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[Congressional Record: December 7, 2000 (Senate)]
[Page S11731-S11734]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access []

                         SERVICE IN THE SENATE

  Mr. ABRAHAM. Mr. President, it is rare in this Chamber for incumbent 
Senators who have lost on election day to still have the privilege of 
addressing the Senate again, at least in their capacity of finishing 
out their terms. For me, if there is a silver lining behind this 
extended session of which we are a part, it is because it gives me a 
chance to thank people--friends, supporters, staff, colleagues, and 
others--who have made it possible for me, a grandson of immigrants, to 
serve and succeed here.
  I begin today by making some comments and thanking people who have 
made a difference.
  First, I thank my Senate colleagues with whom I have worked over the 
last 6 years. I especially express my gratitude for the majority 
leaders under whom I have served--Senator Bob Dole and Senator Trent 
Lott--for their confidence in me, for making me part of their circle of 
key advisers, for their support on both legislative and political 
matters and, most importantly, for their friendship.
  I extend the same heartfelt thanks to the other members of our 
leadership teams over the last 6 years: To Senator Don Nickles for whom 
I served as deputy whip for 4 years; to our conference chairman, Thad 
Cochran, who served when I first arrived here, and Senator Connie Mack; 
to our Senate campaign committee chairman, Mitch McConnell, and the 
late Senator Paul Coverdell; to the Chairman of the Republican Policy 
Committee Senator Larry Craig; to our new Conference Secretary Senator 
Kay Bailey Hutchison, and so many others who have provided me with 
guidance and leadership during the time I have been here.
  I also take special note of the people with whom I have served as a 
member of their committees: To our Commerce Committee chairman, John 
McCain, who has been a great friend and supporter and through whose 
help I have been able to pass significant legislation that came from 
our Commerce Committee agenda.
  I thank our Judiciary Committee chairman, Orrin Hatch, who helped me 
get on his committee my very first year here and whose support on that 
committee helped me to achieve a number of personal objectives with 
respect to legislative goals and who worked closely with me and his 
staff worked closely with my staff as we fought a number of very 
important battles in the Senate.
  I thank my good friend Senator Pete Domenici, who chairs the Budget 
Committee on which I sat for 6 years. When I came to the Senate, I met 
with Senator Domenici. At the time, I was selected for that committee, 
and we talked about our goals and hopes that some day we might advance 
a balanced budget to complete and see the Nation balance its budget. 
Many people thought we would never achieve that in our lifetime, and 
yet 3 short years after I arrived on the committee, and under Pete 
Domenici's great leadership, that objective was realized.
  I thank the chairman of the Small Business Committee, Kit Bond, whose 
friendship has helped me in legislative battles of recent years. I have 
only been on that committee 2 years, but his leadership also has been 
important to my success in the Chamber.
  I extend my thanks to all of my colleagues. There are many close 
friends who are part of this Chamber, people with whom my family and I 
have become close in the last 6 years and others who have already 
departed the Chamber but with whom we remain close.
  Senator Chuck Hagel from Nebraska is here with me today. I especially 
thank him for his great friendship and support. Senators Jeff Sessions, 
Susan Collins, Judd Gregg and Mike DeWine have also done me the honor 
of helping me in my legislative efforts as well as being my friends 
over these last six years, and for that I want to thank them. And 
finally for my Republican colleagues, I want to thank all the other 
members of my freshman class, the folks with whom I came in 1995, and 
who helped so substantially change the direction of this country: 
Senator Santorum, Senator Inhofe, Senator Thompson, Senator Frist, 
Senator Ashcroft, Senator Kyl, Senator Snowe, Senator Grams, and as I 
mentioned before, Senator DeWine.

  I reach across the aisle and thank the many colleagues on the 
Democratic side with whom I have worked on so many bipartisan issues in 
the last 6 years:
  To Carl Levin, our senior Senator from Michigan with whom I have 
worked very closely on many issues of importance to our State;
  To Ted Kennedy, my ranking member on the Senate Immigration 
Subcommittee which I chaired. We have been very successful in passing a 
number of pieces of legislation through the bipartisan cooperation we 
have achieved in that subcommittee;
  To Joe Lieberman, who has been the lead cosponsor of my American 
Community Renewal Act, and other progrowth initiatives;
  To Ron Wyden, my partner in so many high-technology initiatives;
  To Russ Feingold, Bob Graham, and others who have worked closely with 
  I also thank the many friends and supporters and mentors who have 
helped me to arrive in the Senate and in a lengthy political career in 
my State of Michigan. There are many

[[Page S11732]]

people who are part of that success. It would be impossible to name all 
of them. I want to single out, though, four people who played 
particularly important roles:
  Former Michigan Senator Bob Griffin whose campaigns and staffs I 
worked on many years ago and a role model for me in that he was the 
last Republican Senator from my State and a man whose integrity and 
leadership in the Senate were well recognized. He served ultimately as 
whip on the Republican side. His guidance and friendship from the time 
I was in college has meant a great deal to my political success and my 
personal success as well.
  To our great Governor John Engler, who has been a political friend 
and colleague in Michigan politics since 1971. Without his support and 
help, I would not have been successful in my campaign for the Senate or 
other roles I played in Michigan politics.
  To former Congressman Guy Vander Jagt with whom I served as 
cochairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee in 1991 
and 1992 when I made my first appearance on the legislative side of 
Washington working on Capitol Hill for the first time.
  And especially to a great friend, former Vice President Dan Quayle on 
whose staff I served as deputy chief of staff in 1990 and 1991, my 
first assignment in Washington in Government service at the Federal 
  I thank all of those individuals, and the others I have not had a 
chance today to name, for having helped me get to this role and being 
effective in it.
  There are today on the floor a great number of people who have worked 
on my Senate staff. I am proud of them and proud to have them with me. 
They only reflect a percentage of the many folks who served in the 
State of Michigan and their country in the context of working on my 
staff. There are so many. I am going to try to name the ones I have 
listed, but I will submit the names of everybody for the Record.
  The people who served on my senior staff: Tony Antone, Cesar Conda, 
Kate Hinton, Randa Fahmy Hudome, Joe McMonigle, Katie Packer, Jim 
Pitts, Larry Purpuro, Laurie Bink Purpuro, and Sue Wadel.
  To those folks who served over the years on my press and 
communications staff: Joe Davis, Nina Delorenzo, Steve Hessler, 
Margaret Murphy, Julie Teer, Jessica Morris, and Dan Senor.
  To a terrific legislative staff, and people who have worked on my 
subcommittees: Stuart Anderson, Rachel Bohlander, Bob Carey, Ann 
Coulter, Chase Hutto, Elizabeth Kessler, Ray Kethledge, Kevin Kolevar, 
Brandi Laperriere, Brian Reardon, Gregg Willhauck; and Tyler White.
  To my administrative staff: Katja Bullock, Majida Dandy, Paul 
Erhardt, Jim Neill, Matt Suhr, and Lillian Smith.
  To the many people who have worked with us who are on our Michigan 
staff: In particular, I would note Greg Andrews, Joe Cella, Larry 
Dickerson, Sharon Eineman, Tom Frazier, Phil Hedges, Eunice Myles 
Jeffries, Stuart Larkins, Renee Meyers, John Petz, Elroy Sailor, 
Lillian Simon, and Billie Wimmer.
  And there are many others who have served and whose names I ask 
unanimous consent to have printed in the Record.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

             Staff of Senator Spencer Abraham (R-Michigan)

       Mohammed Abouharb, Staff Assistant; Stuart Anderson, 
     Director of Immigration Policy and Research; Gregory Andrews, 
     Regional Director; Anthony Antone, Deputy Chief of Staff; 
     Sandra Baxter, Assistant to the State Chief of Staff; Beverly 
     Betel, Staff Assistant; Rachel Bohlander, Legislative 
     Assistant; David Borough, Computer Specialist; Michell Brown, 
     Staff Assistant; Katja Bullock, Office Manager; Carrie 
     Cabelka, Staff Assistant; Cheryl Campbell, Regional Director; 
     Robert H. Carey, Legislative Director; David Carney, Mail 
     Room Manager; Joseph Cella, Regional Director; Cesar V. 
     Conda, Administrative Assistant/Legislative Director; Adam 
     Condo, Systems Administrator; Jon Cool, Staff Assistant; Ann 
     H. Coulter, Judiciary Counsel; Majida Dandy, Executive 
       Anthony Daunt, Staff Assistant; Joe Davis, Director of 
     Communications; Nina De Lorenzo, Press Secretary; Larry D. 
     Dickerson, Chief of Staff/Michigan Operations; Joanne Dickow, 
     Legal Advisor; Hope Durant, Executive Assistant to the Chief 
     of Staff; Sharon Eineman, Senior Caseworker; Paul Erhardt, 
     Special Assistant; Tom Frazier, Regional Director; Bruce 
     Frohnen, Speech Writer; Renee Gauthier, Caseworker; Jessica 
     Gavora, Special Advisor; David Glancy, Staff Assistant; 
     Thomas Glegola, Special Assistant; Todd Gustafson, Regional 
     Director; Alex Hageli, Staff Assistant; Mary Harden, Staff 
     Assistant; Phil Hendges, Regional Director; Paul Henry, Staff 
     Assistant; Joanna Herman, Special Assistant.
       Melissa Hess, Staff Assistant; Stephen Hessler, Deputy 
     Press Secretary; Kate Hinton, Deputy Chief of Staff; David 
     Hoard, Special Assistant; Kevin Holmes, Special Assistant; 
     Kelly Hoskin, Caseworker; Michael J. Hudome, Special 
     Assistant; Randa Fahmy Hudome, Counselor; F. Chase Hutto, 
     Judiciary Counsel; Michael Ivahnenko, Staff Assistant; Eunice 
     Jeffries, Regional Director; Kaveri Kalia, Press Assistant; 
     Raymond M. Kethledge, Judiciary Counsel; Elizabeth Kessler, 
     General Counsel; Kevin Kolevar, Senior Legislative Assistant; 
     Jack Koller, Systems Administrator; Peter Kulick, Caseworker; 
     Kristin La Mendola, Staff Assistant; Patricia LaBelle, 
     Regional Director; Brandon L. LaPerriere, Legislative 
       Stuart Larkins, Staff Assistant; Matthew Latimer, Special 
     Assistant; Joseph P. McMonigle, Administrative Assistant/
     General Counsel; Eileen McNulty, West Michigan Director; Meg 
     Mehan, Special Assistant; Rene Myers, Regional Director; 
     Jennifer Millerwise, Staff Assistant; Denise Mills, Staff 
     Assistant; Maureen Mitchell, Staff Assistant; Sara Moleski, 
     Regional Director; Jessica Morris, Deputy Press Secretary; 
     Margaret Murphy, Press Secretary; Tom Nank, Southeast 
     Michigan Assistant; James Patrick Neill, Director of 
     Scheduling; Shawn Neville, Northern West Michigan Regional 
     Director; Na-Rae Ohm, Special Assistant; Lee Liberman Otis, 
     Chief Judiciary Counsel; Kathryn Packer, Director of External 
     Affairs; Chris Pavelich, Regional Director; John Petz, 
     Southeast Michigan Director.
       James L. Pitts, Chief of Staff; Conley Poole, Staff 
     Assistant; John Potbury, Regional Director; Tosha Pruden, 
     Caseworker; Laurine Bink Purpuro, Deputy Chief of Staff; 
     Lawrence J. Purpuro, Chief of Staff; Elroy Sailor, Special 
     Assistant; David Seitz, Mail Room Manager; Dan Senor, 
     Director of Communications; Mary Shiner, Regional Director; 
     Anthony Shumsky, Regional Director; Alicia Sikkenga, Special 
     Assistant; Lillian Simon, Staff Assistant; Lillian Smith, 
     Director of Scheduling; Anthony Spearman-Leach, Regional 
     Director; Robert Steiner, Mail Room Manager; Anne Stevens, 
     Special Assistant; Matthew Suhr, Special Assistant; Julie 
     Teer, Press Secretary; Amanda Trivax, Staff Assistant.
       Meagan Vargas, Special Assistant; Shawn Vasell, Staff 
     Assistant; Olivia Joyce Visperas, Staff Assistant; Sue Wadel, 
     Legal Advisor; Seth Waxman, Caseworker; Jennifer Wells, 
     Caseworker; La Tonya Wesley, Special Assistant; Tyler White, 
     Special Assistant; Patricia Wierzbicki, Regional Director; 
     Gregg Willhauck, Legislative Counsel; and Billie Kops Wimmer, 
     State Director.

  Mr. ABRAHAM. Mr. President, I also acknowledge that in addition to 
this great staff--and I do want to thank them here on the floor 
publicly for their great performance on my behalf and the many 
achievements I am going to talk about in a minute that we have been 
able to accomplish--I also note that none of us would have been able to 
get as much done as we did without the help of the tremendous staff 
that serves us in the Senate as a Chamber: The people who work the 
floor, our pages, the folks who work at the front here who handle the 
clerk roles, and the parliamentary roles, and so on. I thank them.
  I thank the people who serve on the leadership staffs of both parties 
who have been great friends and who have helped us to chart the very 
complicated parliamentary waters we have to so often navigate, the 
folks who work on the staffs of the committees on which I have served 
that have helped us to pass legislation, and to the other people who 
work in the Senate, from the Capitol Police, who help us in so many 
ways that go unnoted, to the folks in the libraries and the 
Congressional Research Service, and in the Cloakrooms.
  To all of those people, and others I have probably forgotten, I say 
thank you because it has really been a very enjoyable part of this job 
to work with such nice people, people who give 100 percent to this 
Chamber and to America, and often without any recognition at all. I 
hope that we will continue to always be served in this body by people 
of such great skill and talent.
  Finally, I thank the people of Michigan. They gave me and my family 
the chance to come to Washington to represent them in the Senate.
  I thank you for what I consider to be the most tremendous honor that 
any American can have bestowed upon them by their friends and neighbors 
in their State, and for their tremendous support throughout my 6 years 
in the Senate.

[[Page S11733]]

  I am very proud of the accomplishments I have achieved. I have worked 
very hard--I hope in most cases in an effective way--to help the people 
of Michigan, to make sure my constituents have had their voices heard 
in the Senate, and to make certain that the Federal Government is 
responsive to their needs.
  Speaking of accomplishments, although I spent only a relevantly brief 
time here in the Senate, I am very proud of what my staff and I have 
been able to accomplish for the people of Michigan and for the country.
  In 1994, a group of freshmen were elected here. Eleven of us came in 
to basically create a new majority. In 1995, I came to the Senate as 
part of a historic class of Republican Senators --the class that gave 
Republicans control of Congress for the first time in decades. I 
believe we were sent to Washington to accomplish a very clear agenda: 
to balance the Federal budget, to reduce the tax burden, to reform the 
welfare system, and to make Washington more accountable.
  I am proud to say, as I look back on our 6 years, that I believe we 
have delivered on those promises.
  We balanced the budget in 1998--and we have kept it balanced every 
year since. We have done it this past year without using one penny of 
the Social Security trust fund surplus to get the job done.
  We reformed the welfare system, reducing the welfare rolls by over a 
  We provided parents with a $500-per-child tax credit and investors a 
cut in the capital gains tax.
  And we made Congress more accountable by requiring Members to live by 
the same rules and regulations and mandates we impose on the rest of 
the country.
  I am proud of those achievements, which I think, of course, are 
achievements of this body as a whole.
  I am also proud of some of the things which I have been able to 
accomplish during the last 6 years. I am very proud of the fact that, 
including today, I have never missed a single rollcall vote on the 
floor of the Senate. I have just cast, I think, my 2,002nd consecutive 
rollcall vote.
  In my view, voting in the Senate is the single most important duty 
that we can, as Senators, perform on behalf of our constituents. It is 
what the people of our States elect us to do. I am glad I have been 
here every single day for the people of Michigan to perform that 
  I am also proud of the fact that in a fairly short period of time I 
have been able to author 22 pieces of legislation that have been signed 
into law. I am proud of that legislative record.
  As a member of the Judiciary Committee, I took a special interest in 
drug and crime issues. My first bill to become law prevented the U.S. 
Sentencing Commission from reducing prison sentences for crack-cocaine 
offenders. Had that bill not passed, the sentences would have been 
automatically reduced.
  Later, with my staff, we wrote the Prison Conditions Litigation 
Reform Act, which helped reduce prisoner lawsuits and return control of 
our prisons from judges back to local authorities.
  And just a few months ago, the President signed into law the Samantha 
Reid Date-Rape Drug Prohibition Act. Samantha Reid was a Rockwood, MI, 
teenager who died after drinking a can of Mountain Dew she did not know 
had been laced with the deadly date rape drug GHB. Our law amends the 
Controlled Substances Act by adding GHB to the list of Schedule 1 
controlled substances, which also includes heroin and cocaine.
  As a member of both the Judiciary and Commerce Committees, I focused 
on a wide range of high-technology issues that I believe are critical 
to the continued growth and prosperity of this country.
  My American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act increased 
the number of skilled professional visas to help with critical labor 
shortages, especially in the entrepreneurial high-tech sector.
  The law also funds 10,000 new college scholarships annually for low-
income students for studies in math, engineering, and computer science, 
and job training for unemployed Americans through the Jobs Partnership 
  I was also the author of two new laws dealing with electronic 
commerce: the Government Paperwork Elimination Act and the Electronic 
Signatures and Global and National Commerce Act.
  The first law set forth a timetable for Federal agencies to accept 
electronically signed and transmitted records and forms from businesses 
and individuals. The second law ensured that contracts agreed to over 
the Internet using digital signatures would have the same legal 
validity as contracts agreed to in the paper world using pen and ink 
  Both of these laws have laid the groundwork, I think, for continued 
growth and expansion of electronic commerce in the years to come.
  Other laws which I have been involved with--I am especially proud of 
the passage, this year, of the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation 
Act and the College Scholarship Fraud Prevention Act; and in the 
previous year, the Child Passenger Protection Act.
  I am especially proud of having been the Senate sponsor of 
legislation that conferred the Congressional Gold Medal on one of my 
constituents, Mrs. Rosa Parks.
  One area that I spent a great deal of time working on in this 
Chamber, as many know, is the area of immigration. As a grandson of 
immigrants, I am especially proud of the role that I tried to play in 
changing the tone of the debate over immigration in this Chamber. In 
the mid-1990s, my party--the Republican Party--in my judgment, seemed 
to have lost its way on immigration. It had strayed from the inclusive, 
proimmigration philosophy of President Ronald Reagan toward the more 
protectionist and nativist views of a vocal minority within the 
Republican ranks.

  In 1997, I helped lead a bipartisan group of Senators--from Phil 
Gramm, Mike DeWine, and Sam Brownback, to Russ Feingold, Joe Lieberman, 
Paul Wellstone, and others--to defeat a misguided effort to slash legal 
immigration to this country.
  I believe, with all of my heart, that America should remain--as 
President Reagan said--the ``Shining City on the Hill,'' welcoming 
those who play by the rules and who contribute to society.
  I would say, despite the ugly campaign that was run in my State 
against me by some of these anti-immigrant hate groups, I am absolutely 
confident that the bipartisan coalition for legal immigration that was 
built in this Chamber will remain strong long after I have left the 
  I am also proud of what I have been able to deliver to the people of 
the State of Michigan on issues important to our State.
  I am very proud of what I have been able to do with respect to 
increasing transportation funding; stopping an effort to move to 
Washington control of the Great Lakes, and increasing environmental 
funding for the Great Lakes; restoring Medicare reimbursements for 
Michigan hospitals; and protecting our auto workers' jobs with respect 
to issues that threaten the auto industry.
  I intend to continue to fight--perhaps not in the elective political 
arena or in public life specifically, but in whatever roles that I 
might be able to play--for tax and regulatory policies that strengthen 
American competitiveness and economic growth, to ensure strong national 
security, tough laws against criminals, and to have immigration policy 
that respects America's great traditions, having schools that are 
second to none, training for 21st-century jobs, community renewal 
efforts to empower the poor, and a transportation and infrastructure 
system that makes us prepared to be competitive in the 21st century.
  As I close, I have a few moments upon which I will reflect. When one 
comes to the end of a 6-year period here, there are a lot of memories. 
It is probably possible for one to speak long into the night about the 
various things one recalls. I do remember being sworn in here that 
first day just a few steps in front of me by Vice President Gore, 
holding our family Bible and very nervously taking the oath of office 
because it was such an important moment in my life.
  I remember the first day I sat in the President's chair presiding 
over the Senate. I considered it to be quite an important honor to be 
given that duty. Then by the second and third day that I performed it, 
I realized exactly how

[[Page S11734]]

that responsibility was viewed by the other Members of this Chamber. 
This week I asked once again to have the chance to preside because I 
wanted to never forget just exactly how meaningful it is to serve in 
this Chamber.
  I remember passing our first bill with regard to sentencing and 
seeing it signed into law. I remember standing at this desk and casting 
the very first vote on the impeachment trial that we had in January of 
1999 with respect to the impeachment of President Clinton, an 
unbelievably historic moment to have been a part. And of course I will 
never forget today, the chance to be here with colleagues and staff and 
friends speaking one last time in the Senate. Indeed, it is these 
moments, the chance to stand up and to make one's case for one's State, 
for one's beliefs, that will stay with me probably more than any other.
  In closing, I will just make a few short observations. First, this 
institution has been served by great people. All too often we tend to 
take for granted the truly extraordinary political leaders who work 
here every day. I personally consider it a great honor and privilege to 
serve with people who will long be recognized, probably for the entire 
history of our country, as giants in this Chamber--leaders such as 
Senator Bob Dole, our President pro tempore Strom Thurmond, retiring 
Member Daniel Patrick Moynihan, and of course the great Senator from 
West Virginia Robert Byrd--two on each side of the aisle whose 
contributions to their Nation and to this Chamber will never be 
forgotten, and two on each side of the aisle whose leadership I hope 
all of us will be able to in some ways emulate in our careers. I know 
there will be others who are serving here and with whom I have served 
who someday will be looked upon the same way, as history records their 
  The second observation I have is for those sitting in the gallery, 
watching and paying attention to the action of the Senate. Sometimes 
the media and others tend to focus too much on the areas in which we 
disagree in this Chamber. Indeed, we do have our disagreements. That is 
why we have a democratic system that gives each side an opportunity to 
fight for their causes.
  But as the Presiding Officer knows, in the committees and usually on 
the floor of this Chamber, we work together on a bipartisan basis to 
get things done for the American people. More often than not, things 
pass here unanimously. They do so quietly. They do so by the unanimous-
consent agreements that don't get reported very often. Indeed, much of 
America's business is accomplished without rancor and strife, without 
divisive debates. At the same time, the Founding Fathers created the 
Senate as the saucer to cool the passions of the day.
  I have observed that passion for philosophy, at least for ideas, 
reigns here in the Senate. I can remember during the last 6 years from 
the balanced budget amendment debates, when I first got here, to the 
debates over Bosnia and other foreign affairs issues, to the 
impeachment trial and so on, while we in the Senate obviously have a 
reputation for being a deliberative body, we also are a body in which 
the passions of the country are best reflected in the debates we have. 
I hope that will always be the tradition as well.

  Indeed, I think the Senate really does reflect democracy at its 
finest. Over 150 years ago, De Tocqueville observed:

       I confess that in America I saw more than America; I saw 
     the image of democracy itself, with its inclinations, its 
     character, its prejudices, and its passions, in order to 
     learn what we have to fear or hope from its progress.

  Some say this America, this image of democracy, no longer exists. But 
I say that it does exist, right here in this great Chamber.
  I will miss the Senate. I will miss the institution, and I will miss 
the people. Being a Senator has been my dream job. I hope that during 
my 6 years here I have contributed in some small way to the rich 
history of what has been and forever will be called ``the world's 
greatest deliberative body in the world's greatest democracy.'' It is a 
long distance from being the grandson of immigrants to this floor.
  I know when my grandparents came here, they never dreamt that their 
grandson or anyone in the family would end up as a Member of the U.S. 
Senate, but they came to America because they wanted to live in a place 
in which something such as that could happen. This is the one country 
where something such as that not only can happen in the family of the 
Abrahams, but in many other families happened all the time. It is the 
greatest thing about America. I am proud and believe, as I leave the 
Chamber, that I have helped contribute in my own small way during these 
6 years to making sure that America always remains that country.
  I thank everyone I have mentioned, but I especially thank my family, 
some of whom are here today, my wife Jane and my daughters Betsy and 
Julie, without whom none of this would have been possible for me. Their 
support in every way and their love and affection have made the 
difference in my life.
  As I leave the Senate, I will only say that I hope all Americans will 
in their own way find a way to appreciate the greatness of this 
democracy. I hope all of my colleagues will continue to fight to make 
sure that that tradition, that Nation which my grandparents and so many 
others fought for, so many others strove to come to be part of, will 
always be available to those who seek freedom and liberty and 
opportunity and that that dream will be forever part of our great 
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Smith of Oregon). The Senator from 
  Mr. HAGEL. Mr. President, I rise to respond very briefly on behalf of 
this Senator, and I think I speak for the entire body when I say thank 
you to Senator Spence Abraham from Michigan for his contributions, his 
leadership, his effectiveness.
  My grandfather Hagel used to occasionally pay the highest compliment 
to an individual when he would say: He is a good man.
  Well, Spence Abraham is a good man. He will go on to do other very 
significant things with his life, with his talent, with his leadership. 
We will all be well served. It will impact the future of his children 
and our children, just as his service in the Senate has made this a 
better institution and a stronger Nation.
  I have been privileged to serve with Spence Abraham, be his seatmate 
here on the Senate floor, and become a good friend. Of that friendship 
and that service, I am proud. I thank Senator Abraham.
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. ABRAHAM. Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. HAGEL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.