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[Congressional Record: December 14, 2000 (Senate)]
[Page S11779-S11780]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access []


  Mr. LEVIN. Mr. President, when the 106th Congress adjourns, we will 
lose my colleague from Michigan, Senator Spencer Abraham. I want to pay 
tribute to Spence Abraham today.
  Although we have divergent voting records on many national issues, 
when the interests of Michigan were at stake, we were usually able to 
work together on behalf of our constituents. We and our staffs have 
joined forces on efforts to bring federal resources to Michigan for our 
highways and transportation, to address agricultural emergencies, 
economic development, airport modernization, the need for 
infrastructure to protect the environment, particular issues affecting 
the health of the Great Lakes and a broad array of other projects.
  Spence Abraham served on the Senate Judiciary, Commerce, and Budget 
Committees. In addition, we served together for the past six years on 
the Small Business Committee where we worked together to support 
increased funding for the Women's Business Centers program which helps 
entrepreneurs start and maintain successful businesses. There are three 
Centers in Michigan: the Center for Empowerment and Economic 
Development, CEED, which houses the Women's Initiative for Self-
Employment, WISE, in Ann Arbor, the Grand Rapids Opportunities for 
Women, GROW, in Grand Rapids, and The Detroit Entrepreneurship 
Institute, Inc, DEO.
  During this session of Congress, Spence and I worked together to get 
$2 million added to the Interior Appropriations bill to fund a 
settlement between Michigan Indian tribes, the State of Michigan and 
the federal government concerning fishing rights and, among other 
things, the removal of tribal gill nets from the Great Lakes. At our 
urging, the FY 2001 Interior Appropriations Bill also contained report 
language that directed the Bureau of Indian Affairs to include the 
``Great Lakes Fisheries Settlement agreement

[[Page S11780]]

in its fiscal year 2002 budget request.'' This amount should be $6.25 
million for FY 2002.
  We also successfully worked to continue the moratorium on unfair and 
ineffective increases in CAFE standards and worked out a compromise in 
the Senate to ensure that a National Academy of Sciences study of the 
effectiveness and impacts of CAFE standards will include the effect of 
those standards on motor vehicle safety as well as discriminatory 
impacts of those standards on the U.S. auto industry.
  Also, since Spence served as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary 
Committee's Subcommittee on Immigration, we worked together on amending 
Section 110 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant 
Responsibility Act of 1996 to ensure that Michiganders do not face 
major traffic delays at the Canadian border. The Immigration and 
Naturalization Service Data Management Improvement Act of 2000, which 
Spence Abraham introduced and I cosponsored, replaced the burdensome 
requirements of Section 110 with a more manageable approach of 
collecting data, one that would not result in border tie-ups or cause 
financial strain to Michigan jobs, exports, and tourism.
  We worked together on behalf of Michigan veterans. Within the past 
year, our staffs met with local officials to forge a successful 
cooperative effort to secure additional funding in Fiscal Year 2001 for 
the planning and construction of a national cemetery in the Detroit 
Metropolitan area. Approximately 927,000 veterans live in Michigan, 
605,000 of whom reside in the Detroit metropolitan area and a national 
cemetery here is long overdue.
  In his six years in the Senate, Spence Abraham earned a reputation as 
a vigorous, perceptive and hard-working Member. He proudly holds the 
second longest record of consecutive votes cast among current Senators, 
having missed no votes in his term. He authored a number of pieces of 
legislation, but I suspect none more important to him than the Hillory 
J. Farias and Samantha Reid Date-Rape Drug Prohibition Act of 2000 
named, in part, for Samantha Reid, a Rockwood, Michigan teenager who 
died after drinking a soft drink she didn't know had been lace with a 
substance called GHB (Gamma Hydroxybutyric Acid). The Abraham law 
amended the Controlled Substances Act of 1998 to add GHB, known as the 
``date rape drug'' to the list of Schedule One controlled substances.
  Mr. President, as we note the contribution of Spence Abraham to our 
work, my wife Barbara and I wish him, his wife Jane, their twin 
daugthers, Julie and Betsy, and their son Spencer Robert well as they 
begin the next chapter of their lives.