WELCOMING SENATOR BRIAN SCHATZ; Congressional Record Vol. 158, No. 168
(Senate - December 27, 2012)

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[Page S8411]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]


  Mr. REID. Mr. President, on behalf of the entire Senate, I welcome 
Senator Brian Schatz to the Senate. I congratulate him on his 
appointment to fill the seat of the late Senator Dan Inouye who, as we 
all know, was an institution in and of himself.
  Senator Schatz is now one of the youngest Senators in this body. 
Nevertheless, he has a long history of serving the State of Hawaii. 
Prior to entering politics, Senator Schatz served for 8 years as the 
CEO of Helping Hands Hawaii, one of Hawaii's largest nonprofit social 
services organizations. He also served four terms in the Hawaii House 
of Representatives and served until just a few minutes ago as the 
Lieutenant Governor of the State of Hawaii.
  Having been a Lieutenant Governor he has experience as a legislator, 
and then as one of the presiding officers of the entire Senate, speaks 
for itself in helping to prepare for the job he has here. I expect he 
will build upon the foundation laid by Senator Inouye in the Senate. 
While no one can fill the shoes of our friend Senator Inouye, Brian 
Schatz is a young man with a future full of promise and opportunity.
  I ask unanimous consent that the Senator from Hawaii, Mr. Akaka, now 
be recognized.
  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The senior Senator from Hawaii is 
  Mr. AKAKA. Mr. President, I rise to welcome Hawaii's new Senator, 
Brian Schatz. Brian is a leader for Hawaii's present and for our future 
and I welcome him with much aloha pumehana, which means warm love.
  I also welcome and congratulate Senator Schatz's wife Linda; their 
children, Tyler and Mia; his twin brother, and Senator Schatz's proud 
parents, Dr. Irwin and Mrs. Barbara Schatz.
  Senator Schatz arrives in Washington during a sad time as we continue 
to mourn the loss of our champion, Senator Dan Inouye. Dan Inouye will 
always be a legend in Hawaii. He will never be replaced.
  At Dan Inouye's memorial service in Honolulu this past weekend, I was 
reminded of how many people he touched in Hawaii and across the 
country. We must honor his legacy by working together for the people of 
  I thank Brian for volunteering for this incredible responsibility. He 
only learned of his appointment yesterday and did not have any time to 
spare, so he hopped on Air Force One and flew straight to Washington to 
be sworn in today.
  We need him here now because we are facing a major challenge, one 
that regrettably has been created by Congress in our own inability to 
thus far compromise. The looming spending cuts and tax increases known 
as the fiscal cliff must be fixed within the next 5 days.
  Mahalo--thank you--Brian, for accepting this challenge.
  I am here to help Senator Schatz in any way I can. While there are 
other talented leaders in Hawaii who stepped forward and who would also 
have been excellent appointees, I know my colleagues will join me in 
supporting Senator Brian Schatz for the good of Hawaii.
  Throughout my 36-year career in Congress, the Hawaii delegation has 
always been unified. We have always put Hawaii first before our 
individual ambition. We must continue that. Hawaii comes first.
  I have followed Brian Schatz's career for many years. He was an 
active member of the Hawaii State House of Representatives for 8 years 
before becoming the CEO of Helping Hands Hawaii, a nonprofit 
organization that provides human services in the islands. As Lieutenant 
Governor, he has been a big part of our community. He has been an 
outspoken supporter of our troops and veterans and defender of our 
  Senator Schatz will be a strong progressive voice for Hawaii in the 
Senate. He will advance freedom and equality. He will be a strong voice 
on climate change, expanding clean renewable energy, and protecting our 
precious natural resources. He will defend our Native Hawaiians and all 
our Nation's first people--those Americans who exercised sovereignty on 
lands that later became part of the United States. He will uphold the 
values and priorities of our unique State.
  I say to my friend, the new junior Senator from Hawaii, never forget 
that he is here with the solemn responsibility to do everything he can 
to represent the people of Hawaii, to make sure their needs are 
addressed in every policy discussion, and to speak up and seek justice 
for those who cannot help themselves.
  God bless you, Senator Schatz. God bless Hawaii. God bless the United 
States of America.
  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from Nevada.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, before my friend from Hawaii leaves the 
floor, we have all come and given speeches--a lot of us, at least--
about Senator Akaka, but we have not had a lot of people on the floor 
when we have done that.
  The presentation just now is typical for Dan Akaka: never a word 
about himself, always about somebody else. If the new Senator has 
Senator Akaka's qualities--the kindest, gentlest person I have ever 
served in this body with--it is something for which he should strive. 
The shoes he has to fill, we all know--Akaka and Inouye--are 
significant to fill, but he can do that.
  For you, Senator Akaka--with these people on the floor--we are going 
to miss you so much. You are a wonderful human being and have been a 
great Senator.
  Mr. AKAKA. I yield the floor, Mr. President.
  Mr. REID. I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. BLUNT. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so ordered.