[Congressional Record: December 14, 2010 (Senate)] [Page S8972-S8976] Tributes to Retiring Senators Kit Bond Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I rise to pay tribute to my old friend, Kit Bond, a man who has dedicated the better part of four decades to public service, and who has never failed in all those years to put the people of Missouri ahead of himself. As Kit puts it: Serving Missouri has been my life's work. . . . I have walked the land, fished its rivers and been humbled by the honesty and hard work of our people. The highest honor is to receive and safeguard the public trust. But Kit also knew when to leave the field to somebody else. As he put it in his retirement announcement last year before a packed Missouri House Chamber: In 1973, I became Missouri's youngest governor. . . . I do not aspire to become Missouri's oldest senator. It may have been the one ambition Kit did not pursue. Born in St. Louis, Kit is a sixth generation Missourian. He grew up in Mexico, MO, where his grandfather founded the A.P. Green Fire Brick Company, the largest employer in town. Kit and Linda still call Mexico home. Kit has always been an overachiever. He graduated cum laude from Princeton University and first in his class from the University of Virginia School of Law. After that, he moved to Atlanta to clerk for one of the great pioneers of the civil rights movement, Judge Elbert Tuttle of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. After that, Kit went home to Missouri to practice law. In 1968, he ran for Congress and lost, but he did not lose his taste for politics. A year later, he was appointed Assistant Attorney General, where he ran the Consumer Protection Division under Attorney General John Danforth. The future Senate colleagues would become close friends, political allies, and dominant figures in Missouri politics for more than a generation. In 1969, Kit was elected State auditor, and in 1972, at the tender age of 33, he was elected as the youngest Governor in the history of Missouri, and its first Republican Governor in 32 years. It was an extraordinary achievement, followed by an equally extraordinary series of events. Four years after winning the seat, he lost it to a Democrat named Joe Teasdale. But 4 years after that, he won it back from the same guy. As Governor, one of Kit's greatest accomplishments was working with the Democratic legislature to take the Parents as Teachers pilot program statewide--a program that was designed to help parents prepare their children for the classroom and help them score higher on standardized tests. As a young father and Governor, Kit saw how important the program was for his own son Sam. ``As a parent [[Page S8973]] looking for an `owner's manual' to care for a new baby,'' Kit said, ``[Parents for Teachers] was my lifeline.'' So in 1984, Kit signed a bill requiring all Missouri school districts to provide Parents as Teachers services. Since its inception in the mid-1980s, this program has been immensely successful and helpful to parents all across Missouri, serving 3 million children in the State. Today, the Parents as Teachers program includes 3,000 programs and has expanded to all 50 States and seven countries. As Governor, Kit was also a strong advocate for biotechnology and the expansion of community health centers to underserved areas. After his success as a two-term Governor, Kit decided to follow his former boss, Senator Jack Danforth, to Washington. He won his first term with 53 percent of the vote, becoming the only Republican that year to capture a seat previously held by a Democrat. For the last 24 years, Kit has been a leader of this body. There is no stronger advocate for the men and women of our Armed Forces than Kit Bond. He has worked hard to ensure that our Nation's veterans get the care they need and deserve. He has become an expert on Southeast Asian affairs, last year coauthoring a book on Southeast Asia and Islam entitled ``The Next Front: Southeast Asia and the Road to Global Peace with Islam.'' ``It is not difficult to convince a senator to write a book,'' Kit said. ``The hard part is convincing people to read it.'' The Senate is indebted to Kit for his service as vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. He has worked tirelessly to conduct responsible oversight of our Nation's intelligence community. He worked closely with former Chairman Rockefeller and our current chair, Dianne Feinstein. In doing so, they showed all of us the importance of working together in a bipartisan fashion on matters of national security. Kit was instrumental in the passage of the Protect America Act and the subsequent Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Amendment Act of 2008. He worked tirelessly behind the scenes and across the aisle to combat widespread misinformation about these bills. Regarding the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, Kit said: There is nothing to fear in [this] bill, unless you have Al Qaeda on your speed dial. Over the years, Kit worked hard to improve Missouri's transportation and infrastructure. Legend has it that his staunch protection of Missouri's highway funds even led to a physical altercation one day with our former colleague, Senator Moynihan. The details are a little murky with the passage of time, and Pat denied it ever happened. But Kit claims to have been the last Senator to be ``slugged'' on the Senate floor. The rest of us learned an important lesson that day: Don't mess with Missouri's highway funding. I think anyone who knows Kit well will tell you the last 10 years have been some of the happiest for him. Linda has made Kit a new man. I understand she has improved his diet, his fitness routine, and, thank heavens, his wardrobe. He has proudly watched his son Sam stand up and defend the Nation Kit has served his entire life. First Lieutenant Bond served two tours in Iraq, the last as a scout-sniper platoon leader, where he conducted close reconnaissance and surveillance operations in order to gain intelligence on the enemy. We all thank him for his courage and his sacrifice in defending our freedom and security. Now, I would be remiss if I failed to acknowledge another one of Kit's loved ones--his dog Tiger, who has become sort of a YouTube celebrity around here. Tiger is, of course, named after Kit's beloved University of Missouri Tigers, and her favorite past time is lying under Kit's desk and destroying a stuffed University of Kansas Jayhawk. Tiger may not be the kind of dog one would imagine for the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Even Kit admits she is a little bit of a froufrou pet. But in Tiger's defense, Kit likes to point out that the last time she saw FDIC Chair Sheila Bair, she would not stop barking. Chairman Bair has not one but two degrees from the University of Kansas. ``I think she sniffed it out,'' Bond said. Kit has had a tremendous career in public service. He has been elected seven times in Missouri from State auditor to his four terms in the Senate--more than anyone else in the history of the Show-Me State. Looking back, Kit says his political adversaries kept him nimble, and the media kept him humble. Whatever the formula, Kit has been an outstanding Senator, and we will miss him terribly. I am sure it is hard for Missourians to imagine Kit outside of office. It is no easier for his colleagues to imagine the Senate without Kit. As his fourth term draws to a close, history will show he has served the people of Missouri and the people of this Nation with passion, honor, and integrity. He will be missed. Let me just add, back in the mid-1980s, I started off in the very last seat back there, and then, 2 years later--these were not great years for Republicans. We had two freshmen my first year, and two freshmen 2 years later, Senator Bond and Senator McCain. So seniority being what it is in the Senate, I got to move out of the very last chair, moving over two more chairs, and Bond and McCain came back there and joined us. We were such power players in those days, we referred to ourselves as the ``Not Quite Ready for Prime Time Players.'' But I must say to my friend from Missouri, you have come a long way from those early days. You have made an enormous difference in the Senate, and we will all miss you greatly. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Missouri. Mr. BOND. Thank you, Leader McConnell, for your very kind and generous words. Since I announced I was not running for reelection, I have been overwhelmed by the nice things folks have been saying about me. There is nothing like being eulogized while you are still breathing. But to my good friend Mitch, it has been a long time since we sat back in the corner as the ``Not Quite Ready for Prime Time Players,'' but while I never made it to prime time, except, of course, one appearance as a very less-than-best-selling author on the ``Jon Stewart Show,'' you certainly have arrived. You have led us through many difficult and protracted debates. Through all of it, you have been an agile, disciplined, and courteous negotiator, with a good sense of humor. You kept us together on many tough votes, at least as much as is possible to keep 40-something different, independent minds all together or, as I like to say, 40 frogs in a wheelbarrow. But I thank you, Mitch. While I have occasionally caused you heartburn--I realize that--I have always appreciated your intelligence, your leadership, and your friendship. You and Elaine are very close friends of Linda and myself, and we wish you both the very best for the future. Farewell to the Senate Two years ago I announced my retirement from the Senate, and that time has come. I have to begin by thanking all my colleagues and my constituents for making this job one of the best a person could hold. There is no greater honor than being given the trust of the people at home to represent them. I have done my best to keep faith with my constituents on every vote I have cast and every issue on which I have worked. Through more than two decades of membership in this world's greatest deliberative body--sometimes delaying body--I have participated in my share of debates. When I first came to the Senate, the Cold War was a conflict some thought we would never win. Thanks to the courage and resolve of former President Ronald Reagan, millions of people now live in freedom. During this last term especially, it seems many debates will have history-shaping consequences. America has faced many challenges in the past 6 years: the longest recession since the Great Depression, wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the continuing battle against terrorism, the fight to be competitive in a global economy, and many more. As I look back, the successes we have achieved during my time here have come because people of good will were willing to work across the aisle for the common good of our Nation. As I address the floor today, I am filled with memories of the many colleagues with whom I have worked over the years. One stands out in my memory--the one who was my best friend [[Page S8974]] and mentor in the Senate, who took me under his wing and treated me and my family as close friends, and that, of course, is the late Senator Ted Stevens. He was unflagging in his support of his principles, and everyone clearly knew where he stood. Yet he was a very effective appropriator because he knew how to compromise. I can only hope my colleagues and constituents know where I stand, and I, too, know that working across the aisle is the only way to get things done in this body. Right after I arrived, I had the pleasure of working with the late Senator Robert Byrd, who achieved the acid rain trading compromise and passed the Clean Air Act amendments of 1990. I also joined with former Senator Wendell Ford to establish a National Guard caucus, and now it is a pleasure to work with Pat Leahy to ensure that our dual-mission National Guard is adequately prepared to serve emergency needs on the homefront and participate in our national security issues abroad. On the Appropriations Committee, I have enjoyed the successes I have had working first with Barbara Mikulski and now Dianne Feinstein to ensure that public housing meets the needs of the people it is supposed to serve and the communities in which they live, providing supportive assistance for the homeless--particularly veterans--and stopping lead paint poisoning of children in old public housing buildings across the Nation. Barbara and I also gave a boost to what I believe will be the job-creating technology of the 21st century: agricultural biotechnology. We did that with congressionally directed spending in the National Science Foundation budget. With Senator Dianne Feinstein as chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, we have put, I believe, the Senate Intelligence Committee back on a path of bipartisanship and achieved passage of the first Intelligence Act Reauthorization in 6 years. I especially owe my Republican colleagues my sincerest thanks and appreciation for sticking with me as we negotiated our way through some tough compromises, such as the fights we have had on FISA. But when the Help America Vote Act came to the Senate floor in 2001, ostensibly to cure problems with punchcard voting in Florida but which most of us Republicans thought was an effort to discredit the election of former President Bush, I urged my colleagues not to block the bill but to use it, not only to make it easier to vote but tougher to cheat. When we moved to the floor, I brought to the Senate floor a picture of a springer spaniel, Ritsy Meckler, who had been registered to vote in St. Louis, MO, to make the point that if we had positive identification, it would have been much more difficult for Ritsy to register or certainly to vote. My friend, Chris Dodd, with whom I had worked on many children and family issues and who worked with us on the HAVA Act, told me he never wanted to see a picture of that dog again, so I autographed the picture and gave it to him. I trust he still has it in his trusted memory box. Right now we are engaged on the Senate floor in passing a bill that will stop historic tax increases from hitting most American families and the entire economy next year. I truly hope the House will be able to pass a bill for signature by President Obama so we can begin getting the economy to work again and preventing even more job losses. Assuming we can do it, the new Congress has to put our economy back on a sound footing. We must end the recent trend of the push for government overspending and passing the burdensome mandates on States and the private sector. Excessive regulations that go beyond reasonable safety and environmental restrictions are costing us jobs in agriculture, energy, and many other areas of the economy, and stopping badly needed developments that we in this country need. The size of the debt has become an increasing concern for my constituents and others across the Nation. We have a debt problem that is caused by spending, not by having taxes too low. I am encouraged to see there has been more discussion of having a flat tax with lower rates, eliminating a wide range of deductions, credits, and other tax bill earmarks. Doing so would make it easier for all of us, as Americans, to fill out tax forms, eliminating the time and effort of figuring them out, and I think it should enable us to put more of those resources into what we need, our top priority: job creation. Speaking of job creation, I think there are tremendous opportunities in export trade. I applaud President Obama's call for expanding trade to create jobs. I look forward to seeing his continued leadership and to seeing Congress move forward promptly to adopt the trade agreements with Korea, Colombia, and Panama. For our intermediate-term future, it is essential the United States participate in the Trans-Pacific Partnership with countries on both sides of the Pacific to take down barriers to trade and increase export job opportunities. As most of my colleagues know, I have been particularly interested in expanding trade with Southeast Asia, which I believe is not well understood by too many Americans. But the entire Asian region, however, provides huge opportunities for better American jobs through trade and investment across the Pacific. In addition to expanding economic growth and jobs, trade is also an important element in SmartPower, the fight against terrorist insurgencies threatening other countries and ultimately those of us here at home. As I mentioned in the book the leader was kind enough to speak of, we can and must use trade, investment, and education interchanges to build strong economies as a necessary step as we use military action to stop imminent, violent threats. The combination can make stronger, stabler allies. I think SmartPower was no better demonstrated than in the efforts of the Missouri National Guard Development team in Nangarhar Province in Afghanistan. These military-trained Guard men and women went to Afghanistan with strong private sector expertise in a wide range of agriculture activities and helped reestablish a profitable, legitimate agriculture in Agatha, while they were maintaining security. By the end of the first 10-month growing season, illicit poppy production had dropped to zero in Agatha, which had been the second leading poppy producer in the Nation. I think we have to expand that model with more National Guard units deployed but also a better coordination of not only our military forces overseas but civilian assistance that must go with them. We must continue our efforts to avoid giving al-Qaida and its related terrorist allies an unchallenged place to develop recruiting and training camps, command and control units that threaten us. One of the greatest challenges, however, is the publicly announced summer of 2011 withdrawal date from Afghanistan. It has told our enemies they only need to wait until next summer to put our allies in the Karzai government on notice that we may not be there to protect them after the summer of 2011. As important, it tells the shura or local community leaders we will not be there next year to protect them from the Taliban, so they are less likely to cooperate with us. There must be a message, I believe, from the White House, widely disseminated, that we will pull out of Afghanistan only when conditions on the ground indicate there will be security. A high point of my legislative career got an impetus in 2007, when I went with Senator Bayh on a congressional delegation, a CODEL, to Afghanistan. We were told that the limitations in the old Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act were a great threat to our troops as well as to those of us on the ground. I worked, as the leader said, from that point until the summer of 2008, with the strong support of my Republican colleagues, and a workable compromise across the aisle was developed which gave the intelligence agencies the access they needed and, at the same time, extended the protection of rights of Americans overseas from unwarranted interception of messages by telephone or e- mail. As a result, we currently have that ability, but we must go to work quickly to make sure other provisions of vital intelligence collection measures and authorizations do not expire without legislative extensions. For the United States, our homeland, our defense against terrorist acts from prisoners of war is essential, and we must prevent the release of Gitmo detainees [[Page S8975]] to other countries, where they will return to the battlefield. The fact that one in four detainees already has come back is a frightening figure because we believe there are many more who will come back, and I fear one of those may conduct an attack on the United States. We need to have a law of war which allows us to hold them. As a final thought on intelligence, however, the recent WikiLeaks scandal has shown us what damage the Internet can do to our diplomatic efforts as well as the safety of those in dangerous places with whom we have worked. The even greater threat we see is the continuing cyber attack on military intelligence and private sector critical infrastructure. With my colleague from Utah, Orrin Hatch, we have introduced a cyber security bill which will establish a cyber defense alliance to allow private sector entities to cooperate with government agencies to protect our critical financial systems, our utilities and, most of all, our communications systems from attack. The battle is underway, and we will need every effort to stay ahead of the developing attacks as well as helping the private sector protect their information. In closing, I will tell my colleagues I have worked in all possible party combinations. I have been in the majority and minority. I have been fat and thin, and being thin and in the majority is a whole lot better. In my two terms as Governor, with a 70-percent Democratic majority in both the house and the senate general assembly, they explained to me how bipartisanship works. I figured it out during my second term, which enabled us to do better. It was my most successful term in any office, and the general assembly and I both achieved passage of all the legislative priorities we had. So now if my colleagues will permit a little parting advice from an old bull: Work together, play nice. I would follow up on the leader's comment about a little scuffle I had with Pat Moynihan. I never talked about it. We never said anything publicly until now. Later on, as we became fast friends, he used to tease me about setting up boxing matches so we could raise money for charity. But when I looked at his height and his reach, I didn't take him up on that. In a world today where enemies are real--the kind who seek to destroy others because of their religion--it is important to remember there is a lot of real estate between a political opponent and a true enemy. In government, we expect spirited and principled debate where ideas compete and the best ones prevail. There will be issues where people of good conscience cannot come together, but let us never let what cannot be done interfere with what can be done. Events in the world and threats will continue to challenge us--terrorism, the economy, and growing debt. Nearly 24 years ago, I was sworn in as a U.S. Senator. Since that time, I have been honored to work with you and others on all the priorities facing our country and many more. Public service has been a blessing and a labor of love for me. Little in life could be more fulfilling. But I look forward to the next chapter in my life. I am neither shy nor retiring. There are ways to serve, and elective office is only one of them. I plan to continue fighting for Missouri and national priorities from a different vantage point. Throughout 40 years of public life, I have met many wonderful people. I have visited every area of the State every term I have served in office. The people I have met in office and the people I have worked with have made the job so rewarding I decided to stay longer. The people of Missouri have been my most trusted and valuable advisers and I thank them for giving me support and helping me to identify not only the challenges but the solutions. In addition to my colleagues and friends, there are too many others to thank, but let me give you the first one. First, to my patient family--my wife Linda, the light and love of my life; my talented, charming daughter-in-law Margaret, and my son Sam, whom I regard as my personal hero for his service as a marine ground-intelligence officer in Iraq. Thanks to all who have worked for me in my office, on my committees, and those who have helped me with political activities--hundreds and thousands over the years. Some were not born when I started, others have passed away. Fortunately, many are still here. As Mitch said, I thank my political adversaries for keeping me nimble and the media for keeping me humble. Most of all, I thank the voters of Missouri for sending me to Jefferson City three times and Washington, DC four times to represent them. There is no greater honor. I have been truly blessed to be entrusted by them with the responsibility of public office. And I thank you from the bottom of my heart. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Missouri. Tributes to Retiring Senators Kit Bond Mrs. McCASKILL. Mr. President, I think it goes without saying there are things Senator Bond and I might disagree on, but today is not a time to talk about those things. I rise for a few minutes to talk about Senator Bond and the things I most respect and admire him for. It could be a very long list, and I don't want to take too long, but I am going to hit the high points of the things I think demand that anyone who has paid attention to Missouri needs to respect and admire this man for. For 42 years, he has served the State of Missouri. Let us start there. He loves the State we call home. I would say that he knows it better than any living person in the world. He understands it, he is dedicated to it, and he has made Missouri his life's work. For that, he deserves my respect and admiration. Secondly, he has made major sacrifices to serve. As the leader said, he graduated first in his class from the University of Virginia Law School; a graduate from Princeton. I don't need to explain to anybody in the Senate what that could mean in terms of one's career, in terms of making money. Christopher Kit Bond could have been wealthy beyond anyone's imagination. He had the intellect, he had the personality to succeed in any business that he decided to engage in, and certainly in the practice of law. I think in today's world there is so much cynicism about the people who choose a career of political service. This is a great example for civics classes throughout this country, to see that this is what we are talking about--someone who chose not to make big bucks, not to travel the halls of power in the private sector, but to toil in the fields of being a public servant. Yes, there are many things about being a public servant that are grand and glorious, but there is a lot that is not. I would challenge anyone to go to as many farm bureau picnics as my colleague has gone to and not admit a little bit of fatigue. I would challenge anyone to have attended as many State fairs as my colleague has attended and not confess a little fatigue. I would challenge anyone to go to what my dad used to call the ``slick ham suppers'' in small communities across the State after a long week of work, because he knew there were people there who were going to be rewarded by his presence and that it was part of his job. He realized that was very important. So I am very respectful and have great admiration for the fact that he has toiled in the field of public service for all these years. The third thing I respect and admire about him is how proud he is of his family and how devoted he is to his wife. It is wonderful to behold when someone exudes love and admiration and devotion to those people who are most important to all of us--our families. I have watched Senator Bond as he began to immerse himself in foreign policy, and I know it was because he went to bed every night and woke up every morning thinking of Sam, and Sam's service and what Sam was doing and feeling, that compelled him to do as much as he could in the Halls of Congress to help men and women such as Sam Bond throughout our world. Fourth, and maybe this is the best one, Senator Kit Bond is not afraid of a fight. I think that is terrific. You know, Missouri is a tough State. It is a tough State in that anybody who tells you their reelection is certain does not know or understand Missouri. Every election is a battle in Missouri. He has a record of nine and two in those elections. And for our beloved team, the Missouri Tigers, he and I would take that record any year in football. He has [[Page S8976]] had three campaigns for Governor and four campaigns for the Senate from the State of Missouri, and his record is nine and one in those elections. Let me tell you, that is one remarkable achievement because in Missouri we have some strong-minded folks. We have a bunch of folks on one end who are very loud and very opinionated, and they are not going anywhere, and we have a bunch of folks on the other end who are just as loud and just as opinionated, and they are not going anywhere. But in the middle we have a grand and glorious group of very stubbornly independent people. I like to point out to people that the State of Missouri elected John Ashcroft Governor and Harriett Woods Lieutenant Governor in the same election. Now, many of you may not know who Harriett Woods is, but I can assure you my colleague and I both know these two people--John Ashcroft and Harriett Woods--and they had absolutely nothing in common. They had completely divergent ideological views of the world, yet Missourians elected both of them. Why? I will tell you what that grand and gloriously stubborn streak of independents want in Missouri--they want someone with a smile. Check for Kit Bond. When you think of Kit Bond, you think of him smiling. Even if his teeth are gritted, and he is telling you something you don't want to hear or you can tell he is angry at you, he is still grinning. They appreciate his intellect. He has always been an intellectual giant, and that is important when you are toiling the fields of public service. His integrity. There was never a doubt in all of these years of Kit Bond's service that this was not a man of the very highest integrity. And finally, a work ethic. And gee howdy, Missourians want a work ethic. They want somebody who understands that they are working hard and they want to see you working hard, and that is exactly what Senator Bond has done for these 42 years. He has worked very hard, even down to planting his chestnut trees himself on the farm in Mexico. So the magic formula of a ready smile, intellect, integrity, and an amazing work ethic has put him in the same category as some of Missouri's very greatest. From Thomas Hart Benton to Senator Christopher Kit Bond, he has shown the world and shown our country what hard work, what somebody who loves the middle of America and all that it represents can do in the Senate. He has been a wonderful role model for many of us in Missouri, even if we don't always agree on every issue. And by the way, I will tell this story today: When I took my desk in the State auditor's office, there is a tradition in the State auditor's office in Missouri that all the previous State auditors' pictures are around your office on a photo rail at the top. I sat down at my desk on the first day having been elected State auditor, and I looked up and who was directly across from me--Kit Bond and John Ashcroft. I will confess I moved the order so I didn't have to look at both of you every single day. But you were a reminder to me that there are many different ways to serve. It is with a great deal of reluctance that I say farewell to Senator Kit Bond in the Senate. He has served here well, he has served his State well, and I hope he remains a colleague and friend of mine for many years to come. With the utmost admiration and respect, I yield the floor. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from North Dakota is recognized. Mr. CONRAD. Mr. President, I also want to add my voice in respect and recognition for the service of Senator Kit Bond. He has been a terrific colleague. We have jousted over issues such as water policy affecting our two States, but he has always conducted himself with honor and integrity and he will be missed in this Chamber.