REMEMBERING JOHN McCAIN
(Senate - August 28, 2018)

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[Congressional Record Volume 164, Number 144 (Tuesday, August 28, 2018)]
[Pages S5994-S5998]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                        REMEMBERING JOHN McCAIN

  Mr. BARRASSO. Mr. President, I come to the floor today to add my 
voice to many around the world who remember our dear friend and our 
colleague John McCain.
  John McCain was a man of the highest character, courage, and 
credibility, known for his stubborn courage and his heroic patriotism. 
He leaves a legacy of unquestioned devotion and love for his country 
and his family.
  When I first came to the Senate, John was very welcoming. He knew I 
had been an orthopedic surgeon, and he told me I really ought to take a 
look at his x rays. Of course, the x rays showed the many fractures 
which were the result of being shot down over Hanoi and the injuries 
that resulted from the crash and the subsequent beatings as a prisoner 
of war. It was out of pure generosity on his part that we became 
friends and traveling companions.
  John took great pride in this institution and in knowing that none of 
us in this body of 100--left or right, Republican or Democrat, 
conservative or liberal--none of us agreed with him 100 percent of the 
time. But every one of us respected him and the strength of his 
convictions. I always have.
  Probably no one knows the first person to give him the nickname 
``Maverick,'' but he certainly lived up to it. For John, it wasn't 
about playing a character on television. For him, there was no 
switching between a public and a private persona; he was the same when 
the cameras were off as when they were on.
  His voice would thunder on the Senate floor when he was stirred to 
outrage, with incredible force and conviction, and so he came to 
another affectionate name--``Hurricane McCain.''
  His humor was legendary. He used his biting humor like a surface-to-
air missile.

[[Page S5995]]

  We all know his incredible biography--the courage he showed as a 
naval officer and as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. It was a story that 
inspired millions of people around the world. I could see it when we 
traveled the world together. We would visit American troops overseas, 
and it was incredible to see the respect he commanded no matter where 
he went.
  Mr. President, you served time in the military. You have been 
deployed. You know what it is like to be there and when someone from 
home comes to thank you and support you and make sure you have 
everything you need. Our men and women in uniform looked at him in awe, 
and they hung on his every word. Foreign leaders did the same. John 
really was a reassuring figure around the world.
  My first trip with John was Thanksgiving 2007. It was before he was 
the nominee for President. He was actually trailing significantly in 
the polls. We went to Iraq during the surge. We spent the day in 
Baghdad and in other locations, and then in the dark of night, we flew 
out into the Anbar Province, where his son, a marine grunt, was 
serving.
  We had Thanksgiving dinner with a number of the soldiers. When John 
got to see his son, he went to hug him, to lift his arms, but because 
of the orthopedic injuries he had sustained, until the end of his life, 
he was unable to really lift his arms due to the fractures. He was up 
on his toes trying to hug his son in the Anbar Province of Iraq. I had 
a chance to have dinner with six Wyoming soldiers that evening. They 
had only one request of me: Could I introduce them to Senator McCain?
  Our final trip was over Memorial Day this past year, 2017. It was to 
Vietnam. We went to the lake where he had been shot down. It was a 
bipartisan group. Senator Coons from Delaware was along. We went to the 
Hanoi prison where he spent 5\1/2\ years. We saw the cell. We also went 
to the Presidential Palace. No matter where we went, he was met with a 
hero's welcome. I don't know how many people could have sustained and 
survived 5\1/2\ years in that prison with the beatings. It took a man 
of incredible courage and character, and he gained credibility, as well 
as a certainty for his own life.
  We also went to Cam Ranh Bay during that trip to Vietnam. Many 
Vietnam war veterans have been through that area. They brought in the 
USS John McCain, the ship named after his father and his grandfather. 
While there, we had a luncheon on the deck of the ship, and it was 
called McCain Field. He was greeted warmly by everyone, and he greeted 
them just as warmly.
  Every Senator who ever traveled with Senator McCain shared a common 
experience; it was being approached by someone on the street or in a 
restaurant and being asked: Are you with Senator McCain? Of course we 
would say yes. Then they would hand us a cell phone and say: Could you 
please take a picture of me with Senator McCain. Of course we always 
said yes. You could see the reverence and respect each of these 
individuals had for Senator McCain.
  People also respected his incredible legacy of service, his strength 
as one of the fiercest legislators in our history. It is fitting that 
just a few weeks ago, Congress paid tribute to him by passing the John 
S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 
because we all know that caring for the military was an abiding concern 
in his career. He wanted to make sure that the men and women in uniform 
were treated fairly by the government, that they were respected, and 
that they were honored for their service.

  We get used to using the language of combat around here in all sorts 
of other areas where it doesn't really belong. We talk about fierce 
political battles. We talk about hard-fought election campaigns. But as 
someone who knew what real battles looked like, John had a realistic 
perspective on the political kind of battle. He took them seriously, 
and he never engaged in a fight where he didn't believe that he was on 
the side of right.
  He never tired of ridiculing what he saw as wasteful government 
spending.
  Every soldier, every sailor, every airman knows that none of us are 
indispensable. We serve our mission, and if we fall, another will step 
up to take our place. John understood that truth also about public 
service.
  I think John would also understand the sincerity of the grief that 
the Members of this Senate are feeling today.
  I remember vividly the last time I saw John McCain. I went to visit 
him and his wife Cindy at the ranch in Sedona. I will tell you, John 
and Cindy have been so kind to my wife Bobbi when we have visited the 
ranch in the past. I remember John taking my wife Bobbi on a tour of 
the many historic trees on the ranch. John has also been so very kind 
to my daughter Emma on her visits in Washington and some of her travels 
with me.
  Let me assure you about Cindy McCain. Cindy is also an American of 
great strength and great courage. When I was there, we sat together and 
we talked about the Senate, about his beloved Arizona, about the past 
and actually about the future as well, and about the places around the 
world we had visited together.
  Senator McCain was a great lover and student of history. We talked of 
Teddy Roosevelt's ``Man in the Arena'' speech. It was one that he knew 
quite well, he knew by heart.

       It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out 
     how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could 
     have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is 
     actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat 
     and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes up 
     short again and again . . . who knows great enthusiasms, the 
     great devotions; who spends his life in a worthy cause; who 
     at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement 
     . . . and who . . . if he fails, at least fails while daring 
     greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and 
     timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

  John McCain knew both. He knew victory, and he knew defeat. John 
McCain was the man in the arena.
  Mostly, John and I sat and enjoyed the view of the river, the trees, 
and the red rocks. I know that view was one of his great joys, the 
peace and serenity of a hard landscape shaped by years of wear and 
weather. Think about that--the serenity of a hard landscape shaped by 
years of wear and weather. People will see all sorts of symbolism in 
that hard landscape shaped by years of wear and weather, but if John 
had heard me say that, he would have said: Whiskey Tango Foxtrot--get 
to the point. So I will.
  John McCain was the conscience of the Senate. He served the American 
people and the Senate on his own terms. He left us on his own terms as 
well. We grieve him today because, for us, it just was not enough time. 
That is the thing about our heroes--we start to believe they will live 
on forever, but of course they do not.
  Ronald Reagan's final letter to the American people said this:

       When the Lord calls me home, whenever that may be, I will 
     leave with the greatest love for this country of ours and 
     eternal optimism for its future.

  John McCain has left this world, I can assure you, with the greatest 
love for this country of ours and eternal optimism for the future.
  Rest in peace, my friend John McCain. Rest in peace.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Rubio). The Senator from Hawaii.
  Mr. SCHATZ. Mr. President, Senator McCain may have represented the 
people of Arizona, but in doing so, he changed the world.
  His family legacy and leadership are, actually, partly rooted in the 
Pacific. He met his wife, Cindy, in Honolulu, and generations of 
McCains have left their mark on the region as his grandfather served in 
the Pacific theater as an admiral in World War II, as his father 
commanded the Armed Forces in the Pacific during the Vietnam war, and 
as John S. McCain III became the most famous POW of the Vietnam war. 
His relationship with the region began with those conflicts--with pain 
and with loss--but he never let that beginning define his views of the 
Asia-Pacific.
  As a Senator, he called for the United States to transform the peace 
we made with Vietnam into a partnership. It is thanks, in part, to him 
that the United States now works closely with Vietnam on everything 
from economic development to counterterrorism, and the people of 
Vietnam know it. The monument that marks where he was captured as a 
naval pilot in Vietnam has turned into a shrine this week, with people 
leaving flowers in memory

[[Page S5996]]

of the man who helped to normalize relations between our two nations. 
This is just one of the ways in which Senator McCain shaped the 
Pacific.
  Just a few years ago, he designed the Southeast Asia Maritime 
Security Initiative in order to increase stability and to help 
professionalize militaries in the region, including the military of 
Vietnam. He was a strong advocate for freedom of navigation in the 
region and for human rights. He worked with Senator Cardin to introduce 
a bill to punish military officials in Burma for the part that they had 
played in waging genocide against the Rohingya--a bill that, I hope, 
the Senate will pass soon. He was an early voice that warned about 
North Korea's nuclear program, and as a longtime member and chairman of 
the Armed Services Committee, he always stood up for our men and women 
in uniform.
  A few years ago, on the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl 
Harbor, my predecessor, Daniel K. Inouye, planned to give a floor 
speech to remember the 2,400 Americans who died that day. Senator 
Inouye's staff made it known that he would mark the anniversary on the 
Senate floor. He gave that speech to a Chamber that was not full, but 
John McCain was there. He was there for Senator Inouye just as he was 
there, time after time, for our military and for our country. He was 
earnest and solemn when it came to fulfilling his oath to the 
Constitution, but he was also the embodiment of taking your job 
seriously, not yourself.
  One tribute from a former staff member recalled how Senator McCain 
led a codel to Estonia, where he joined Senate colleague Hillary 
Clinton and enjoyed several rounds of vodka shots before having decided 
to take a midnight stroll around town. He also remembered the Senator's 
holding a press conference in a geothermal pool in Iceland--in his 
bathing suit and all.
  Early on in my time in the U.S. Senate, I would pick up the phone and 
call my dad to tell him whenever I had had a substantive conversation 
with Senator McCain, because he was that much of a giant, and now he is 
gone. We all need people in our lives who ask us to do more, who remind 
us that we are capable of doing more and of doing better. The world 
needs heroes, and we have lost one in the death of Senator McCain.
  He once challenged a leader in his party to ``set the example for 
what our country can and should represent.'' That was also his 
challenge to the Senate. He demanded more of the Senate and more from 
us. It is for that, especially, he will be missed in this Chamber. Who 
will hold us accountable when we fall into a destructive pattern? When 
he lectured us--and he did lecture us--we took it to heart. He was true 
north for the U.S. Senate. He cared deeply about relationships between 
Members of both parties. He cared about legislating and about finding a 
way to govern.
  While he is gone, we do not need to forget Senator McCain's lessons 
and lectures. He is an example for us to follow, and that is as true 
today as it was in any of his 32 years of service to the Senate. We 
will miss him in this Chamber, where he cast a long shadow with moral 
clarity whenever he spoke.
  This week, our hearts are with his mother, Roberta, with his wife, 
Cindy, with his children and his grandchildren, and with all of those 
who loved him. May his memory be a blessing
  I yield the floor.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Kansas.
  Mr. MORAN. Mr. President, I join my colleagues today in tribute to 
our colleague, Senator John McCain of Arizona.
  We look for heroes in this world. It seems to me we are always 
looking in the wrong places. We look at baseball diamonds and 
basketball courts and amphitheaters and stadiums where performers sing, 
but we fail to look in the right places. Sometimes we are with heroes, 
and we don't always recognize it at the moment. Yet there is no 
American I know who is more deserving of the title ``hero'' than John 
McCain. Those who serve us in the military are entitled to that 
honorific, and those who serve in the military and serve others in the 
military--those who serve our veterans--are heroes too. Senator McCain 
lived a life in which heroics were a part of every day.
  I first met John McCain in 1996, in Hays, KS, my hometown. The habit 
was that Senator Bob Dole, then a candidate for President of the United 
States, would fly to the airport in Hays, near his hometown of Russell. 
This time he had a guest with him, John McCain, who was the campaign 
chairman on his Presidential campaign. I watched the two of them 
interact, and it was really the first time I had had the opportunity to 
see a Senator other than, perhaps, my own two from Kansas.
  Senator Dole had the greatest regard for Senator McCain. Senator Dole 
wore the POW bracelet. He never knew John McCain when he was a POW, but 
by happenstance, he chose to wear a bracelet in honor of and in respect 
and concern for a POW in Vietnam. John McCain learned on the Senate 
floor that Bob Dole wore his throughout much of his captivity. I 
respect and honor Senator Dole, and I saw that day the respect and 
honor he had for a fellow Senator, a fellow serviceman, a fellow 
veteran. Both Senator Dole's and Senator McCain's lives were 
dramatically affected by their service to our Nation.
  Quite frankly, when I arrived at the U.S. Senate, I was intimidated 
by Senator McCain. He was vitriolic, and he had the habit of exploding 
at a moment's notice. Something could set him off. Something he cared 
passionately about could cause him to react. So, in my early days as a 
new U.S. Senator, I didn't seek John McCain's companionship. That was a 
mistake on my part because, despite his prickly nature, knowing John 
McCain has become one of the most valuable experiences I have had in 
the Senate.
  We began working together on one of those issues that John McCain and 
no one else in the U.S. Senate could have had the stature to have dealt 
with--certainly, our military men and women in the defense of our 
Nation. We bonded in our efforts to see that the veterans of our Nation 
received the care that they deserved, that they received their benefits 
from the Veterans Health Administration that they were entitled to and 
that they had earned through their service to our Nation. That work--a 
McCain-Moran bill--became a significant part of the VA MISSION Act.
  I learned in that experience the dedication that Senator McCain had 
to those who served--to have made sure that the mistakes that had been 
made at the Department of Veterans Affairs, which may have cost 
veterans their lives, never happened again. Initially, that resulted in 
the Veterans Choice Act, and in its just recently being passed by the 
House, passed by the Senate, and in having been signed by the 
President, the legislation that we named in honor of Senator John 
McCain has resulted in the VA MISSION Act, which replaces and improves 
the Choice Act.
  In that experience of working with Senator McCain on behalf of 
America's veterans, I also got acquainted with Senator McCain's staff. 
I think it is probably true that we can learn a lot about our 
colleagues by the people they surround themselves with, in the way that 
a Senator treats his or her staff members and, perhaps, even more 
importantly, in the way that those individuals who work for a U.S. 
Senator treat their boss. What I saw from those who worked for Senator 
McCain was abiding respect, love, care, and compassion for U.S. Senator 
John McCain. It told me a lot about his staff, but it told me even more 
about Senator McCain's person and character.
  In my time in working in the Senate with John McCain, I also 
discovered his abiding love for the people of Arizona. Senator McCain 
was a national figure and could be only a national figure if he 
desired. Yet he had the stature to be not only a person who was known 
in the State he represented and in the Nation but around the world. 
While Senator McCain represented the United States well, here in the 
U.S. Senate and in countries around the globe, you could tell that 
Senator McCain cared about and loved the people he represented at home. 
He respected them. He recognized that they were the ones who gave him 
the opportunity to perform on a national stage. He never forgot 
Arizonans.

[[Page S5997]]

  I appreciate the way that he and his junior colleague from Arizona, 
Senator Flake, worked together on behalf of the citizens of his State. 
So, while it would have been easy for John to have played only the 
national figure, he never forgot from where he came.
  While many of my comments today have paid my respect to Senator 
McCain for his service to the U.S. Senate, it is his service in the 
military, in the Navy, that is most compelling to me. I have known this 
story throughout my life--and it has been reported and repeated here on 
the Senate floor--but I do not know a person who, as a prisoner of war 
and who was given the opportunity to be released and to return home to 
family and loved ones, would say no. I do not know a person other than 
John McCain who would say: No, it is not my turn. No, there are others 
who are prisoners of war who are more deserving and who are, in fact, 
on the list ahead of me to be released.
  What an honor to know a person who has put others so much ahead of 
himself, to know someone who, because of his love of country and love 
of those who served and his sense of responsibility and obligation to 
those he served with and who were prisoners of war with him, had the 
character, the values to say: No, it is not my turn.
  I wish I knew people; I wish I were one of them.
  So, today, I, certainly, honor Senator McCain for his status and 
service as a Senator. Yet I admire and respect him for his service to 
the Nation, his service in the Navy, and his care and compassion for 
those with whom he served.
  John McCain led a full and meaningful life. He instructed us numerous 
times about our behavior here in the U.S. Senate. He asked us, as 
Americans, to behave differently. He asked our country to come 
together.

  We desperately need the opportunity for Americans to see what they 
are seeing on the Senate floor this week, where both Republicans and 
Democrats are honoring the life and service of John McCain. We need to 
answer his call. We need to honor his request to make certain that the 
work we perform is done for all Americans.
  John McCain was a Republican, but much more so, he was an American. 
He reminds me of what I see on the monuments and memorials at the 
National Mall when I make my trek up to the Lincoln Memorial and pass 
the World War II, the Vietnam war, and the Korean war memorials. No one 
memorialized there fought, died, sacrificed, and served for Republicans 
or for Democrats. John McCain and those we memorialize on the National 
Mall recognized a higher calling.
  If we could do something that would alter our behavior in respect to 
John McCain, what a difference we might make in the country, and if 
Americans can use this moment to pull together, our country will be 
better.
  John McCain led a full and meaningful life. I admired him, I 
respected him, and I loved him.
  Senator McCain, thank you for your service to our Nation. It is a 
grateful Nation.
  The Navy hymn says: ``Eternal Father, strong to save, whose arms hath 
bound the restless wave.''
  May John McCain rest in peace.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Sullivan). The Senator from Maryland.
  Mr. CARDIN. Mr. President, I rise today in great sadness to address 
the passing of Senator John McCain, which marks a deep loss for this 
country, for his State of Arizona, and, above all, for his family and 
friends.
  John McCain was an honorable public servant who sacrificed greatly to 
serve his country in uniform, and as a lawmaker, he proudly represented 
the people of Arizona.
  I will always remember the bipartisan luncheon that we had when 
Senator McCain recounted his experiences as a prisoner of war in 
Vietnam. There wasn't a dry eye in our caucus.
  In my visit to Vietnam, I had a chance to visit the Hanoi Hilton, and 
I saw firsthand the place where John McCain acted so bravely. He was 
truly an American hero.
  I would like to express my deepest sympathies and condolences at this 
difficult time to Cindy, their children, and their family.
  In his final letter to Americans, Senator McCain reminded us:

       We are citizens of the world's greatest republic, a nation 
     of ideals, not blood and soil. We are blessed and are a 
     blessing to humanity when we uphold and advance those ideals 
     at home and in the world.

  For nearly a dozen years in the Senate, I have watched my friend 
Senator McCain live and act by those ideals on behalf of the American 
people and on behalf of our global community. John was my enduring 
partner in standing up for universal rights and advancing core American 
values. John always expressed his views with passion but respected 
civility. He represented the best of the Senate, working across party 
lines to get issues resolved.
  The Senate has lost a great patriot and a role model for Senators. 
The Nation has lost a strong, effective leader for American values. 
Arizona has lost a Senator who loved the State and the people he 
represented. I, along with many Members--all the Members of this 
Chamber--have lost a friend.
  Today John's faith in American ideals endures with the Sergei and 
Global Magnitsky acts. With these two laws, the United States stands in 
solidarity with Sergei Magnitsky from Russia, David Kato from Uganda, 
Berta Caceres from Honduras, and the many unsung and unnamed people 
around the world who have suffered human rights abuses for uncovering 
corruption and fighting for freedom, equal justice, and dignity.
  It was John who insisted we ensure that corrupt leaders were held 
accountable for their crimes. He truly believed that public officials 
have a responsibility to serve and protect their citizenry from harm, 
and he had a particular disdain for officials who instead chose to 
exploit their citizens for personal enrichment.
  Anyone who knew John knows of his disdain for one of the most corrupt 
leaders of our time, Vladimir Putin. It was the Putin regime's ruthless 
torture and murder of Sergei Magnitsky, after Sergei exposed their 
corruption, as well as the regime's repeated attacks on the Russian 
people, that inspired Senator McCain and me to work together on the 
Magnitsky law. I thank Senator McCain for giving me that opportunity, 
for giving me the strength to develop a strategy where we could, in 
fact, enact not only the original Magnitsky statute but the Global 
Magnitsky statute, which truly provided the U.S. leadership globally. 
Many other countries have followed our leadership.
  After Vladimir Putin attacked our 2016 elections, Senator McCain 
worked with me and others to ensure a new, tough sanctions regime 
against Mr. Putin and his oligarchs for their insidious attacks on our 
democracy. Senator McCain fought to ensure that our efforts to hold 
Russia accountable for these actions made it into law. Just last month, 
he joined a bipartisan group of Senators again toward the same goal, 
given Mr. Putin's persistent attacks on our democratic system.
  Senator McCain and I worked alongside one another to address the 
genocide against the Rohingya community in Rakhine, Burma, orchestrated 
by the Burmese military. Last Saturday, August 25, marked 1 year since 
the outbreak of violence in western Rakhine State, which has resulted 
in the mass exodus of over 700,000 Rohingya to neighboring Bangladesh. 
In response to this violence and crimes against humanity perpetrated 
against the Rohingya community, Senator McCain and I introduced the 
Burma Human Rights and Freedom Act.
  Senator McCain would stand up for people anywhere in the world who 
were victimized by human rights violations.
  Russian dissident Vladimir Kara-Murza wrote yesterday that John was 
``an idealist. . . . He believed in his principles and was prepared to 
stand on them--regardless of party, convenience, or political 
advantage.''
  Mr. Kara-Murza has been poisoned twice in Russia as a result of his 
standing up against Mr. Putin.
  I remember John doing just that during our Foreign Relations 
Committee 2013 debate on whether we should arm the rebels in Syria. He 
passionately argued that we should do more to support them against 
Bashar Assad's ``butchery.''
  In 2016, as the Assad regime mercilessly pummeled rebels in Aleppo, 
McCain said: ``The name of Aleppo will echo through history . . . as a 
testament to our moral failure and everlasting shame.'' Senator McCain 
called

[[Page S5998]]

it the way he saw it. He called out what was happening.
  John also stood for his ideals as a leader on comprehensive 
immigration reform. I remember first coming to the Senate in 2007 and 
working on comprehensive immigration reform with Senator McCain, 
Senator Kennedy, and President Bush. That legislation ultimately did 
not pass, but it showed me that Senator McCain was a serious legislator 
who was willing to work across the aisle to get things done.
  Senator Kennedy died in 2009 of the same form of brain cancer that 
Senator McCain succumbed to this past weekend. They both died on August 
25.
  In 2013, Senator McCain was part of the Gang of 8, along with Senator 
Schumer--the bipartisan group of Senators who wrote a 2013 measure to 
overhaul the country's immigration system and border security. I 
supported that bill, which passed in the Senate but sadly was never 
taken up in the House, although we all know there was enough support in 
the House to pass that legislation.
  Senator McCain believed in working together to get things done. He 
listened and fought passionately for what he believed in, but he wanted 
to make sure we got things done in the best tradition of the Senate as 
the greatest deliberative body in the world. Senator McCain lived by 
that tradition.
  In his memoir, Senator McCain said that his failure to enact 
comprehensive immigration reform was ``a harder disappointment than 
other defeats.''
  He continued:

       We failed twice, and then once more after Ted had passed 
     away, despite big majorities in both houses of Congress in 
     favor of it. . . . I'd like to say I'll try again. But that 
     is not up to me anymore. . . . That's a harder disappointment 
     than other defeats have been because first, it's something 
     that most Americans want, and most members of Congress know 
     is the right thing to do.

  He always called it the way he saw it. He showed his passion, but 
respected civility.
  The Senate and the American people have lost in John McCain a man who 
was the very definition of service to his country. I will miss John 
terribly, and I hope all Americans will pause today to remember his 
legacy and admire his courage.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from North Dakota.
  Mr. HOEVEN. Mr. President, I rise today to commemorate the life of 
Senator John McCain along with my colleagues.
  John is an American icon whose legacy is known not only across our 
Nation but around the world. His belief in American exceptionalism was 
unwavering, and it propelled him to a lifelong service to our Nation.
  Few have demonstrated John's level of commitment and service to our 
country. Through both, his bravery serving in the U.S. Navy and his 
long tenure in Congress, he demonstrated his deep love of country.
  As the son and grandson of four-star admirals, John began serving 
this country at an early age. He followed in their footsteps and 
attended the U.S. Naval Academy and was later commissioned as a naval 
aviator.
  He served in the Vietnam war, where he was captured and spent 5\1/2\ 
years as a prisoner of war. During those years, through torture and 
misery, he never gave up. He was offered freedom but refused to be 
released unless every other prisoner was released with him. Think about 
that. He was flying over Vietnam and was shot down. He was projected 
from his plane and landed in a lake in Hanoi. He was bruised, in 
terrible shape, put in a prison, and was clearly in incredible pain, 
and, through it all, he was offered an opportunity to go home early, 
and he said: Nope, I am not going unless all of the POWs go. Think of 
the strength and character that takes. It is almost unfathomable.
  I always affectionately refer to him as an admiral because both his 
father and grandfather were full admirals. There is no doubt that 
Senator McCain would have been an admiral had he stayed in the Navy, as 
well. It was just the way that I could recognize his amazing service in 
a fun way and in a personal way. Here is somebody, when you talk about 
serving our country in the military, who just epitomizes that grit, 
that determination, that character, and that service that we love, 
respect, and honor so much in our servicemen and servicewomen.
  John's perseverance followed him as he began serving our Nation as a 
Member of Congress and in the U.S. Senate. He fought fiercely for what 
he believed in. Everyone talks about how, when he took a position, he 
took it with a passion. So whenever you debated him, discussed things 
with him, and worked with him--whether you were on the same side or if 
you disagreed with him--he had that amazing passion that came through, 
and many have remarked on it. It was a remarkable trait. It is part of 
that warrior in him.
  For the entirety of his life, John endlessly advocated for our men 
and women in uniform. He served, and he served them throughout his life 
in the Senate. Working with him to support our servicemembers and 
veterans is something that I will never forget.
  What many people will not know about John, though, is his warmth as a 
friend. You know, you hear about his temper. He could be mercurial. 
Although, then he would get over it, and you would be right back 
working again.
  You heard about his incredible energy, about his war record, his time 
as a POW, the things he did as a Senator, but one thing that I think 
you don't hear as often but that was very much true is that he had a 
tremendous, tremendous sense of humor, and that came through so often 
in his interviews.
  He was also a warm person. I can remember when somebody would come to 
my office and want to meet Senator McCain. If it worked out timewise, I 
would take them over, and we would go over to Senator McCain's office. 
I would say: Hey, I have somebody here who would just like to say hi to 
John, get his picture and meet him.
  If he was there, almost every time he would bring them in. It wasn't 
a case of getting enough time or getting a quick picture, or something 
like that. Invariably, he would have them come in, sit down, talk with 
him, and take pictures, and pretty soon he would be taking them all 
around his office and showing them pictures of his family--he was so 
proud of his family, his grandfather, his father--and his mementoes, 
all the amazing things that made up his amazing life. He loved it, and 
he was so warm.
  There are so many things that I will never forget, but that is one 
that I truly treasure and will always remember. Here is Senator McCain, 
somebody who is known across America, around the world. He was 
certainly an icon and a colleague, obviously, to all of us, but he was 
somebody who really was a friend. When you went over and you wanted to 
talk to him about something or take someone over to see him, or 
whatever it was, he was a friend. He was somebody who was down-to-
earth, who was a person you could connect with at a real level. That is 
pretty amazing for somebody who lived such an incredible life.

  We will miss John McCain. May God bless him. From my wife Mikey and 
myself, to John's wife Cindy and the entire McCain family, we join with 
you in mourning his loss and honoring his tremendous memory and legacy.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Montana.

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