EXECUTIVE SESSION; Congressional Record Vol. 164, No. 143
(Senate - August 27, 2018)

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[Pages S5944-S5949]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                           EXECUTIVE SESSION


                           EXECUTIVE CALENDAR

  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Under the previous order, the 
Senate will proceed to executive session to resume consideration of the 
following nomination, which the clerk will report.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk read the nomination of Lynn A. 
Johnson, of Colorado, to be Assistant Secretary for Family Support, 
Department of Health and Human Services.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from Maine.
  Ms. COLLINS. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent to speak as if 
in morning business.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so 

                        Remembering John McCain

  Ms. COLLINS. Madam President, the U.S. Senate, indeed, our entire 
Nation, is mourning the loss of a great leader, an American patriot, 
our colleague and friend, Senator John McCain.
  I first met John McCain when I was a young staffer in Senator Bill 
Cohen's office and John was serving as the Navy's liaison officer. As a 
fellow Senator for the past 21 years, I knew him as a trusted 
colleague, a courageous legislator, and a close friend.
  John was a true American hero who devoted his life to serving his 
country. Courage and character were the hallmarks of his military 
service as well as his work in Congress. In the Senate, he was a 
consequential leader on the most critical issues facing our country. 
John McCain was one of our Congress's most respected voices for a 
strong national defense and for good government. His word was as much 
his bond in Washington as it was to his brothers in arms in Vietnam.
  I would like to share with my colleagues a story, I believe, that 
demonstrates the essential character of John McCain.
  In November of 2010, John was part of a congressional delegation on 
its way to a security conference in Nova Scotia. Bad weather caused 
their flight to be diverted to Bangor, ME, where I live. I shortly 
received a phone call to come to the airport, and I went and welcomed 
John and my colleagues on their unplanned visit.
  As it happened, the Troop Greeters of Maine were at the airport at 
the same time. This legendary group of citizens has greeted more than 
1.5 million servicemembers either leaving to go overseas or returning 
home since 2003; never missing a single flight, even in bad weather or 
the middle of the night. The Presiding Officer, I believe--who also has 
served her country so well, Senator Ernst--was one of those who was 
greeted by the Troop Greeters in Bangor, ME.
  Rather than fly out when the weather cleared, John and the others in 
the delegation agreed to stay and join me with the long line of these 
patriotic Troop Greeters to await the arrival of the airplanes.
  I remember when I told John that there was a plane that would be 
arriving shortly and then there was another one in a couple of hours, 
he said: Of course, we will stay.
  Well, you can imagine, having gone through the gauntlet of Mainers 
greeting and welcoming the troops back home, hugging them, cheering 
them, giving them cell phones, thanking them for their service, that 
all of a sudden the troops realized they had just shaken hands with 
John McCain; the legendary John McCain, who was so popular with 
servicemembers. I saw them literally do a double take when the first 
group went by, shook his hand, and then turned around and said to each 
other: Wasn't that John McCain who just shook our hands?
  They then came back and of course posed for pictures and chatted with 
him and held up the rest of the line, who were very eager to see John.
  I will never forget how thrilled these troops were to be greeted, 
when they

[[Page S5945]]

were first setting foot back on American soil, by a true American hero, 
John McCain; someone who had served our country with such courage and 
  By the end of the day, John had spent 3 hours greeting two planeloads 
of soldiers. He loved greeting them and posing for pictures. It was 
such a heartwarming, unexpected event and a very special moment. It not 
only gladdened the hearts of the troops but also of the Troop Greeters, 
who were thrilled to have their hero with them.
  It was vintage John McCain that he stayed even after the weather had 
cleared and greeted each and every one of those troops.
  John McCain did what he thought was right, regardless of the 
political consequences. He had absolutely no interest in scoring 
partisan political points on the Senate floor. He welcomed and would 
listen to good ideas, whether they came from the Democratic or the 
Republican side of the aisle. While he was always open to new evidence, 
good ideas, and was capable of changing his mind, he was unshakeable 
when he was convinced of the appropriateness of a course of action.
  John was impatient. He wanted to get on with solving the problems 
facing our country. He had no use for the political games that, sadly, 
far too often are played in the Senate.
  One often overlooked aspect of John was his love for the environment. 
I once visited him at his beloved ranch in Sedona, and I was surprised 
when he took me all over the property, pointing out birds, naming them, 
and clearly taking such delight in the wildlife. Until that moment, I 
did not know of his interest and love for nature.
  Later on, I accompanied John on a trip he organized to the Arctic to 
see the permafrost melting and to meet with Native Alaskans. We also 
traveled to Antarctica, where we spent 4 days meeting with scientists 
who told us of the impact of global warming.
  He took me on so many trips and broadened my horizons. Four times we 
went to Afghanistan, four times to Iraq. We went to Yemen. We went to 
Libya and met with Colonel Qadhafi before he was overthrown and killed. 
John taught me so much on these trips.
  The principles that guided John's life are best summed up by his own 
words from his beautiful autobiography, ``Faith of My Fathers.'' He 
said: ``Glory belongs to the act of being constant to something greater 
than yourself, to a cause, to your principles, to the people on whom 
you rely, and who rely on you in return.''
  John McCain was a statesman and a dear friend who was devoted to a 
cause greater than himself, and that cause was the United States of 
  It has been an honor to serve alongside him for nearly 21 years in 
the U.S. Senate. Although he will be deeply missed by all of us, he 
leaves behind an extraordinary legacy that will inspire Americans for 
generations to come.
  I yield the floor.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from Georgia.
  Mr. ISAKSON. Madam President, yesterday was a difficult day for me.
  Before I get to that day, let me recognize the Senator from Oklahoma 
for a motion.
  Mr. INHOFE. Madam President, I thank the Senator from Georgia.
  I ask unanimous consent that at the conclusion of the remarks of the 
distinguished Senator from Georgia that I be recognized for such time 
as I shall consider.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so 

                        Remembering John McCain

  Mr. ISAKSON. Yesterday was a difficult day for me. I am 74 years old. 
I was born in 1944. Like many Americans, my youth was during the 
Vietnam era. The prime of my youth was the Vietnam era.
  In fact, my senior year in college, I got a graduation diploma and a 
draft notice on the same day. They were put in the same book. Everybody 
was going. Everybody was being called up for the draft. There was a 
lottery, but so many people were eligible that almost everybody in my 
age group would have been drafted if they didn't join the service.
  I joined. I joined the National Guard, which I am very proud of, and 
I am still a guardsman to this day. It also gave me the chance to serve 
my country in a way that would not put me at as much risk to go to 
Vietnam as it would if I were drafted. I consciously did that because I 
wanted to do everything I could to stay here and get married a few 
months later to my wife Dianne. I was of the age to be drafted, and I 
made the decision to find a way to serve that would not put me in a 
position of being drafted, where I lost control. I was able to do it, 
and a lot of people were, but a lot of people weren't. I know that. The 
ones who could know it, and the ones who couldn't know it. The 
Presiding Officer knows what I am talking about, being a guardswoman 
  I lost my best friend in Vietnam, Jackson Elliott Cox III, Waynesboro 
GA, Liberty County--Bird Dog Capital of the World.
  Jack and I graduated from college together. Jack went off for a 
weekend and came back and told us all he had joined the Marine Corps, 
was going to OCS, and was going to go to Vietnam and fight the bad 
guys. We all said: Jack, don't volunteer to do that. You could get 
  He said: No, I want to do it. It is a great country. I have had a 
great life, going to the University of Georgia, have a wonderful mom 
and dad, good friends like you all. I want to go to OCS and be an 
officer in the Marine Corps--and he did.
  A few years later, he was shot by a sniper in the 11th month of a 13-
month stint in Vietnam. Alex Crumbley, the superior court judge in 
Georgia years later; Pierre Howard, the Democratic Lieutenant Governor 
of Georgia; and myself--we were the three best friends, the ``Four 
Amigos,'' if you will. We went to 589 Liberty Street in Waynesboro and 
spent 3 nights and 4 days with Emily and Jack, Jack's dad and mom.
  When the Marine Corps brought the body back, it was lying in state in 
their dining room, and we had a wake and a service for him. We stood 
guard. We cried. We talked about the good times. We talked about the 
bad times. We felt sorry for ourselves because the life that had meant 
so much to all of us was gone.
  Jack felt a calling for the country, and he did a great service for 
the country. I am proud of him, and I am proud to have been his friend.
  I tried to do what I could but never in the category of a John McCain 
or a Jack Cox. There were a lot people my age who didn't do as much as 
they probably could have or might have done, and probably from time to 
time have second thoughts about it, too, because the Vietnam war was so 
  I had friends coming back who had to dress in blue jeans and khakis 
when they got off the troop train from wherever they were in Atlanta 
because people would get accosted on the street if they were in their 
uniform during that era. Today, we go to the airport, and if we have 
troops coming through who are going to fly back for duty somewhere, 
they will get standing ovations, and people will give up their seats to 
let them sit there. It wasn't like that in the 1960s and 1970s. It 
wasn't like that at all.

  In fact, people were risking their lives--58,000 did give their lives 
for all of us--and in many cases, we were making fun of them as a 
nation. It was terrible. It messed up our politics, messed up our 
country, messed up our people, and messed up everybody else. But 
America is a great country. What I am telling you is tragic to me, and 
I apologize to everybody that I didn't do everything I should have 
done, but I think all of us owe each other a commitment to say that we 
are never going to let America get that way again.
  Americans should always be as we were on 9/11 or 9/12 of 2001, when 
we all put American flags on our cars, we all sang the national anthem, 
and we said the Pledge of Allegiance after we were attacked. For a few 
months, we were the most patriotic Nation in the world. We ought to be 
that way every single day because every single day, just like those 
firemen and emergency medical people of 9/11, there are those who were 
in the Vietnam war, who signed up, who fought, risked their lives, and 
in some cases died, like John McCain and like my brother-in-law Rocky 
Davison, my wife's brother, who flew Navy A-4 reconnaissance planes in 
Vietnam--one of the most decorated pilots in the Navy during that era. 
People like him

[[Page S5946]]

were great. My father-in-law flew reconnaissance in World War II in the 
Pacific. He did everything he could to help the country during 
difficult times. There were so many people who did that for our 
country, and we owe all of them a debt of gratitude and a debt of 
  We need to remember that we are all Americans. To those who saved us 
as a country, kept our freedom when we were about to lose it, fought 
for us, risked their lives, and died for us, we owe it to them, at 
times like this, to elevate them to the appropriate place in history. 
That is what I am trying to do with John McCain today.
  I want to elevate John. John was better than I am, and I know it. 
John was the best of my generation. John McCain was and is a great 
human being.
  I don't know what is going to be said in the next few days about John 
McCain by whomever is going to say it or what is going to be done, but 
anybody who in any way tarnishes the reputation of John McCain deserves 
a whipping because most of those who would do the wrong thing about 
John McCain didn't have the guts to do the right thing when it was 
their turn. We need to remember that.
  So I would say to the President or anybody in the world, it is time 
to pause and say that this was a great man who gave everything for us. 
We owe him nothing less than the respect that he earned, and that is 
what I intend to give John in return for what he gave me.
  John took me to Kosovo 20 years ago when President Clinton said that 
we were going to send some people over there to verify the crime sites, 
the ethnic cleansing. I went to Pristina with John. I went to 
Montenegro. I went to the World Security Conference in Munich a few 
years after that and got to sit with Vladimir Putin. I saw John McCain 
talk to Vladimir Putin as if they were next-door neighbors but also as 
if they were Dutch uncles. I was so proud to be from a country that had 
a guy like John McCain, who could break the ice with the toughest of 
our adversaries, speak up with pride for America, and calm them down 
when they needed to be calmed down.
  Yet John and I had some problems too. Mitch McConnell did me the 
worst favor of my lifetime when he made me the chairman of the Ethics 
Committee. That is a hard job, and nobody likes the person who chairs 
that committee because they are scared of them. But I got the Ethics 
Committee job at a time when John McCain was still on the special 
committee for the Ethics Committee to decide what to do on using 
airplanes during campaign events as candidates or for our PACs. John 
had access to a plane, which gave him an exemption from the rules that 
we passed. It made it tough as heck because he didn't have to worry 
about the cause and effects. But John took a second to understand the 
problems that a normal legislator, who might not have had access to a 
private plane, might have had. In the end, he took his circumstances 
and his ability to have a private plane and applied them to the changes 
that were made to be sure that everybody was being treated fairly. John 
didn't just expect things to be good for John; he expected things to be 
good for everybody. He always did that, and I always learned a lot from 
  The other thing I learned was how to cuss. Let me tell you, John 
McCain could do a lot of things, but cussing was one of the best things 
he ever did. He was a consummate cusser, and he knew how to do it to 
have emphasis added. That is what the papers always say when they put 
the pound marks and things like that after some statements Jim Inhofe 
makes or I make.
  John and I were working on legislation. I am chairman of the 
Veterans' Affairs Committee. He was chairman of the Armed Services 
Committee. We had a huge veterans bill that we had to come together and 
have a meeting of the minds on in terms of healthcare. John was late 
for the meeting. He came into the meeting. He pulled the door behind 
him and slammed it. For 10 minutes he laid the best cussing on me and 
everybody else in the room that I had ever heard.
  He said: I haven't got time to put up with this anymore. Y'all just 
listen to what I have to say and tell me what you are going to do.
  That is a tough way to convene business, but John sometimes knew how 
to get us all to think, to get us all to talk. He would intimidate you 
enough so you would have to fight him for what you believe in, and you 
would get a better piece of legislation than if he just let it pass or 
if he had intimidated you to death. John knew exactly what he had the 
capability of doing, and he knew exactly when to apply the 
intimidation--and the thanks and the grace. He did it at the right time 
every single time. Did we agree all the time? No, but I know I am a 
better person, our country is a better country, and the world is a 
better place because of John McCain.
  In the next 3 or 4 days, as we go through and run into kids we know 
or relatives or my own children, whom I will be with this coming Sunday 
in the mountains, we are going to have a little meeting about John 
McCain just to make sure they know what I know and so I know that they 
know about a great American hero because I want them, when they have 
kids in their 40s--my kids are in their 40s today--to remember on 
Veterans Day, on Memorial Day, and on all other days, the John McCains 
of the world and those who will come after John, who will put their 
life and future and fortune on the line for the greatest country in the 
world, the United States of America.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oklahoma.
  Mr. INHOFE. Madam President, I can't think of anything more difficult 
than to speak after the last two speakers. Of course, I have known them 
for a long time. They are two totally different, opposite people.
  We have Susan Collins, who is a well-recognized moderate. She is one 
who understands and has great appreciation for the environment. She is 
not the kind of person you would associate with a tough guy like John 
McCain, who has gone out there and has done things that other people 
haven't done but just talked about.
  Then we heard the statement from the Senator from Georgia. You know, 
I was thinking about that. I am a few years older than he is. We have a 
lot of things in common. He was talking about his being drafted; I was 
drafted. I will always remember, I was actually enrolled many, many 
years ago--I was going to be at the University of Mexico in Mexico City 
in an international program. At that time, I was at the University of 
Colorado. I did all of my finals and all that early so that I could get 
back in time to go to Mexico.
  I got back to Tulsa, where I am from, and I got a letter from a very 
important person, the President of the United States. I thought, how 
nice of Eisenhower to remember me. It was my draft notice, so that 
changed my life. But it changed my life in a way that it was the 
greatest single experience I have ever had, and I wouldn't be doing 
what I am doing today if it were not for the discipline that comes from 
being in the military.
  We will always have heroes we deal with, and we are dealing with a 
hero when we deal with Senator McCain.
  I have often said that I think Timothy, who wrote 2 Timothy 4:7, had 
John McCain in mind when he said: ``I fought the good fight, I have 
finished the race, I have kept the faith.'' That is exactly what he 
  He was kind of a mean guy. A lot of people didn't like John McCain. 
He wasn't the most lovable person to be around. But he was a fighter. 
He never shied away from a good fight. He was passionate for the causes 
that he believed in and a strong advocate for human rights and 
Democratic values, standing up for oppressed people around the world. 
That is the softer side of John McCain that a lot of people don't know 
  He was a fighter but not just a fighter; he was a fighter for the 
people of Arizona. After he returned from the time he had spent in 
prison, he got back to Arizona, and he started fighting again. He did 
that for 36 years after his incarceration.
  He was shaped by his own military service and that of his father and 
grandfather. It has been said several times in statements about his 
father and grandfather--and I have done some studying on them--that is 
really what formed John McCain. Both of them were admirals in the Navy, 
and it was natural that he was going to be in the Navy, and, of course, 
he was.
  During his time of leadership on the Senate Armed Services Committee, 

[[Page S5947]]

continually focused on impact. There are those individuals--such as the 
occupier of the Chair right now--who have served on the Armed Services 
Committee with Senator McCain, and the Presiding Officer knows, as I 
know and as anybody else who has served with him knows, he was always 
for the underdog--always for the troops out in the field. I think the 
Senator from Maine articulated that very well. They were the people he 
had compassion for. He would always take care of the soldier, sailor, 
airman, and marine.
  He articulated this, by the way, in one of his books, ``Faith of My 
Fathers.'' He was talking about his father and grandfather. This quote 
says it better than any of the rest of us can say it.

       An officer's obligations to enlisted men are the most 
     solemn of all. An officer must not confer his 
     responsibilities on the men under his command. They are his 
     alone. He does not put his men in jeopardy for any purpose 
     that their country has not required they serve. He does not 
     risk their lives and welfare for his sake, but only to answer 
     the shared duty they are called to answer.

  That was Senator McCain. He looked after those individuals who were 
under his command.
  He was a ferocious opponent, but the key thing about Senator McCain 
was that he was willing to take on those tough debates, which have 
become more and more rare in this Chamber. We don't see them as we used 
to, but John would relish the debate, earning the respect and 
admiration of everyone.
  I can remember--there are so many areas because of all the years we 
served together, not just on the Senate Armed Services Committee but 
also his time in the House and my time in the House. We had differences 
of opinion. I think I am a little bit stubborn sometimes too.
  I remember there was a commissary issue, and that got pretty violent 
before it was over. We took each other on. There was the BRAC issue. He 
wanted another BRAC round in this Defense authorization bill, and I 
didn't want one because I thought that if there was anything we 
shouldn't be doing, it would be closing down missions that we may be 
needing as we are rebuilding. So we had an honest difference of 
  I remember, in 2003, back when everyone was jumping on this whole 
global warming thing, that was going to be everyone's ticket to the 
White House. I remember when John had the McCain-Lieberman bill. I 
remember that lasted for 3 days of debate--3 days of debate--and I had 
hardly any Senators come down on my side of the issue, but we won 
anyway. After that was over--and that was one John had his heart in--he 
came over to me and said: Good job. You won; I lost. That was it. There 
were no hard feelings. That is the kind of person John McCain was, one 
whom we will never forget.
  A lot of people look at Arizona and think it has always been a 
Republican State. It wasn't. In 1994, I ran for the U.S. Senate. It was 
kind of interesting because it was a Democratic State. It was kind of 
interesting because this guy who was kind of the darling of the 
Democratic Party was my opponent. Nobody would come out and help me. 
Only three Senators came out and helped me during that race. They were 
Senator Grassley, Senator Bob Dole, and John McCain.

  John McCain came out. I will always remember this because we had a 
lot of things in common, but I hardly knew the guy. He came out not 
just once; he came out twice. The first time he came out because he had 
a background in aviation and I have a background in aviation. I 
remember I had a nice, air-conditioned, twin-engine plane, but I had 
lost an engine the night before so I had to fly my kid's plane. It was 
very hot. It is called a little Grumman Tiger. It doesn't have any air-
conditioning. It was in the 90s and got close to 100 that day.
  I wrote down the different places we went to--Oklahoma City; then we 
flew to Shawnee, where he and I visited the Vietnam Memorial. Then we 
flew to Lawton. Lawton happens to be the home of Fort Sill, the No. 1 
area in the whole world for artillery, and we did our thing there. All 
the time, he was campaigning for me, a guy who couldn't win.
  We went to Altus Air Force Base. That is still actually one of the 
top training bases. We now train C-17s and KC-135s. In fact, because of 
John and some of us on the committee, we will be flying the KC-46. Of 
course, this happened long before that. Anyway, we ended up in 
Bartlesville, hosting a fundraiser for me with the NRA.
  I guess he wanted to spend more time in that plane because he came 
back 2 weeks later, and we did the same thing. There was no reason for 
him to do that because we hardly knew each other when we started. We 
got to know each other a lot better up there in all that heat. 
Nevertheless, he was there. You always remember the people who help you 
when nobody else will.
  I can say a lot of things about John McCain. You heard him on the 
floor. You will hear more--the hero, the patriot--but what is never in 
dispute is that John McCain was a fighter who was always deeply loyal 
to his country, his family, his constituents. He was a patriot and 
always faithful. We all know that patriotism and loyalty to your 
country isn't based on your words. You have to live it. Of course, he 
did that every day.
  As a young naval officer following in his family's footsteps--his 
father and his grandfather--John kept the faith. He graduated from the 
U.S. Naval Academy. It is interesting, he never talked about being an 
outstanding student and all that. In fact, he used to say: I was fifth 
in the class--fifth from the bottom. But he became a naval aviator.
  He was deployed during the Vietnam war. He flew 23 missions and was 
shot down in enemy territory. We all know the story. We know that he 
kept his faith. It bears repeating that he was held by the North 
Vietnamese for 5 years. I actually remember going there and seeing the 
conditions under which he was held during that period of time. Because 
both his father and grandfather were admirals, he had the opportunity, 
if he wanted, to bail out. He didn't do that. He wanted to be there. He 
didn't want to have any special kind of treatment. That was John.
  After the Navy, John kept his faith by continuing to serve his 
country--this time as a congressman, then a Senator, and, ultimately, 
as chairman of the Armed Services Committee. He also kept the faith on 
the causes he believed were just, never wavering under political 
  We all grieve because John has finished his race here on Earth--and 
on his own terms, surrounded by his friends and his loving family. John 
served his country faithfully for 60 years. We owe him a great debt for 
that service.
  This week, we will mourn him and honor him, and we will be 
celebrating the truly remarkable life of an American hero. We all have 
our John McCain story: a time when we were moved by his stubbornness, 
his courage, his passion--sometimes all three at the same time. I look 
forward to hearing these stories and tributes from my good friends.
  We all grieve for Cindy and his family. They will continue to be in 
our prayers.
  Lastly, I do believe, now that I have thought about it, that is what 
Timothy had in mind when he wrote: ``I have fought the good fight, I 
have finished the race, and I have kept the faith.''
  So we say thank you, John McCain.
  I yield the floor.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Moran). The clerk will call the roll.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. FLAKE. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

                        Remembering John McCain

  Mr. FLAKE. Mr. President, until the very end, he served his country--
until the very end. ``Service,'' to John McCain, meant living something 
unique in all the history of the world. It meant living in service to 
something unique--the American idea.
  E pluribus unum--``from many, one''--might seem like a quaint vestige 
from a more idealistic time when compared to the brutal and determined 
divisions of our time, but it was an idea that defined John McCain's 
life. In and through his service, he defied categorization; frustrated 
the tired conventions of the way party loyalists were supposed to 
behave; acted against his own political interests time and again in a 
way that, from our vantage

[[Page S5948]]

point today, is nothing short of awe-inspiring; and he recognized that 
democracy was hard but that living in bondage to tyranny was far 
  We talk a lot in this Chamber about freedom. No one in this city and 
few in American history knew as much or as vividly about the price of 
freedom as did John McCain. Our words are too often cheap and eminently 
forgettable, but John McCain paid our freight with his body and with 
his soul.
  To our shame, he lived long enough to have to take to this Senate 
floor to inveigh against the rank tribalism that we have fallen into 
lately. He knew that giving in to our worst impulses to score pyrrhic 
political victories was as easy as it was dangerous and was and is a 
tangible threat to American democracy--a democracy to which he gave 
every bit of his life.
  If I may, and with your indulgence, I will read from Senator McCain's 
last speech from this room.
  On July 25, 2017, while bearing the fresh wounds from his last 
battle, Senator McCain stood in this Chamber. Thinking not of himself 
but of his country, he exhorted, inspired, pleaded, and cajoled all of 
us in an attempt to shake us to our senses in order to reject the 
prevailing ugliness that seized the Capitol. One last time, he was 
standing alone to do what was right. In a sure sign of just how 
desperate he was, he even appealed to our decency and to our reason--
qualities that seem to have long fled Washington.
  That day last summer, he said in part:

       We are the servants of a great nation, ``a . . . nation, 
     conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that 
     all men are created equal.'' More people have lived free and 
     prosperous lives here than in any other Nation. We have 
     acquired unprecedented wealth and power because of our 
     governing principles, and because our government defended 
     those principles.

  He went on:

       America has made a greater contribution than any other 
     nation to an international order that has liberated more 
     people from tyranny and poverty than ever before in history. 
     We have been the greatest example, the greatest supporter, 
     and the greatest defender of that order. We aren't afraid. We 
     don't covet other people's land and wealth. We don't hide 
     behind walls. We breach them. We are a blessing to humanity.

  He continued:

       What greater cause could we hope to serve than helping keep 
     America the strong, aspiring, inspirational beacon of liberty 
     and defender of dignity of all human beings and their right 
     to freedom and equal justice? That is the cause that binds us 
     and is so much more powerful and worthy than the small 
     differences that divide us.

  Until the very end, he served his country.
  Now, as we consider the life of this man, in stark relief to what now 
passes for our politics, he continues to serve as a beacon to who we 
are and what we can be when we are at our best.
  If John McCain can forgive the North Vietnamese torturers, we can at 
least forgive each other. But that gesture of Senator McCain's was not 
merely a gesture of conciliation for conciliation's sake; it was 
reflective of a world view that saw the humanity even in his enemies, 
of a sometimes unfathomable decency that could overcome most any 
difficulty, of a deep dedication to another American idea--the idea 
that character is destiny--and to the eternally optimistic preference 
for tomorrow over yesterday.
  I don't know whether Senator McCain--whether John--subscribed to the 
``great man'' or ``great woman'' theory of history, the notion that the 
story of humanity is written by the actions and choices of great 
individuals. I don't know if he believed that, but I do know this: He 
lived it. I know this because it was my great honor of a lifetime to 
serve in this body with Senator McCain as the other Senator from 
  Long before that privilege was accorded me by the people of my State, 
I was John McCain's constituent. When the necessity presented itself to 
point up examples for my daughter and my four sons of lives lived with 
principle and purpose, of role models, I had to look no further than my 
own Senator. I have a pretty good idea that such approbation would be 
mocked most loudly by John McCain himself. I imagine he would have some 
choice and colorful language in response to the outpouring of love and 
tributes since he has left us. We know that, like all of us, the 
Senator was not perfect. In fact, if you are interested in an inventory 
of his failings, McCain himself was the most eager to provide it. Yet, 
as a former aide of his said in the past few days, McCain was not 
perfect, but he perfectly loved his country.
  Words are a poor measure of any life, much less a life the size of 
John McCain's and the swath he cut on this Earth. Yet we must try. We 
may never see his like again. For the sake of the country he loved, we 
owe it to his memory to try to be more like him so that when the season 
of mourning is over, we don't merely dispense with our earnest tributes 
and go right back to our venality. Because the poverty of our words 
notwithstanding, we have lately wasted a lot of words in this town 
doing and being everything that John McCain was not.

  We would do well to allow this moment to affect us in ways reflected 
not merely in our words but in our deeds. We would do well to reflect 
on John McCain's example today and ask ourselves if we are living up to 
it or even coming close. We would do well to honor him by emulating his 
  We, of course, will never have his extraordinary comic timing. He 
ribbed me without mercy--and with only a little exaggeration--that the 
only way I got elected to anything was because of my hundreds of 
siblings and thousands of cousins. I would have laughed harder if there 
wasn't some truth to it.
  We will never possess his grace in both victory and defeat. We will 
never have his servant's heart nor his power and clarity about the 
daily effort that freedom requires. John McCain knew firsthand the epic 
global struggle for freedom, and so he was freedom's greatest champion 
in the Senate. He also knew that history is not a straight line and 
that the ghosts of the great ideological struggle of the 20th century 
are still here haunting the 21st. As he recently told Jeffrey Goldberg 
of the Atlantic, ``There's always a Putin somewhere in the world, and 
you're meant to oppose them with all the skills God gave you.''
  As we say goodbye to John McCain, let us take up his banner. His was 
always the good fight. We are fortunate to have known him best in 
Arizona, but he was bigger than any one State. He always belonged to 
America and to the world, and now he belongs to the ages.
  Farewell, Senator. Farewell, John.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Tennessee.
  Mr. ALEXANDER. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the 
mandatory quorum call be waived.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.

                             Cloture Motion

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Pursuant to rule XXII, the Chair lays before 
the Senate the pending cloture motion, which the clerk will state.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

                             Cloture Motion

       We, the undersigned Senators, in accordance with the 
     provisions of rule XXII of the Standing Rules of the Senate, 
     do hereby move to bring to a close debate on the nomination 
     of Lynn A. Johnson, of Colorado, to be Assistant Secretary 
     for Family Support, Department of Health and Human Services.
         Mitch McConnell, Richard C. Shelby, Cory Gardner, John 
           Boozman, Johnny Isakson, John Thune, John Cornyn, Pat 
           Roberts, Ron Johnson, James M. Inhofe, Chuck Grassley, 
           Lamar Alexander, Richard Burr, Lisa Murkowski, Michael 
           B. Enzi, Roy Blunt, Bob Corker.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. By unanimous consent, the mandatory quorum 
call has been waived.
  The question is, Is it the sense of the Senate that debate on the 
nomination of Lynn A. Johnson, of Colorado, to be Assistant Secretary 
for Family Support, Department of Health and Human Services, shall be 
brought to a close?
  The yeas and nays are mandatory under the rule.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  Mr. CORNYN. The following Senators are necessarily absent: the 
Senator from Louisiana (Mr. Cassidy), the Senator from Idaho (Mr. 
Crapo), the Senator from Texas (Mr. Cruz), the Senator from South 
Carolina (Mr. Graham), and the Senator from Alaska (Ms. Murkowski).
  Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from Delaware (Mr. Carper), 
the Senator from Hawaii (Ms. Hirono), the Senator from Alabama (Mr. 
Jones), the Senator from Vermont (Mr.

[[Page S5949]]

Leahy), the Senator from West Virginia (Mr. Manchin), and the Senator 
from Washington (Mrs. Murray) are necessarily absent.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Lankford). Are there any other Senators in 
the Chamber desiring to vote?
  The yeas and nays resulted--yeas 60, nays 28, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 194 Ex.]




     Cortez Masto
     Van Hollen

                             NOT VOTING--11

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. On this vote, the yeas are 60, the nays are 
  The motion is agreed to.
  The Senator from Ohio.