jobs of more than 12,000 airline employees during the merger negotiations between TWA and American Airlines. She also worked hard to help local school districts hire teaching specialists and deal with disruptive students. Her Quality Classrooms provisions were included in the landmark education bill we passed last year. Senator Carnahan supported efforts to bolster our national security and win the war on terrorism. She was a member of the first bipartisan congressional delegation to travel to Afghanistan to visit the troops and meet with regional leaders. And I am especially grateful for her strong opposition to the Administration's plan to ship nuclear waste across the country to Yucca Mountain. Many people thought this plan would harm only Nevada, but she understood that storing nuclear waste in Nevada would require tens of thousands of shipments of highly dangerous substances across highways and railroads in Missouri and almost every other state. And she could not accept this risk of potential harm to the children and families and environment of our great country. So Jean Carnahan deserves our admiration, respect and gratitude for all she has done. She has occupied Harry Truman's seat in the United States Senate and worked at his old desk. Missouri should be proud of how she has continued Harry Truman's legacy and her husband's legacy and been an advocate for the working families of Missouri. By a narrow margin she was unable to overcome a well-funded opponent whose campaign benefitted from the popularity of the President this year. She might have come up short in this election, but she understands that a political defeat is not the most significant loss one can suffer. Her time here has been all too brief, but Senator Jean Carnahan has made a difference and I will miss her very much. Jean will enjoy spending time on her family farm in Rolla, Missouri, visiting with her children and grandchildren. And I expect her to continue writing books, giving speeches and advice. She has much to say, and we would do well to hear and read her words. Max Cleland I also wish to pay tribute to Max Cleland, Georgia's senior senator and a true American hero. While his story is familiar to those of us fortunate enough to know him and have served with him, I encourage Americans looking for inspiration to read his book Strong at the Broken Places, which describes his experiences overcoming tremendous adversity and reveals his remarkable character. He is a native Georgian who is proud of his state and has served it so well for so long, but Max Cleland personifies qualities that the people of Nevada and all Americans appreciate: patriotism, courage, and fortitude. Max Cleland was awarded the Bronze Star and a Silver Star for meritorious service in Vietnam. During college he joined the Army ROTC program and after graduation he took a Second Lieutenant's commission in the Army. Max Cleland volunteered for duty in Vietnam in 1967 and the following year he was promoted to the rank of Captain. Just one month prior to the end of his tour of duty, he was seriously wounded in a grenade explosion. As a result he lost both legs and his right arm. His body broken, he spent the next year and a half recovering from his injuries in various Army and Veterans Administration hospitals. Despite his enormous sacrifice, he refused to let his injuries break his spirit. And he did not dwell on his own experiences but rather sought to help others. He described the difficulties veterans were experiencing returning home from Vietnam in testimony before the United States Senate Veterans Affairs Committee in 1969. The next year, he was elected to the Georgia State Senate, thus beginning a career in public service that has continued for more than 30 years. As the youngest member of the Georgia Senate at the age of 28, he wrote the state law making public facilities in the state accessible to the disabled. Max was hired to work for the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee in 1975 and two years later, President Jimmy Carter appointed him to head the U.S. Veterans Administration. He became the youngest VA administrator in history and the first Vietnam veteran to head the agency. In this position, he instituted the revolutionary ``Vets Center program'' which for the first time offered psychological counseling to combat veterans in order to heal their emotional wounds as well as their physical wounds. There are now more than 200 Vets Centers across the country offering support to combat and [[Page S11705]] non-combat veterans and their families. Continuing to set precedents, he became the youngest Secretary of State in Georgia's history when he won election in 1982. He was so effective and so popular that he won reelection by large margins three times. He resigned as Secretary of State in 1995 to run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sam Nunn. Although he was outspent three to one, Max Cleland overcame this obstacle as he has done throughout his life, and he won. Over the past 6 years, Senator Cleland has made important contributions to the people of Georgia, the people of Nevada and all Americans, helping to safeguard our homeland, keep our military strong and treat our veterans fairly. As the Chairman of the Personnel Subcommittee of the Armed Services Committee, Senator Cleland has fought to improve the quality of life of our nation's active duty, reserve and retired military personnel. He has lobbied to improve health care, education and retirement benefits. While Max Cleland will be leaving the Senate, I know that he will continue serving the people of this country he loves so much. He also will marry his fiancee Nancy, and I wish them much happiness. Robert Torricelli Robert Torricelli has devoted his entire adult life to public service, including the past 20 years in Congress. He was elected at the age of 31 to the House of Representatives in 1982, the same year I was, and I enjoyed serving with him in the House and more recently in the Senate. Bob Torricelli has served his constituents in New Jersey so well as a tough fighter, an articulate debater and an effective legislator. He has also been so good to Nevada as a great friend and advocate for the gaming industry, an important part of our state's economy. And he joined with us in opposing the Administration's plan to transport the nation's nuclear waste for storage at Yucca Mountain. Bob also was highly successful as the chairman of the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee during the 1999-2000 election cycle, recruiting strong candidates and raising money to allow them to get their message out and be competitive. He targeted weak opponents and helped Democratic candidates defeat the largest number of Republican incumbents in many years. These surprising results enabled our party to reach a 50-50 split in the Senate and positioned us to become the majority party subsequently. There has been no finer advocate in the Senate than Senator Torricelli. He has been articulate, knowledgeable and experienced. Senator Torricelli's departure from this body is a sad time. I know how passionately he cares about politics and how devoted he has been to public service. I will miss Bob. Nevada will miss Bob. Our country will miss Bob. But one thing I will not miss is his friendship; we have bonded, and our friendship is forever. Strom Thurmond Mr. President, I join my colleagues today in recognizing the distinguished Senator from South Carolina and his years of service in the United States Senate. Strom Thurmond has lived almost one century, his 100th birthday will be December 5th, and he has been a Senator for almost half of that time. He is now finishing his eighth full term, making him the longest- serving Senator and the oldest member of Congress. But Senator Thurmond is known, and will long be remembered, for much more than his longevity. He has had a remarkable life and career of service to South Carolina and the United States, having served as a school superintendent, state senator, judge and as the Palmetto State's Governor. He entered the nation's military when he was 21 years old and almost 20 years later volunteered to serve in World War II. He was among the brave American troops who landed in Normandy on D-day with 82nd Airborne Division, and he received numerous awards for his military service including the Bronze Star for Valor and a Purple Heart. Senator Thurmond has fought no less fiercely in the political arena. He has used his gifts, experience, the power and respect he has earned and knowledge of Senate rules and procedures to advocate on behalf of his causes. Although he has switched political parties during his career, serving first as a Democrat, running for President as a ``States Rights'' third party candidate in 1948, and becoming a Republican in 1964, he has consistently adhered to his political ideology. I am glad that we have an opportunity to acknowledge his contributions and to reflect on the considerable impact he has had on this body, his party, and the nation. Senator Thurmond is a living monument, but just to make sure his service is recognized, the people of South Carolina, whom he has represented for so long, have honored him by erecting a monument for him and naming dozens of facilities for him. Senator Thurmond will certainly be missed around here. I bid him farewell and extend my best wishes to him and his family. Jesse Helms Jesse Helms is retiring after serving five terms in the Senate. During this time, he has become a legend. He has been a powerful legislator and wielded significant influence on issues within the Senate and events around the world. While he and I do not share the same philosophy of government and have not always agreed on policies, I have no doubt that he believes sincerely in his causes, and I admire the passion with which he has fought for what he believes is right. As I have noted previously, the Senate is a place where many friendships are forged, even among people who seem unlikely to get along. But what many people don't understand is that it is possible to disagree without being disagreeable. Senator Helms has succeeded in charming and befriending many people, ranging from fellow Senators to internationally known rock stars, who strongly disagree with much of what he advocates. Certainly, the Senate will be different without Jesse Helms, and I wish him the best. Frank Murkowski As the people of Nevada know all too well, Frank Murkowski can be a tough opponent. He has led the effort in the Senate to push through the Administration's plan to transport tens of thousands of tons of nuclear waste through most of the Lower 48 for storage at Yucca Mountain, and therefore he and I have often been on opposing sides. But I recognize that his motives are not personal; he has a different vision of what our priorities should be and what policy is the best course of action. He has been a forceful advocate for Alaska here in the Senate since 1980, and he will continue to be one after he leaves to serve as Alaska's next Governor. Phil Gramm Phil Gramm has been an influential politician and has had an interesting life. Although he flunked third, seventh and ninth grades, he received a Ph.D. in economics. This education instilled in him a strong belief in free markets, and he brought that understanding to Washington, along with his speeches about a Texas print shop owner named Dicky Flatt who has been cited as a representative American resistant to government spending. Phil was elected to the House of Representatives first as a Democrat and then again after he became a Republican. He was elected to the Senate in 1984 and has authored major pieces of legislation during his career, perhaps most notably the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings effort to reduce the federal budget deficit. On this issue, as on so many others, Senator Gramm has been relentless. You always knew where he stood and always heard what he said. He will be missed. Bob Smith I have the greatest affection for the departing Senator from New Hampshire Bob Smith. He and I worked together for one difficult year when he was the co-chairman of the MIA/POW Committee along with Senator Kerry. They led us as we completed that most important study, and I learned a lot about Senator Smith in the process. [[Page S11706]] He served in the Navy in the Gulf of Tonkin during the Vietnam War, so he was very interested in the issue of missing soldiers. And he is a real patriot, committed to making sure America's military is strong. Bob Smith loves this country. Our friendship was cemented when we were asked to lead the Ethics Committee and had to resolve very difficult issues. He impressed me with his institutional awareness, intelligence and historical knowledge, and I found him to be a true gentleman. In addressing the issues before the Ethics Committee he was firm and strict but fair, which is what leadership of that group requires. Senator Smith and I also served together on the Environment and Public Works Committee, including a time when he was Chairman and I was Ranking Member. He might have surprised a lot of people with his concern for the environment, but I am proud that we were able to work together to protect this nation's air and water, to defend wildlife and preserve the environment. Bob Smith is a friend. I was disappointed with the results of the elections in the Granite State, and I am going to miss him. Fred Thompson Fred Thompson leaves the Senate after 8 years of service. It seems like he has been here much longer perhaps because he has been so highly visible both in public service and as an entertainer. Fred Thompson not only has been a Senator; he also has played one on TV. His other acting roles include leader of the CIA, the FBI, and White House Chief of Staff. Many Americans first noticed Fred Thompson during the Watergate crisis. He was a young lawyer serving as minority counsel to the Senate Watergate Committee in 1973, and he played a role in the public disclosure of the tapes President Nixon recorded in the Oval Office. Of course the scandal led to the President's resignation. And since that introduction, we have come to know Fred Thompson well and know we can rely on his intelligence, judgment, wit, and insight. He has been a skillful negotiator in the Senate, a popular colleague and someone people look up to. While he will be missed around here, I take comfort knowing I will be able to see him frequently on TV and in the movies. Tim Hutchinson Senator Tim Hutchinson grew up on a farm in rural Arkansas and graduated from Bob Jones University. So he and I have had different experiences and are guided by different beliefs. Not surprisingly, we have often voted differently. But I do not question how dearly he holds his convictions, and I recognize that he has been a dedicated advocate for the people of Arkansas throughout his 10 years in Washington--4 years in the House of Representatives and 6 here in the Senate. Tim Hutchinson is part of a family that has had a significant impact on politics in the state of Arkansas: when Tim ran for the Senate, his brother Asa ran for and won the seat Tim had held in the House. Asa has since gone on to become the Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Agency. I have worked with both Tim and Asa, and I understand Tim's son is now a state legislator so I might have the opportunity one day to work with him too. Before he leaves, let me extend my appreciation to Senator Hutchinson for all his kind deeds toward me. Despite our differences, we have had a good relationship. We have worked together on my concurrent receipt legislation to secure retirement benefits for disabled military retirees and on a number of other issues. He and his brother are both considerate, thoughtful gentlemen. I wish him well in whatever comes next. Dean Barkley In contrast to longest-serving Senator in history, Dean Barkley wraps up one of the shortest terms ever, having taken his oath of office just last week. Of course, we all recognize the sad and special circumstances which led to his being here: the tragic death of our dear friend and colleague Paul Wellstone. I have already spoken of Paul Wellstone, how much he accomplished here in the Senate, what his role was and his legacy will be, and what I remember of our personal interaction. I said that Paul Wellstone is irreplaceable. Nobody, whether they serve 2 weeks or 2 decades, will fill his shoes. To his credit, Dean Barkley understood that and he realized what his role during his brief time in the Senate should be. I spoke with him shortly after his appointment. He had a lot of pressure on him to align with one side or the other and he could have created a lot of problems. Fortunately, he decided it would be best for the people of Minnesota not to change the balance in the Senate, and he stuck to the independence streak for which he is known. Dean Barkley was not here long, but he has taken his position seriously, and I am sure he has had an unforgettable experience. I thank him for his service and wish him well. Bob Smith Mr. GREGG. Mr. President, Bob Smith loved serving the people of New Hampshire. I have witnessed Bob's high regard for the office he has held here in the U.S. Senate; he has taken his job seriously, both in Washington and at home. He is a man of strong family values and hearty resolve, two fundamental characteristics of our State. Bob is not a programmed politician. In fact, he is the opposite. He has always been driven by his independence and conservative ideas. When Bob and Mary Jo Smith first moved to New Hampshire, they did not waste any time getting involved in the Lakes Region community. Bob became a high school history and government teacher and helped coach the football and baseball teams. He also got involved in local politics by joining the school board. Fourteen years after settling in New Hampshire, Bob was elected into the U.S. House of Representatives, where he served until he was elected to the Senate. Here in the Senate, Bob has been an advocate and representative for the interests of New Hampshire, taking strong stands on the issues he cares about. Regardless of political bias, it can never be said that Bob Smith did not stand up for what he believed in, a fact that is known and respected in New Hampshire. He became chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, providing leadership and a voice for New Hampshire on environmental issues. He has continued to speak out for the concerns of States like New Hampshire. On the Armed Services Committee, Bob has championed the cause of accounting for American prisoners of war and those service men and women who are reported missing in action. As a veteran of the Navy and the Vietnam War, Bob has long advocated for a strong military and understands the importance of government support and assistance for brave members of our armed services. During the past 18 years, Bob has shown grace and strength. He has served New Hampshire with honor and I admire his courage in standing up for what he believes in time and time again. Bob, his wife Mary Jo, and their three children have spent the past eighteen years achieving well the difficult balance of raising a family while simultaneously handling the constant demands of public office. I want to take this opportunity to congratulate my colleague on his distinguished career and thank him for his service to New Hampshire. fred thompson Ms. COLLINS. Mr. President, at the conclusion of this year, we will bid farewell to a Senator who is larger than life, both literally and figuratively. Fred Thompson, may chairman of the Governmental Affairs Committee, and my food friend, will be leaving the Senate after 8 years of distinguished service. While there is no question that the people of Tennessee would have returned him to the Senate for another term had he chosen to seek it, Fred decided that there is life after the Senate--and if the past is prologue, we can be sure that it will be an interesting life. Fred came to this body after a varied and distinguished career. He had been a prominent public servant--most notably as an assistant U.S. attorney and as the Republican counsel to the Watergate committee--as well as a skilled lawyer and a gifted actor. From his days with Senators Howard Baker and Sam Ervin in the Watergate hearings, to his role in exposing the sale of pardons in the State of Tennessee, to his [[Page S11707]] acting in 18 films, Fred brought a keen intellect, a great sense of humor, and an exceptional capacity for hard work to every task. And those are the very characteristics that have marked his Senate service. Fred has been a leader in the Senate on a wide variety of critical issues, including intelligence reform and oversight, reducing the threat posed by the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and reducing the tax burden on American families. He was among the first to join Senators McCain and Feingold in the quest for campaign finance reform and fairly and effectively chaired extensive hearings to expose the abuses in the financing of the 1996 Presidential campaign. As chairman and later ranking Republican on the Governmental Affairs Committee, his efforts have led to management and regulatory reforms as well as the passage of the legislation to create the new Department of Homeland Security. In the 6 years that I have worked closely with Fred, I have never known him to be unprepared. I have never known him to be undisciplined. And I have never known him to be anything less than eloquent--although, as a Yankee, I may not always appreciate the subtlety of his colloquial expressions. Two examples that I recall with special fondness are: ``Don't load up the wagon unless you're willing to pay the freight,''-- which is, I believe, a reference to spending proclivities--and then, my personal favorite: ``It's like teaching a pig to dance. It wastes your time, and it irritates the pig. Of course, Fred is much more than just quotable. Fred is a truly courageous leader. He actually relishes being in the minority, even a tiny minority, when one of his basic principles, such as States rights and the 10th amendment, is at issue. He always votes his convictions-- even when the current polls suggest that public sentiment is on the other side. His good judgment and his careful consideration of every issue are a model for all of us. Fred's fearless leadership is one of many reasons why his constituents, even those who may disagree with him, hold him in such high regard. They know that Fred Thompson will speak the truth and do with it right, that he will make the hard choices, and that the well being of his constituents and our country guides his every decision. No one can be certain what the future will hold for Fred. We know that he has already drawn on two of his previous careers--the law and acting--by signing on to play the avuncular district attorney on the popular television show, ``Law and Order.'' It also seems very likely that he will have future responsibilities in Government, since I anticipate that this President will seek to use his extraordinary talents. But no matter what Fred Thompson's post-Senate career may entail, one conclusion can be stated with confidence. He has graced this institution and served his Nation well. I feel so fortunate to have served with him during these past 6 years, and I shall miss him. Godspeed, my friend. TIM hutchinson Mr. President, I rise this morning to pay tribute to my colleague and good friend from Arkansas, Senator Tim Hutchinson. I have particularly enjoyed working with Tim on the Senate HELP Committee. We have literally worked ``shoulder to shoulder'' both in committee and on the Senate floor on many issues of tremendous importance to the health and well-being of all Americans--the Patients' Bill of Rights, legislation to increase access to more affordable prescription drugs, home health care, increased funding for diabetes research, and legislation to increase access to health care in the rural and underserved areas of our country. Tim demonstrated his ability to reach across the aisle and work on a bipartisan basis when he joined with Senator Mikulski in developing legislation to address our Nation's growing shortage of registered nurses. I was pleased to join as an original cosponsor of the Nurse Reinvestment Act, which has been signed into law, and which will address this problem by providing incentives for individuals to enter the nursing profession, providing continuing education and opportunities for advancement within the profession, and increasing the number of nurse faculty to teach at our nursing schools. Senator Hutchinson has also been a leader and an advocate for our men and women in uniform, and I have been honored to serve with him on the Senate Armed Forces Committee. As the ranking member on the personnel subcommittee, he has seen to the needs of the soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines time and time again. He has fought to ensure that the men and women serving our country receive adequate pay and compensation, and this year he went to the mat to support our military retirees on concurrent receipt/special compensation. In January 2000, I traveled with Senator Hutchinson to Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan where we got an update on the region and had an opportunity to meet with many troops there. In particular, Senator Hutchinson spent a lot of time speaking with our troops who were serving proudly on the front line of the DMZ. In Korea, it was the dead of winter, and the meeting rooms in South Korea actually straddled the DMZ line. On that trip we also visited the U.S.S. Kitty Hawk in Japan, where I found that Senator Hutchinson had a special place in his heart for our naval forces. We also made history when we met with the first democratic president of Taiwan--President Lee. Senator Hutchinson has always taken the time to listen to our troops and military leaders, as he was always looking for ways that he could make a positive difference for these young men and women proudly serving our country. Senator Hutchinson will be greatly missed, but his legacy and accomplishments will remain in our history forever. Fred Thompson Mr. DOMENICI. Mr. President, I rise today to pay tribute to a friend and colleague who is retiring from the Senate after eight years of principled and distinguished service. The Senate will lose an extremely dedicated public servant and also a good bit of star power when Fred Thompson leaves us at the end of the 107th Congress. I had the pleasure of serving on the Governmental Affairs Committee headed by Senator Thompson from 1997 until June 2001. I appreciate Senator Thompson's determination in pursuing fiscal accountability and relentlessly seeking a smaller and more efficient Federal Government. Senator Thompson's leadership on issues such as the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and missile technologies has made an enduring contribution to our national security, and I have enjoyed working closely with him on matters related to our national laboratories. I would like to thank Senator Thompson for his tireless work more recently on the monumental task of creating a Department of Homeland Security. I submit that his industry and integrity in this historic undertaking will leave him a legacy of which he should be proud. The people of Tennessee first elected Senator Thompson to the Senate in 1994, to fill an unexpired two-year term. When he was reelected in 1996, he made history by garnering more votes than any previous candidate for any office in Tennessee. A native of Lawrenceburg, TN, Thompson worked his way through school to earn an undergraduate degree in philosophy and political science from Memphis State University, and a law degree from Vanderbilt University. Only two years after law school, Thompson was named an Assistant United States Attorney. Thompson was then appointed at the age of 30 as minority counsel to the Senate Watergate Committee, where he served in 1973 and 1974. Before he was elected to the Senate, Fred Thompson operated successful law practices in Nashville and Washington and served as Special Counsel to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. While many know that Senator Thompson is embarking on a new role as district attorney in the television series Law & Order, his talents for law and acting first came together in the film Marie, in which he portrayed himself after taking on a case in 1977 that uncovered a cash- for-clemency scandal that unseated Tennessee's Governor. Fred Thompson has subsequently acted in 18 motion pictures, including In the Line of Fire, Die Hard II and The Hunt [[Page S11708]] for Red October, as well as four television series. Some might characterize Fred Thompson's uncommonly successful career in show business as a natural complement to the daily business of the Senate. What I know is that whether on the big screen or on the floor of the Senate, Fred Thompson's larger-than-life presence has touched the lives of a great many Americans, and he will be sorely missed by his colleagues in the Senate. I thank my colleague for his eight years of distinguished service in which he has enlivened the Senate and served his country with uncommon resolve. I wish Senator Thompson the very best in his retirement and all his future endeavors. frank murkowski Mr. President, I rise today to pay tribute to one of my distinguished colleagues, a Senator from the class of 1980. From our seats on the same side of the aisle, I have been able to serve 22 years with my long-time friend, and colleague, Senator Murkowski. I want to take this opportunity to thank Senator Murkowski for his distinguished career of service both to our Nation and his home State of Alaska, and to congratulate him. Senator Murkowski has been a great advocate of his State, which has been demonstrated by his winning 75 percent of the vote in 1998, and the gubernatorial race in this last election. As the Senator moves onto a new challenge, I wish him well with his efforts to continually serve the people of Alaska. As I look at the past seven years, and all that the Senator has accomplished during his time as chairman of the Energy Committee, I know that these will be big shoes to fill. Throughout his career, the Senator has held steadfast to his ideals, while fighting for improved veterans' health care, and the search for American POW/MIAs, as Chairman of the Veterans' Affairs Committee. While on the Finance Committee, the Senator from Alaska played a pivotal role in passing the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. Senator Murkowski, his professional manner, and his willingness to work have made him an asset to our Senate. We, in the Senate, will be at a loss without his unrelenting will-power, and determination. Senator Murkowski has been a friend and servant to the citizens of Alaska, earning a reputation for unbeatable service to his constituents. We have always had a lot in common, fighting for the interest of our predominantly rural States. I have always been impressed with his capability to keep the diversified interests of his State in mind, while developing bills to improve and preserve the tradition, and way of life, for Alaskan citizens. Alaska will be lucky to have him as their Governor. Today I join my colleagues in offering a goodbye, and good luck, to Senator Murkowski, a tenacious man of high-integrity, for his years of dedicated service. I will certainly miss my friend, and wish him the best as he enters his new career as Governor of Alaska. ____________________