[Senate Document 114-25]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]

                 TRIBUTES TO HON. JOSEPH R. BIDEN, JR.


                         Joseph R. Biden, Jr.

                            PRESIDENT OF THE
                          UNITED STATES SENATE


                           IN THE CONGRESS OF
                           THE UNITED STATES




                                                   S. Doc. 114-25

                                Delivered in Congress

                                Joseph R. Biden, Jr.

                          United States Vice President and

                        President of the United States Senate


                                United States Senator



                         WASHINGTON : 2017

                            Compiled under the direction

                                       of the

                             Joint Committee on Printing
             Proceedings in the Senate:
                Tributes by Senators:
                    Alexander, Lamar, of Tennessee.................
                    Bennet, Michael F., of Colorado................
                    Blumenthal, Richard, of Connecticut............
                                                                 46, 65
                    Boozman, John, of Arkansas.....................
                    Boxer, Barbara, of California..................
                    Cardin, Benjamin L., of Maryland...............
                    Carper, Thomas R., of Delaware.................
                    Casey, Robert P., Jr., of Pennsylvania.........
                    Collins, Susan M., of Maine....................
                    Coons, Christopher A., of 
                                                       4, 5, 31, 72, 75
                    Donnelly, Joe, of Indiana......................
                    Durbin, Richard J., of Illinois................
                    Enzi, Michael B., of Wyoming...................
                    Feinstein, Dianne, of California...............
                    Graham, Lindsey, of South Carolina.............
                    Hatch, Orrin G., of Utah.......................
                    Hirono, Mazie K., of Hawaii....................
                    Isakson, Johnny, of Georgia....................
                    Kaine, Tim, of Virginia........................
                    King, Angus S., Jr., of Maine..................
                    Klobuchar, Amy, of Minnesota...................
                    Leahy, Patrick J., of Vermont..................
                    Markey, Edward J., of Massachusetts............
                    McCain, John, of Arizona.......................
                    McCaskill, Claire, of Missouri.................
                    McConnell, Mitch, of Kentucky..................
                                                                   3, 7
                    Mikulski, Barbara A., of Maryland..............
                    Murray, Patty, of Washington...................
                                                                  4, 25
                    Nelson, Bill, of Florida.......................
                    Portman, Rob, of Ohio..........................
                    Reed, Jack, of Rhode Island....................
                    Reid, Harry, of Nevada 
                                                                3, 4, 9
                    Schumer, Charles E., of New York...............
                    Stabenow, Debbie, of Michigan..................
                    Udall, Tom, of New Mexico......................
                    Warner, Mark R., of Virginia...................
                    Warren, Elizabeth, of Massachusetts............
                    Whitehouse, Sheldon, of Rhode Island...........

               Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr., was born November 20, 1942, 
             in Scranton, PA, the first of four siblings. In 1953, the 
             Biden family moved from Pennsylvania to Claymont, DE. He 
             graduated from the University of Delaware and Syracuse Law 
             School and served on the New Castle County Council. Then, 
             at age 29, he became one of the youngest people ever 
             elected to the U.S. Senate.
                Just weeks after the election, tragedy struck the Biden 
             family when Joe Biden's wife, Neilia, and their 1-year-old 
             daughter, Naomi, were killed and their two young sons 
             critically injured in an auto accident. Joe Biden was 
             sworn in to the U.S. Senate at his sons' hospital bedsides 
             and began commuting to Washington every day by train, a 
             practice he maintained throughout his career in the 
                In 1977, Joe Biden married Jill Jacobs. Jill Biden, who 
             holds a Ph.D. in education, is a lifelong educator and 
             currently teaches at a community college in Northern 
             Virginia. The Vice President's son, Beau (1969-2015), was 
             Delaware's attorney general from 2007 to 2015 and a major 
             in the 261st Signal Brigade of the Delaware National 
             Guard. He was deployed to Iraq in 2008-2009. The Vice 
             President's other son, Hunter, is an attorney who manages 
             a private equity firm in Washington, DC, and is chairman 
             of the World Food Program USA. His daughter Ashley is a 
             social worker and is executive director of the Delaware 
             Center for Justice. Vice President Biden has five 
             grandchildren: Naomi, Finnegan, Roberta Mabel (``Maisy''), 
             Natalie, and Robert Hunter.
                As a Senator from Delaware for 36 years, Joe Biden 
             established himself as a leader in facing some of our 
             Nation's most important domestic and international 
             challenges. As chairman or ranking member of the Senate 
             Judiciary Committee for 17 years, then-Senator Biden was 
             widely recognized for his work on criminal justice issues, 
             including the landmark 1994 crime law and the Violence 
             Against Women Act. As chairman or ranking member of the 
             Senate Foreign Relations Committee for 12 years, then-
             Senator Biden played a pivotal role in shaping U.S. 
             foreign policy. He has been at the forefront of issues and 
             legislation related to terrorism, weapons of mass 
             destruction, post-cold war Europe, the Middle East, and 
             Southwest Asia.
                As the 47th Vice President of the United States, Joe 
             Biden continued his leadership on important issues facing 
             the Nation. The Vice President was tasked with 
             implementing and overseeing the $840 billion stimulus 
             package in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, 
             which helped to rebuild our economy and lay the foundation 
             for a sustainable economic future. The Vice President also 
             led the Ready to Work Initiative, the administration's key 
             effort to identify opportunities to improve our Nation's 
             workforce skills and training systems to help better 
             prepare American workers for the jobs of a 21st century 
                The Vice President drew upon his years in the U.S. 
             Senate to work with Congress on key issues including the 
             2013 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. As 
             a longtime advocate against sexual assault and domestic 
             violence, the Vice President appointed the first-ever 
             White House Advisor on Violence Against Women. The Vice 
             President was also tasked with convening sessions of the 
             President's Cabinet and leading interagency efforts, 
             particularly to reduce gun violence and raise the living 
             standards of middle class Americans in his role as chair 
             of the Middle Class Task Force. Vice President Biden 
             traveled to 48 States as part of the administration's 
             continuing efforts to focus key priorities such as college 
             affordability and American manufacturing growth.
                With decades of foreign policy experience in the U.S. 
             Senate, including serving as chairman of the Senate 
             Foreign Relations Committee, Vice President Biden advised 
             President Obama on international issues. The Vice 
             President was a leading architect of the U.S. strategic 
             vision of a Europe whole, free, and at peace. During his 
             time in the Senate, the Vice President led the effort to 
             enlarge NATO to include the former Warsaw Pact countries 
             of Eastern and Central Europe after the collapse of the 
             Iron Curtain. The Vice President's speech at the Munich 
             Security Conference in February 2015 laid out a vision for 
             how to revitalize NATO, strengthen democratic institutions 
             in Europe, prioritize investments to bolster energy 
             security, and grow trade and investment ties across the 
             Atlantic. The Vice President led the administration's 
             effort to support a sovereign, democratic Ukraine, 
             visiting the country three times in 2014. In the Middle 
             East, the Vice President was deeply involved in shaping 
             U.S. policy toward Iraq, visiting the country several 
             times. He met with the leaders from around the Middle East 
             and championed Israel's security. The Vice President also 
             played an active role in supporting the administration's 
             rebalance to the Asia-Pacific. He developed deep 
             relationships with the region's leaders, demonstrating 
             U.S. commitment to high-level, face-to-face diplomacy. 
             Vice President Biden was the administration's point person 
             for diplomacy within the Western Hemisphere. He worked to 
             realize his vision of a hemisphere that is ``middle class, 
             secure, and democratic, from Canada to Chile and 
             everywhere in between.'' In this capacity, the Vice 
             President led the administration's regional efforts to 
             address economic, social, governance, and citizen security 
                Vice President Biden represented our country in every 
             region of the world, traveling to more than two dozen 
             countries including: Afghanistan, Belgium, Brazil, China, 
             Colombia, Egypt, Germany, Guatemala, Israel, Japan, Kenya, 
             Mexico, Pakistan, Poland, Singapore, South Africa, South 
             Korea, Turkey, and Ukraine.




                                JOSEPH R. BIDEN, JR.
                              Proceedings in the Senate
                                               Monday, December 5, 2016
                Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, it is a rare day when we 
             see the Vice President presiding. We welcome him here 
             today. We look forward to welcoming him back later in the 
             week. I know Members will have plenty to say about his 
             life and his legacy later in the week, but today the 
             Senate would like to specifically acknowledge his efforts 
             to help Americans struggling with cancer.
                He has known the cruel toll this disease can take, but 
             he hasn't let it defeat him. He has chosen to fight back. 
             He has taken a leading role, and the Senate will soon pass 
             the 21st Century Cures Act as a testament to his 
             tremendous effort.
                I think it is fitting to dedicate this bill's critical 
             cancer initiatives in honor of someone who would be proud 
             of the Presiding Officer today, and that is his son Beau. 
             In just a moment, that is exactly what the Senate will 
             do--renaming the NIH's cancer initiatives in this bill 
             after Beau Biden.

                Mr. REID. Mr. President, I say to all my colleagues, 
             the Presiding Officer (Mr. Biden) served in the Senate for 
             36 years. During that time he was here, he was about as 
             much a man of the Senate as anyone could be. He was a 
             Democrat, but he was also available to anybody anytime. I 
             so admire him. I know that he has worked very closely with 
             the Republican leader on some very important issues the 
             last 8 years.
                I want the Record to be spread with the fact that the 
             Presiding Officer is as proud of his family as anyone 
             could be, and doing this for Beau only furthers the effect 
             that this man, the Presiding Officer, has had on this 
             country. I am grateful to the Republican leader for 
             allowing me to cosponsor this important amendment, 
             changing the name of this bill to the Beau Biden Memorial 
                I am grateful to you, the Republican leader. All of the 
             Senators understand that the man presiding is really a man 
             of the Senate and always will be.
                                              Tuesday, December 6, 2016
                Mrs. MURRAY. Mr. President, I wish to start by 
             expressing my appreciation to all of my colleagues who 
             have worked so hard on the priorities in the 21st Century 
             Cures bill, including investing in tackling our hardest to 
             treat diseases, confronting the opioid epidemic, 
             strengthening mental health care, and advancing medical 
                The legislation that we will be voting on either really 
             late tonight or tomorrow morning takes important steps to 
             improve the care that patients receive.
                I am very grateful to every Senator and Member of 
             Congress who worked across the aisle to make this 
             legislation the best it could be for those whom we serve. 
             In particular, I want to express my heartfelt thanks to 
             Vice President Joe Biden. Not everyone has the strength to 
             respond to profound personal tragedy by doing even more to 
             protect and help others, but that is exactly what he has 
             done. I know we are all grateful for and inspired by his 
             leadership, and I am confident it has given a lot of 
             families hope, knowing that Joe Biden is fighting for them 
             and their loved ones. ...
                                            Wednesday, December 7, 2016
                Mr. COONS. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that 
             the following Senators who wish to speak in honor of the 
             Presiding Officer [Mr. Biden] be recognized in the 
             following order for up to 4 minutes each: me, the majority 
             leader Senator McConnell, the minority leader Senator 
             Reid, Senator Schumer, Senator Hatch, Senator Leahy, 
             Senator McCain, Senator Durbin, Senator Isakson, Senator 
             Murray, Senator Feinstein, Senator Collins, Senator 
             Mikulski, and Senator Carper.

                The VICE PRESIDENT. The Democratic leader.

                Mr. REID. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that 
             the Senator from Delaware amend his request so that 
             Senator McConnell and I will use our leader time. That 
             will not count against his hour.

                The VICE PRESIDENT. Is there objection?
                Without objection, it is so ordered.
                The Senator from Delaware.

                Mr. COONS. Mr. President--and it does bring me some joy 
             to call you Mr. President. I am honored to be here today 
             with so many of our colleagues, and I am grateful to 
             Majority Leader McConnell and Leader Reid for their 
             enthusiasm in pulling together this bipartisan tribute. I 
             am honored to be joined by my senior Senator from 
             Delaware, Tom Carper, who will make closing remarks this 
                Before I begin, I would like to remind my colleagues 
             that there will be a reception for the Vice President in 
             the Mansfield Room, after we conclude here, beginning 
             sometime after 4. We have many Senators who wish to speak 
             so we will move quickly through the order. I encourage my 
             colleagues to submit their remarks for the Record, those 
             who are not able to speak in the next hour. Their remarks 
             will be combined with all the other remarks given on the 
             floor, and the resulting speeches printed, bound, and 
             presented to the Presiding Officer.
                Mr. President, in a place known these days for some 
             disagreements, my colleagues--our colleagues, Republicans, 
             Democrats, and Independents--are all here today because we 
             agree on one powerful and simple thing: our deep gratitude 
             for the difference you have made in your decades in public 
                The greatest honor of my life is to serve in the seat 
             that you held for 36 years--and not just literally this 
             seat in the Senate but also a seat on the 7:15 Amtrak 
             train down from Wilmington every morning. You logged over 
             2 million miles on Amtrak and millions more traveling 
             around the world fighting for our country, and as long as 
             I have the privilege of representing our State in the 
             Senate, I will be humbled by the challenge of living up to 
             your legacy of fighting for and making a real difference 
             for the people of our shared home.
                Like so many Americans, I have long been inspired by 
             your loyalty to your family, and I am so glad to see so 
             many familiar faces in the gallery today. This job 
             requires a strong partner and teammate, and to Dr. Biden, 
             Jill, your unwavering support for your family, for 
             Delaware, and your country is something for which we are 
             all deeply grateful.
                As a son of Delaware, and of Catherine Eugenia and Joe 
             Senior, you have never forgotten from where you came or 
             for whom you are fighting. Even as Vice President, our 
             fellow Delawareans have the blessing of a surprise visit 
             week in and week out, to see you at the Columbus Day 
             Breakfast or Return Day or St. Anthony's Procession.
                Whether meeting personally with world leaders you have 
             known for decades, whether chairing the Judiciary or 
             Foreign Relations Committees or just stopping by a 
             Claymont diner, there is universal agreement about what 
             you have brought to this work--your passion, your heart, 
             your character, and your integrity. That is because you 
             genuinely listen to people, you ask them questions, and 
             then you lift them up. We know that when you give us your 
             word as a Biden, you mean it, and you will keep it.
                Your service as a Senator stands as a model for all of 
             our colleagues and for me. Through challenging times, you 
             always worked across the aisle, through eight Presidents. 
             You were willing to reach across to anyone willing to roll 
             up their sleeves and get to work for the American people.
                So many families across Delaware and this country and 
             I, myself, as we have struggled with loss--maybe the loss 
             of a job or loss of hope or the impending loss of a loved 
             one--have experienced the incredible personal comfort and 
             power of a call from you. When it comes to providing 
             advice and inspiration that touches our hearts and makes a 
             real difference, no one is better than you. We know you 
             will share our challenges, you will give us meaningful 
             comfort and encourage us, and you will fight for us.
                As we look ahead to next year and beyond, I know you 
             and Jill have so much more great and good work to do, 
             starting with the fight to cure cancer through the Cancer 
             Moonshot. This next chapter will be every bit as exciting 
             and meaningful as the life of service you have led for 44 
             years. What an honor to see you in that chair earlier this 
             week as the majority leader led the Senate in a unanimous 
             vote to rename a title of the 21st Century Cures Cancer 
             Initiative after Beau. That bill, which we passed finally 
             just an hour ago, would not have happened without your 
                Now, let me close with a line you know all too well, a 
             line you shared countless times in this Chamber, sometimes 
             from this very desk. As the Irish poet Seamus Heaney once 

             History says, Don't hope
              On this side of the grave,
              But then, once in a lifetime
              The longed-for tidal wave
              Of Justice can rise up,
              And hope and history rhyme.

                No one, sir, no one has done more to make hope and 
             history rhyme than you. Thank you, Mr. President, for your 
             service, your counsel, your advice, your friendship, and 
             your leadership.
                It is now my pleasure to yield to the majority leader, 
             Senator McConnell of Kentucky, who has been so generous 
             with floor time and support this afternoon.

                The VICE PRESIDENT. The majority leader.

                Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, it is great to see the 
             Presiding Officer back in the Senate. It is good news for 
             everyone he is in the chair. Good news for him because, as 
             Senator Coons said, the rest of us have to call him ``Mr. 
             President.'' Good news for the rest of us because he has 
             to let everyone else talk.
                The amazing thing is, the man we honor today wasn't 
             always a talker. He suffered from a debilitating stutter 
             for most of his childhood. He was teased for it, but he 
             was determined to overcome it, and so he did--with hard 
             work, with determination, with the support of his family. 
             It is classic Joe Biden. He has never stopped talking 
                He cites overcoming that stutter as one of the most 
             important lessons in his life. It led him down a path few 
             might have foreseen: winning election to the county 
             council, securing an improbable victory for the U.S. 
             Senate, becoming our Nation's 47th Vice President.
                Now, the Presiding Officer would be the first to tell 
             you that he has been blessed in many ways. He has also 
             been tested, knocked down, pushed to the edge of what 
             anyone could be expected to bear, but from the grip of 
             unknowable despair came a new man--a better man: stronger 
             and more compassionate, grateful for every moment, 
             appreciative of what really matters.
                Here in the Senate he heeded the advice of Mike 
             Mansfield. Here is what Senator Mansfield had to say: 
             ``Your job here is to find the good things in your 
             colleagues. And, Joe, never attack another man's motive, 
             because you don't know his motive.''
                Look for the good. Don't attack motives. It is the 
             basis of a simple philosophy and a very powerful one.
                Vice President Biden says he views his competitors as 
             competitors, not enemies, and he has been able to 
             cultivate many unlikely friendships across the aisle--with 
             Jesse Helms, with Strom Thurmond, with me.
                Over the years, we have worked together on issues of 
             mutual interest, like Burma--and regarding the vote we 
             just took a few moments ago--21st Century Cures, and the 
             Cancer Moonshot.
                We have also negotiated in good faith when the country 
             needed bipartisan leadership. We got results that would 
             not have been possible without a negotiating partner like 
             Joe Biden. Obviously, I don't always agree with him, but I 
             do trust him implicitly. He doesn't break his word. He 
             doesn't waste time telling me why I am wrong. He gets down 
             to brass tacks, and he keeps in sight the stakes. There is 
             a reason ``Get Joe on the phone'' is shorthand for ``time 
             to get serious'' in my office.
                The Vice President is a likeable guy too. He has a 
             well-developed sense of humor. He doesn't take himself too 
             seriously either. When The Onion ran a mock photo of him 
             washing a Trans-Am in the White House driveway, shirtless, 
             Americans embraced it, and so did he. ``I think it's 
             hilarious,'' he said, but ``by the way, I have a 
             Corvette--'67 Corvette--not a Trans-Am.'' So you see what 
             I mean.
                Joe Biden may exist in the popular imagination aboard 
             an Amtrak, but this son of a used car salesman will always 
             be a muscle guy at heart.
                What a road he has traveled, from New Castle to the 
             Naval Observatory, from Scranton to the Senate. His 
             journey in this body began by the side of those who loved 
             him; hand on the Bible, heart in a knot, swearing the same 
             oath he now administers to others. It is a journey that 
             ends now by the side of those who care about him still--
             those like his wife Jill, who understands the full life he 
             has lived.
                Here is a man who has known great joy, who has been 
             read his last rites, and who has never lost himself along 
             the way.
                ``Champ,'' his father used to say, ``the measure of a 
             man is not how often he is knocked down, but how quickly 
             he gets up.'' That is Joe Biden right there--unbowed, 
             unbroken, and unable to stop talking.
                It is my privilege to convey the Senate's warm wishes 
             to the Vice President on this Delaware Day as the next 
             steps of his long journey come into view. There are many 
             here who feel this way in both parties.
                I am reminded of something the Presiding Officer said 
             when he addressed the University of Louisville several 
             years ago. It was one of the McConnell Center's most 
             popular lectures ever. As I sat beside him, he offered his 
             theory as to why that might be: ``I think you're all here 
             today''--remember, these are young people, students. He 
             said, ``I think you are all here today because `you want 
             to see whether or not a Republican and Democrat really 
             like each other,''' he said. ``Well,'' he continued, 
             flashing a smile, ``I'm here to tell you we do.'' It was 
             true then, and it is true today.
                I hope the Presiding Officer won't mind if I conclude 
             with some words directed to the Chair.
                Mr. President, you have been a real friend, you have 
             been a trusted partner, and it has been an honor to serve 
             with you. We are all going to miss you. Godspeed.

                The VICE PRESIDENT. The minority leader.

                Mr. REID. Mr. President, to everyone listening, Joe 
             Biden's life has been the material of which movies are 
                Joe was born in Scranton, PA, to Joe and Jean Biden, 
             the first of four children. As a young man, as we have 
             heard about today--once in a while, though not very often, 
             Joe Biden talks about his stammering. He didn't get any 
             professional help, no therapy. He did it on his own, long 
             hours of reading, mostly poetry. He would stand in front 
             of a mirror and recite poetry time after time, watching 
             himself to make sure he didn't contort his face when he 
             stammered or stuttered. This wasn't easy for a young man. 
             People made fun of him, but he knew he could do it on his 
             own. He felt that, and he did it. He worked hard. He 
             developed a rhythm and a cadence of speaking that helped 
             him overcome his stammer to become one of the U.S. 
             Senate's alltime great orators, without any qualification.
                Joe was an outstanding high school running back and 
             wide receiver. His coach said he had never seen anyone 
             with such hands. His coach saw in Joe what we all see, a 
             hard worker who refuses to fail. His coach said, ``Joe was 
             a skinny kid. But he was one of the best pass receivers I 
             had in 16 years as a coach.''
                In college, Joe continued to display his athletic 
             prowess, playing football for the University of Delaware.
                This is quite a story. During spring break, his junior 
             year--Joe and I were traveling from Indianapolis to Reno, 
             NV, and he talked to me about this, just the two of us. I 
             will never forget that conversation. He and one of his 
             college buddies had gotten a tax return, and they were 
             going to take a little vacation away from the cold of 
             Delaware. They went to Florida. Frankly, they didn't like 
             it. They had a few dollars left over from their tax 
             returns, and I believe they went to the Bahamas. They got 
             an inexpensive hotel. I was going to say ``cheap,'' but I 
             will say ``inexpensive'' hotel.
                Right next to them was an exclusive hotel, and they 
             noticed when the people came out of the fancy hotel off 
             that private beach, many times they would lay their towels 
             on the fence. Joe and his pal said, ``Well, those towels 
             aren't even wet.'' They went down to that private beach, 
             and it was there that he met a young woman by the name of 
             Neilia Hunter. I am sure that, just like Jill, she must 
             have been a knockout to look at. She went to the 
             University of Syracuse. She was on the dean's list. She 
             had been homecoming queen.
                That was the beginning of the relationship that they 
             had. Joe had been smitten. After graduating from the 
             University of Delaware, he enrolled in law school in 
             Syracuse to be closer to her.
                The story of his and Neilia's relationship is stunning. 
             I repeat, it was something that movies are made of. 
             Without being too personal, I will say it the way it is 
             because it is a wonderful story, and I can identify with 
             it so well because of Landra and me. There came a time 
             when her father came to her and said, ``You know, he is 
             not that much. He comes from a family that is not like 
             ours.'' She said, ``Dad, stop. If you make me choose 
             between you and Joe, I am going to choose Joe.''
                So that was that relationship. I repeat, Landra and I 
             understand that story quite well. They were married a 
             short time later. They had three children, Beau, Hunter, 
             and Naomi.
                After starting his law practice and serving as city 
             councilman in New Castle, DE, Joe stunned and embarrassed 
             a few of his friends and relatives by saying he was going 
             to run for the Senate.
                ``You will run for the Senate against a two-term 
             incumbent, Caleb Boggs?''
                ``I think I can do it.''
                I am sure he said to himself: A lot of people said I 
             couldn't overcome certain things, and I did, and I am 
             going to do my best to overcome this race I am in. I am 
             starting way behind.
                Joe and his family went at this as hard as they could. 
             They canvassed the entire State. They pulled off an 
             incredible upset. Joe Biden was elected to the U.S. 
             Senate. In every respect, Joe's life has been unique. It 
             has been special. His election to the Senate was no 
                The great Constitution that leads this Nation 
             stipulates that the person must be 30 years old to be 
             elected to the Senate. Joe was 29 on election day. He 
             turned 30 2 weeks after the election. Just a few weeks 
             later, tragedy struck and struck really hard. Neilia and 
             their three children were in a terrible car accident just 
             days before Christmas. He had not been sworn in as a 
             Senator yet.
                His wife was killed, their baby girl was killed, and 
             Beau and Hunter were grievously injured--hospitalized, of 
             course. To say Joe was grief-stricken is an 
             understatement. How can you describe how he felt? I am 
             sure, as I have heard, he didn't know what to do. He had 
             two boys to raise. He wasn't a man of great means. He 
             strongly considered: I shouldn't be sworn in to the 
             Senate; I can't do this.
                He had friends, people who didn't know him who were 
             Senators, who treated him as fathers. Without the help of 
             Valerie, his sister, Joe Biden's life may have been 
             completely different because with the support he got from 
             her, the encouragement he got from Democratic and 
             Republican Senators, and the fact that she moved in, took 
             care of Beau and Hunter to replace their mom--she was 
             there for 4 years helping with those boys.
                Joe is a remarkable man. When I was in the House of 
             Representatives, he agreed to come to the house in Nevada 
             for me. It was a big deal to get this senior Senator to 
             come to Nevada. He came. Every place he traveled, he had 
             one of his boys with him.
                With the support of his sister and other members of his 
             family, Joe embarked on a long, storied, 36-year career 
             that was productive and unsurpassed in the history of the 
                That was not the end of Joe's difficulties. Joe is, as 
             you can see now, a very well-conditioned man. He always 
             has been. As a Senator, he suffered a massive bleed on the 
             brain, and he was hospitalized for a long time. He didn't 
             come to the Senate for a long time. When I got hurt, one 
             of the first people to call me was Joe. He said, ``Look, 
             the fact you are going to be missing a little time in the 
             Senate doesn't mean you can't be a good Senator.'' That 
             was the example that Joe Biden set.
                He recovered, and he became chairman of the Senate 
             Judiciary Committee, the Foreign Relations chair, author 
             of many pieces of legislation--Violence Against Women--too 
             numerous to mention.
                In a love story unsurpassed, he also met a woman who 
             has been by his side for 40 years, Jill Biden. It is an 
             incredible love story. Joe says it was love at first 
             sight. It was the same for his boys. Joe remembers the day 
             that Beau and Hunter came to him with the recommendation: 
             ``Daddy, we were talking and we think we should marry 
             Jill,'' not he should marry Jill. ``We should marry 
             Jill,'' a direct quote.
                Joe and Jill were married, and before long, Beau and 
             Hunter had a new sister, Ashley, and a new mom. There is 
             not a family that I know of who is any closer, more tight 
             knit than the Bidens. Joe Biden loves his family above all 
             else. He is a good Senator, a terrific Vice President, but 
             he is a family man.
                For the last 8 years as Vice President, he has traveled 
             the world, meeting with dignitaries in trouble spots on 
             behalf of this country, oftentimes at the direction of 
             President Obama. He has done it with dignity--more than a 
             million miles.
                As we have heard from the junior Senator from Delaware, 
             that pales in comparison to the miles he has traveled on 
             Amtrak. He has traveled more than 2 million miles on 
             Amtrak. He took the train home every night to Delaware. If 
             we worked late, he would go to a hotel here. If it had 
             been necessary, he would have gone more than 2 million 
             miles to take care of his boys and to be with Jill.
                Vice President Biden's time serving at President 
             Obama's side has been historic. He has been the 
             President's rock, his confidant, and his friend. I have 
             been told that not by Joe Biden but by the President. Joe 
             has had a stellar career as Vice President of our great 
             country. He has used his skills and his experience to help 
             shape American diplomacy.
                Vice President Biden is helping lead the quest for a 
             cure for cancer. His Moonshot Initiative is the most 
             ambitious plan ever to accelerate cancer research. I say, 
             through the Chair, to my friend Lamar Alexander, that this 
             would not have happened but for the good man from 
                We know that Joe and Jill know first hand the pain and 
             heartache caused by cancer and the toll it takes on 
             families. Tragically, just last year, Beau was diagnosed 
             with terminal cancer, which took his life. He was somebody 
             I knew well. He was an Iraq veteran. He didn't have to go 
             to Iraq, but he did. He was attorney general of the State 
             of Delaware.
                Beau was a light to everyone who knew him but 
             especially to his family. Beau's passing broke Joe's, 
             Hunter's, and Jill's hearts and, of course, their 
             sister's. As with all the other heartbreaking challenges 
             and setbacks, Joe Biden continues his life's work. He is 
             still the same kid that his coach praised. His No. 1 asset 
             is that he works hard; he does the best he can.
                Joe Biden continues to serve his country, and he will 
             continue after January 20. He continues to do what is 
             right. Above all, he continues to love and take care of 
             his family.
                I have been gratified to call Senator Biden a man of 
             the Senate, Senator Biden, Vice President Biden, Joe. He 
             is an awe-inspiring man, so Steven Spielberg, Hollywood, 
             you should be listening. Joe Biden's life is that which 
             movies are made of.
                I yield the floor.

                The VICE PRESIDENT. The Senator from New York.

                Mr. SCHUMER. Mr. President, it is such a pleasure and 
             honor to rise to recognize a great son of Scranton--
             sitting next to me, another son of Scranton--a grandson of 
             Ireland--sitting in this Chamber are many grandchildren of 
             Ireland--and a Syracuse University graduate. How many 
             others in the room can say that? More important than any 
             of those, he is one of the most dedicated public servants, 
             one of the most successful public servants I have ever had 
             the pleasure to serve with during my time in Washington.
                Everyone knows Joe is proud of his ancestry. His 
             ancestors came from Ireland, as many millions have. He is 
             deeply proud of being an Irish-American. Like so many 
             others from the Emerald Isle, our Vice President inherited 
             the gift of gab, and thank God for that because he has 
             used his booming voice to speak out on so many issues.
                We have only a little time today. I know my colleagues 
             are eager to speak, so I will just focus on one of the 
             issues that Senator Biden led the charge on and changed 
             America. I worked with him on the Assault Weapons Ban and 
             the Brady law when he was a Senator and I was a 
             Congressman and we were each head of the crime committees. 
             But maybe the thing he was proudest of was the Violence 
             Against Women Act. It sounds like a different world, but a 
             few years ago, a few decades ago, rape and domestic 
             violence and abuse were considered in many ways lesser 
             crimes--crimes in which the victim was as much at fault as 
             the perpetrator. It was disgraceful. If you were beaten, 
             abused, sexually assaulted, you faced a hostile, skeptical 
             criminal justice system. That got at Joe Biden and his 
             sense of justice, so he exploded the myths behind domestic 
                I remember hearing the speeches against sexual abuse 
             and as a result we put together the strongest ever 
             violence against women law. Not only did the law make 
             women safer; it made men better. It moved our society 
                Our work on these issues is not nearly over, but I am 
             certain there are literally millions of women who have 
             avoided pain and suffering--both physical and mental--
             because of the courage, the steadfastness, and the 
             legislative brilliance of the then-senior Senator from the 
             great State of Delaware.
                I could go on and on and almost write a book on 
             accomplishments like that where Joe almost singlehandedly 
             changed the world. He was also a great friend and leader 
             to so many of us.
                I will conclude with one little story. I was elected to 
             the Senate after 18 years in the House, and an issue I 
             wanted to get going on was college affordability. I had 
             run for the Senate on the promise of making college 
             tuition tax deductible. So I get to the Senate, introduce 
             my bill, make my speech, and get ready to lead the way on 
             what I thought was my issue. We have all experienced this. 
             A call comes into my office from Joe's chief of staff. Of 
             course I spoke to him. ``Mr. Biden has been working on 
             this issue for 10 years. Go work on something else.'' That 
             was the nice version. Naturally, me and my brandnew office 
             were in a panic. I was chastened. I didn't know what to 
             do. I am sitting on the floor and feeling really forlorn. 
             Why did I even come here? I was a senior Member of the 
             House. I feel an arm on my shoulder, and I look up. There 
             is the revered and exalted Senator Joe Biden. He says to 
             me, ``I understand you have your college tuition tax 
             deduction bill. Go ahead, take the issue. I know what it 
             is like for new Senators to carve their own path.''
                How many times can any freshman say any senior Senator 
             has said that to them? They can't because he is unique. 
             Not only is he a towering figure and superb man, but he 
             has a good heart and looks out for the Members of this 
             body. He always has, does to this day, and always will 
             because I know in Joe's heart, with all of his 
             accomplishments, he is still a Senator--our Senator.
                Mr. President, I say to Mr. Vice President, thank you. 
             Thank you for your heart and passion, thank you for 
             bringing every ounce of yourself to public service, and 
             thank you for that lesson of humility and leadership you 
             taught me when I first came to this Chamber.
                I yield the floor.

                The VICE PRESIDENT. The Senator from Utah.

                Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, it is an honor for me to rise 
             and talk about our friendship and what you have done for 
             this country.
                I rise today to pay tribute to a dedicated public 
             servant, distinguished leader, and dear friend, Vice 
             President Joe Biden.
                For more than three decades, I had the distinct 
             privilege of serving alongside Joe in the U.S. Senate. As 
             anyone who worked closely with Joe can tell you, he was no 
             ordinary Senator. He had boundless energy and undeniable 
             charm. He paired an unmatched work ethic with a disarming 
             smile that dared you not to smile back. Joe's innate 
             ability to befriend anyone--and I mean anyone, including 
             his fiercest political opponents--was critical to his 
             success as a legislator. His genuine sincerity endeared 
             him to all, and his gregariousness transcended partisan 
                Even in the most polarizing debates, Joe never let 
             politics stand in the way of friendship. One minute Joe 
             could be scolding you from the Senate floor, and the next 
             minute he could be hugging you in the hallway, cracking 
             jokes and asking about your grandkids. I am, of course, 
             speaking from plenty of personal experience. It is no 
             secret that Joe and I often found ourselves on opposite 
             sides of almost every major issue--that is not quite true. 
             We agreed on a lot of things. In countless legislative 
             battles, Joe proved himself to be a worthy political 
             opponent and an able sparring partner. Whether on the 
             Senate floor or in the Judiciary Committee hearing room, 
             Joe and I locked horns on a number of occasions, sometimes 
             on a daily basis. Indeed, we were at odds about as often 
             as we were on C-SPAN.
                At the end of the day, I couldn't help but admire the 
             man. You see, Joe Biden was beloved by everyone in this 
             Chamber, even those he drove crazy from time to time, and 
             I count myself among that group. Through his ability to 
             forge friendship even amid conflict, he embodies the ethos 
             of a noble generation of legislators--a generation that 
             embraced the virtues of comity and compromise above all 
             else. I believe this body--indeed, this Nation--could 
             learn from Joe's example of kindness, courtesy, and 
                For 17 years, then-Senator Biden served as chairman and 
             ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, overseeing some 
             of the most significant court appointments of our time. 
             Chairing the Senate Judiciary Committee is no easy task. I 
             know because I have been there. The committee boasts some 
             of the biggest egos on this side of the Potomac--or this 
             side of the Milky Way, for that matter. It takes a certain 
             kind of political genius to navigate the assertive 
             personalities and lofty ambitions of its members, but Joe 
             was more than up to the task. As both chairman and ranking 
             member, he was tough and tenacious but also decent and 
             fair. Through his trademark work ethic, he won the respect 
             of every member of that committee.
                Joe also served admirably as the chairman and ranking 
             member of the Foreign Relations Committee. In this 
             capacity, he played an indispensable role in shaping 
             American foreign policy. When President Obama tapped Joe 
             to be his Vice President, the Senate lost a seasoned 
             statesman, but our Nation gained a wise and capable leader 
             with unparalleled experience in public affairs.
                Joe was the administration's bridge to Congress, often 
             serving as an intermediary between the President and 
             legislators. On more than one occasion, his close 
             relationship with lawmakers and his deft negotiating 
             skills helped our Nation to overcome some of its greatest 
             obstacles. He was the President's trusted emissary and an 
             invaluable asset in helping Congress resolve the fiscal 
             cliff dilemma in late 2012--something I wasn't sure we 
             could resolve. He was also a brilliant Ambassador for our 
             country, leveraging his foreign policy expertise in 
             meetings with leaders across the world.
                I am deeply grateful for my friend Joe Biden. I have 
             long admired his devotion to his family, as well as his 
             grace amid suffering, and he did suffer, and I know it. I 
             was here. Having experienced tremendous loss in his family 
             life, he draws from a rich reservoir of empathy to connect 
             with everyday Americans. Ask anyone Vice President Biden 
             has served: When you speak, Joe listens. He loves, and he 
             cares. He is perhaps the most personable public figure in 
             American politics today.
                In the nearly 8 years he has served as Vice President, 
             Joe Biden has become a fixture of American public life. 
             Today, I wish to join my colleagues in thanking Vice 
             President Joe Biden for his dedication to the American 
             people. Although his tenure as Vice President is drawing 
             to a close, I am confident that his service to our Nation 
             will only continue. This is said by a Republican who loves 
             Joe Biden and believes he is one of the truly great people 
             who served here in this body.
                I just want Joe Biden to know that we all respect him, 
             and I think most all of us love him. Those of us who have 
             worked with him really appreciated how he would from time 
             to time put his arm around us, put politics aside, and 
             speak the truth.
                Joe Biden is a wonderful man. I wish him the absolute 
             best as we go into the future, and I will be there to help 
             if he needs it.
                God bless Joe Biden.
                I yield the floor.

                The VICE PRESIDENT. The Senator from Vermont.

                Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I enjoy calling you by that 
             title. I hope you do, too--because you know that you could 
             easily hold that title as President of this body or 
             President of the United States--you have shown your 
             qualifications for either one.
                But let me speak about your role as President of the 
             Senate. It makes you a Member of this body, a body that 
             can be, and on some occasions has been, the conscience of 
             the Nation. You have served longer in this body than any 
             other Member here. The fact is you came here 2 years 
             before I did, so as the other longest serving member, I 
             look at you as my senior Senator, and I am delighted to be 
             your junior.
                I think back to some of the things we did together, Mr. 
             President. I remember when I was running for the Senate in 
             Vermont in 1974, and people told me I was far too young to 
             get elected to the Senate at 34 years old. My predecessor 
             was somebody who had been elected here when I was born and 
             served there until I arrived. You put your arm around me 
             and you said, ``it would be nice to have an older person 
             that I could look up to.'' I believe you were 32, and I 
             was 34. But that helped.
                Of course, little did I know until I came here how 
             closely we would work together. We served on the Judiciary 
             Committee throughout that time. We worked on such duties 
             as Supreme Court nominations, civil rights, and the 
             criminal justice system. Then, when you were chairman of 
             the Foreign Relations Committee, and bringing the rest of 
             the world American values--which happened to be Joe Biden 
             values--how I enjoyed traveling with you.
                I think of the time, Mr. President, when you and I, and 
             our wives, Jill and Marcelle, traveled together. We had 
             been good friends throughout all of that time. I will take 
             the liberty of telling one story. When the four of us were 
             in Paris, we had gone out to dinner. It was a cold, winter 
             night. We were coming back. I think Marcelle mentioned 
             that the Eiffel Tower lights up on the hour. You and Jill 
             stood on a bench and were hugging each other, the Eiffel 
             Tower behind you. I snapped a picture. Now, we had a close 
             friendship. We never lied to each other, but that was one 
             time I lied to you because you asked me, ``Where is the 
             picture?'' I said, ``I think I lost it.'' I apologize. We 
             were conspiring to print out that picture, and I know your 
             wonderful wife gave it to you for a wedding anniversary 
             present with words to the effect that you ``light up her 
                Well, you lit up many lives. I think of our Irish bond 
             of friendship, stories I can't tell. Some of those closed-
             door sessions with other Irish-Americans, such as Pat 
             Moynihan, Chris Dodd, and Ted Kennedy, when we would have 
             some holy water together. Somehow it came from Ireland. It 
             was usually at least 12 years old. We would tell Irish 
             stories. After 42 years here, I know the rules well 
             enough, I can't repeat any of those stories here. But they 
             were good ones because it was a friendship and we worked 
             together. We learned how to bring in others from both 
                Mr. President, I remember you and others showing all of 
             us how to find common ground, and we did things together. 
             I respect you so much for that. I must admit, I learned 
             something else on the Judiciary Committee. I learned the 
             Amtrak schedule because, if we had a meeting that was 
             going on a little bit long, we were reminded what time the 
             train was going to Delaware. I know you kept in good shape 
             because you could run to the station in 3 minutes and get 
             on the train, where you would go home to Beau and Hunter 
             and, later, Jill and Ashley--because even though you were 
             a leader in the U.S. Senate, and later Vice President, you 
             were, first and foremost, a father and a husband.
                You and I and Marcelle talked about that this summer, 
             when you came to Vermont for the Cancer Moonshot. I told 
             you what an important part of our lives you have been. You 
             have gone through tragedy and glory, but you have remained 
             yourself throughout all of it.
                The memories of those evenings when you let this Irish-
             Italian boy come in and sit as a member of the Irish--we 
             would speak of our values, we would speak of America, we 
             would speak of friendship. That is why I admire you, Mr. 
             President, and I am glad to be here on the floor with you.
                Mr. President, I yield the floor.

                The VICE PRESIDENT. The Senator from Arizona.

                Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I join my colleagues today 
             in addressing a few thoughts directly to the occupant of 
             the chair, to commend his long and honorable service to 
             the United States and to thank him for his friendship. Mr. 
             President--I know how much you enjoy my calling you Mr. 
             President--you and I have served together in this body for 
             three decades. We have been friends for almost 40 years, 
             since I was the Navy Senate liaison and used to carry your 
             bags on overseas trips.
                I joked recently that I resented it ever since. But 
             that was part of my job description--escorting and 
             handling logistics for Senate codels, including making 
             certain everyone's luggage arrived at our destinations. 
             Back then, some Senators, unlike the 100 egalitarians who 
             occupy the Senate today, could be a little haughty and 
             highhanded. A few held an exalted opinion of themselves 
             that exceeded the esteem with which their colleagues and 
             constituents held them in. If they paid any attention to 
             staff, it was only because we had annoyed them somehow.
                But not my friend Joe Biden--he was fair and courteous 
             to everyone, even people who did not always deserve it. He 
             is always an example of how a powerful person with 
             character and class treats anyone in a subordinate 
             position. He treats them with humility, as God's children, 
             with dignity equal to his own.
                In the book ``The Nightingale's Song,'' the late 
             journalist Bob Timberg wrote about one military liaison 
             officer, escorting a codel to Athens, who joined some of 
             the Members in a tavern for a little after-hours merriment 
             and was later observed dancing on a tabletop with Senator 
             Biden's lovely wife, Jill.
                I don't recall witnessing such an event myself, and I 
             can't testify to it having actually happened. Neither can 
             I imagine the temerity of that rascal, whoever he was. He 
             was lucky the Senator whose spouse he made endure awkward 
             moves he euphemistically called ``dancing'' was Joe Biden. 
             Few other Senators would have seen the humor in it.
                Many years have passed since we shared those 
             adventures, and many events have transpired, personal and 
             public, that enriched our lives with the rewards and 
             disappointments, blessings and challenges. We were still 
             young when we came to the Senate. We are old men now. 
             Although you can't tell from looking at us, the Vice 
             President is actually a little younger than me, though we 
             both passed the Biblical threescore and ten.
                This place, the Senate, has been central to both of our 
             lives. Here we work together on our country's challenges. 
             Here we fought and argued over the country's direction. 
             Here we compromised and joined forces to serve the public 
             interest. Here we watched history made and made our small 
             contributions to it. Neither of us is the shy and retiring 
             type. We both have been known to hold a strong opinion or 
             two. When circumstances warrant, we would rather make our 
             points emphatically than elliptically. I know that Joe 
             appreciates the adage that I have tried to follow in my 
             public life: a fight not joined is a fight not enjoyed.
                When we have had differences of opinions over the 
             years, we have managed to make our positions crystal clear 
             to each other, perhaps in the persistent triumph of hope 
             over experience. We both still cling to the expectation 
             that we can persuade the other that he is mistaken. I 
             think deep down we probably know better.
                In addition to being regularly mistaken, here is what I 
             have also known about my friend and occasionally sparring 
             partner. He is a good and decent man, God-fearing and 
             kind, a devoted father and husband, a genuine patriot who 
             puts our country before himself. I know, too, that it has 
             been a great privilege to call him my friend.
                Mr. President, if I haven't made clear to you over 
             these many years how much I appreciated your friendship 
             and have admired you, I beg your forgiveness. We both have 
             been privileged to know Members of this body who were 
             legends in their own time and are remembered as important 
             historical figures. But I haven't known one who was a 
             better man than you. You are an exemplary public servant, 
             a credit to your family, to the Senate, and to the 
                On behalf of the country and the Senate, thank you for 
             your lifetime service to America. Thank you for your 
             example of how to represent your constituents with honor 
             and humility and how to remain the same good guy that you 
             were when you first got here. Thank you, most of all, for 
             your friendship. My life and the lives of many have been 
             enriched by it.
                Thank you, Mr. President.

                The VICE PRESIDENT. The Senator from Illinois.

                Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, there is a story about an 
             Irishman walking down the street. He passes two guys who 
             are fighting. He asks them: ``Is this a private fight or 
             can anybody get into it?''
                Well, you know a little bit about that; don't you, Mr. 
             Vice President? For 40 years or more, you have always been 
             ready to fight for those who needed a champion and never 
             walked away from a good fight for a good cause. Your 
             public career has been marked by so many amazing victories 
             but also by unbearable losses and sorrows. You have had 
             joys and passions, determinations, and immense 
                The list of your legislative achievements has been 
             recounted on the floor today. One of them I am sure you 
             are most proud of is the Violence Against Women Act. You 
             made a big difference in the lives of so many people whom 
             you will never meet, in protecting them and giving them 
             hope in a hopeless circumstance.
                Between 1993, when your bill was passed, and 2010, the 
             rate of violence against intimate partners--almost all 
             women--declined by 67 percent in the United States. We 
             often wonder here, when bills we take to law are passed 
             and signed by the President, whether they can make a 
             difference. We know that your unsparing effort when it 
             came to violence against women made a significant 
                I had that in mind 9 years ago when I was riding around 
             Florida in a recreational vehicle. It was with my fellow 
             Senator from Illinois by the name of Barack Obama. He was 
             running for President, and we were in the back of this RV 
             as he was cruising through Florida. We were talking about 
             potential running mates, someone who could be his Vice 
                We went through a short list. We came to your name, and 
             I said to the soon-to-be President, then Senator and my 
             colleague, ``You couldn't pick a better choice than Joe 
             Biden. I know him as a person. I know him as a fellow 
             Senator. I know his heart. You would be blessed to have 
             him on your team.''
                He made that choice, even though at the beginning, I am 
             sure both of you wondered: Is this going to work? It did. 
             It did for your purpose and for his and for America's. I 
             am reminded of that famous poet Seamus Heaney. He wrote:

             History says, Don't hope
              On this side of the grave,
              But then, once in a lifetime
              The longed-for tidal wave
              Of Justice can rise up,
              And hope and history rhyme.

                Obama-Biden--hope and history certainly did rhyme. The 
             things that you have been able to achieve with this 
             President have made a difference in America to millions of 
             lives. Whether we are talking about coming out of a 
             recession where we were losing 800,000 jobs a month, 
             making sure that Wall Street didn't make the same mistakes 
             again at the expense of businesses and families across 
             America, or making sure that some father did not face the 
             heartbreak of a sick child with no health insurance. You 
             made a difference in their lives.
                Just this week, there is the Cancer Moonshot. Who 
             knows, Mr. Vice President, what will happen as a result of 
             that investment in your son's name. But I sense that 
             something good is going to happen for a lot of people 
             around this country. I am glad that the Biden name is 
             closely associated with it.
                Mr. President, there is an old story--a joke--about the 
             Pope. The story goes that the day came when he said to his 
             driver, ``You know, I haven't had a chance to drive the 
             car in a long time. Why don't you sit in the back and I'll 
                The story goes that the Pope started driving the car 
             and started speeding and got pulled over. This policeman 
             looked inside the car, then looked out again, and looked 
             back and said, ``Excuse me.'' He got on his cell phone and 
             he called the police station. He said, ``I have an 
             extraordinary circumstance here. I have just pulled over a 
             car with someone very important in it.''
                They said, ``Well, who is it?''
                He said, ``I don't know who he is, but he has the Pope 
             for a driver.''
                The reason I remember that story is that one time I was 
             on Air Force Two with Vice President Joe Biden. We flew 
             you home to Delaware. I was going to catch an Amtrak train 
             at Wilmington, and I asked you to drop me off.
                You said, ``No, I'm going to take you up to the 
                So we get up to the train, and the train is pulling in 
             the station. You look at what I have for a ticket and you 
             said, ``That ticket is not good. You need a real ticket. I 
             will get it for you.''
                You grabbed it and took off running, with the Secret 
             Service trailing behind you as the train pulled into the 
             station. I am thinking: Am I going to make this train? Is 
             he going to make it back? You came running up the steps 
             with the Secret Service trailing behind you while the 
             train was stopped. All of these passengers were looking as 
             the Vice President of the United States ran up to me, 
             handed me a ticket, and said, ``Go ahead and get on the 
                Now, the people on the train had no idea who I was, but 
             they knew if the Vice President was carrying my ticket, I 
             must be somebody important.
                Let me say one personal word. You and your wife Jill 
             really embody what I consider to be the best of public 
             life--not only your commitment to people who are less 
             fortunate around the world but your genuine sense of 
             caring and your good heart, both of you. I recall when my 
             colleague Marty Russo of Illinois had a son who was sick 
             with cancer. There was one person who called every day to 
             make sure that he was doing well.
                Well, that is the way you not only build a friendship 
             but you build a reputation as not just a glad-handing 
             politician but someone who really cares. I have been 
             honored to count you as a friend. I am honored that the 
             President whom I love chose you as his Vice President. I 
             am honored that we have served in the Senate together and 
             that I can tell my kids and grandkids. I wish you the best 
             whatever life brings you next.

                The VICE PRESIDENT. The Senator from Georgia.

                Mr. ISAKSON. Mr. President, I rise to pay tribute to a 
             person who has had a tremendous impact on my life and my 
             career in the Senate and also a tremendous impact on my 
             country, the United States of America. I still remember to 
             this day the date and time Mitch McConnell called me in 
             2007 and said, ``Hey, we have an opening for a Republican 
             on Foreign Relations and nobody will take it. Will you 
             take it?''
                I did not know if that was a benefit--a perk or 
             whatever--but I said, ``Anytime you are offered a gift, 
             don't look a gift horse in the face.'' So I did it.
                Two days later, Joe Biden saw me at the committee and 
             said, ``I am glad you joined our committee. I am glad to 
             have you. I have an opening on the Africa Subcommittee. I 
             can't get a Republican to take it. Will you do it?''
                I said, ``Mr. Biden, I have never been to Africa.''
                He said, ``Well, you will soon. How about taking it?''
                I did. I have been to Africa 12 times since. It has 
             become a passion in my career, and I give Vice President 
             Biden a lot of credit for the influence he had on that. I 
             also remember the day when the mock swearing in took place 
             down on the second floor, and I had my nine grandchildren 
             here to watch me being sworn into the Senate.
                At the mock signing ceremony, Joe stood there, and we 
             all raised our hand, and we repeated the ceremony that we 
             had done on the floor. Then Joe greeted each one of my 
             grandchildren one by one as they walked by. When little 
             Jack, who was then 7 years old, stopped, Joe Biden said, 
             ``Jack, what don't you like about the Capitol?''
                Jack said, ``Well, Mr. Vice President, there is no Lego 
                Joe Biden said, ``The next time you come here, there 
             will be one.''
                I want to tell the Vice President that he is coming on 
             January 2 to see me sworn in again. I have already bought 
             the Lego box. It is on the desk in my hideaway, and I am 
             going to tell him that Vice President Joe made sure he had 
             Legos when he came back to the Capitol. You know the real 
             character of a man and the real credit to a man is what 
             influence he has on children. I can tell you from that 
             story, it is just one of many that Joe Biden has had.
                On me, personally, I will never forget the day Joe 
             Biden called me as Vice President of the United States and 

               Johnny, I have got the mayor of Baltimore and the mayor 
             of Philadelphia going with me to Panama City next week to 
             look at the deepening of the Panama Canal. I know 
             Savannah's port is important to you. I know you have been 
             fighting with us to get the authorization you need to 
             deepen the Port of Savannah. How about flying with me down 
             there and let's take a look at it and let's do a press 
             conference together.

               I did and he did and we did, and today the Port of 
             Savannah is being deepened to 47 feet. Panamax ships will 
             be sailing through it in 4 more years. I am convinced it 
             would not have happened at the level of the administration 
             had it not been for Joe Biden, the Vice President of the 
             United States but more important, my friend.
                Joe, I don't have the words to adequately tell you how 
             much I appreciate you as a person and as a leader, but 
             there is a little poem I know that says more about what 
             you really are than anything I could say.

              I'd rather see a sermon
              Than hear one any day;
              I'd rather one should walk with me
              Than merely tell the way.
              The eye's a better pupil
              And more willing than the ear,
              Fine counsel is confusing
              But example's always clear;
              And the best of all preachers
              Are the men who live their creeds,
              For to see good put in action
              Is what everybody needs.
              I soon can learn to do it
              If you'll let me see it done;
              I can watch your hands in action,
              But your tongue too fast may run.
              And the lecture you deliver
              May be very wise and true,
              But I'd rather get my lessons
              By observing what you do;
              For I might misunderstand you
              And the high advice you give,
              But there's no misunderstanding
              How you act and how you live.

                Joe, you have lived the life of a patriot and you act 
             like a gentleman. You are my friend, and may God bless you 
             and your family and thank you for your service to the 
             country and your friendship to me.
                I yield back.

                The VICE PRESIDENT. The Senator from Washington.

                Mrs. MURRAY. Mr. President--and it is a pleasure to say 
             that. Some may know him as ``the guy in the aviators'' 
             deboarding Air Force Two or the man in the 1967 Corvette 
             in the viral Internet video, gleeful, as he had the rare 
             opportunity to drive himself around in his favorite car.
                Mr. President, it is so clear that the American public 
             has embraced this grinning, approachable, unstoppable life 
             force known as Vice President Joe Biden, but little do 
             many Americans know of the heart of our Vice President. 
             They have caught glimpses of it in 1972, when his wife and 
             daughter were killed in a terrible car accident and his 
             two sons severely injured. It is hard to imagine that kind 
             of devastation, and Joe picked himself up and was sworn in 
             to his first term in the U.S. Senate from his son's 
             hospital room.
                Maybe they saw it last year when Joe's son, Beau, 
             following in his father's footsteps to be an extraordinary 
             public servant and, more important, a wonderful father, 
             lost a long and hard-fought battle with cancer. I know as 
             a mother and grandmother myself that I will never 
             understand what Joe went through.
                Mr. President, again, Joe picked himself up and 
             continued to serve our country as a strong, dedicated Vice 
             President in the midst of a raucous election season when 
             Americans needed him the most. Joe Biden's commitment to 
             his family, his struggles, and his service, encompass what 
             it means to be not just Vice President and a brilliant 
             husband and father but an American.
                Joe grew up in a middle class family who worked hard 
             for everything they had. He was just 29 years old when he 
             ran for a seat in the U.S. Senate.
                Mr. President, you might have been young, but you 
             already saw what divided people in Delaware.
                He knew that people across the State also held the same 
             hopes for themselves and their families, and he believed 
             he could work through those disparities. In an upset 
             victory, he won a seat in the Senate in November 1972.
                Since his swearing in, Joe has worked every day on 
             behalf of families in Delaware and for the entire country, 
             especially the last 8 years.
                When Joe lost his son to cancer, he launched a Moonshot 
             for this generation to end cancer as we know it today. He 
             is now working on behalf of every family that ever lost a 
             loved one to cancer to push forward on medical innovations 
             and discoveries. I am so proud Joe's Moonshot is included 
             in the final cures bill we just voted on this afternoon 
             and even more so that the Senate renamed the provisions to 
             support cancer research in that bill to honor Beau in 
             calling it the Beau Biden Cancer Moonshot. We will now use 
             those investments to fight to cure cancer so we can look 
             forward to a world where no family has to go through what 
             the Bidens did and the devastation that millions of other 
             Americans have experienced after being touched by cancer.
                Mr. President, back when I was serving with the 
             Presiding Officer, Joe, my friend, in the Senate in 1994, 
             I had the pleasure of working with him to pass the 
             Violence Against Women Act, VAWA, as we know it. It was a 
             landmark piece of legislation that changed the way our 
             country responded to domestic violence and sexual assault. 
             Joe has come out as a strong advocate for ending violence 
             against women through his campaign, ``1is2Many,'' 
             spreading awareness and working to help reduce dating 
             violence and sexual assaults among students, teens, and 
             young adults. His ``It's On Us'' campaign has been a wake-
             up call to the epidemic of campus sexual assaults across 
             the country. Women are safer today in America than they 
             were 20 years ago due in part to Joe's fearless leadership 
             on these issues that affect too many in our Nation.
                Despite everything he has been through or maybe because 
             of everything he has been through, he gets back up and he 
             fights on and he fights on behalf of every family in our 
             country, and that is heart. That is heart, the way he 
             always wants to make people happy, no matter what the 
                Last time he was in Seattle, he brought a little 
             stuffed animal--a little dog--to give to my granddaughter. 
             Now, she is very shy, but the second he smiled and handed 
             her that little dog, she became his best friend ever, and 
             she keeps it by her side, Joe. That is why he is going to 
             be missed, by his colleagues and by the entire country, 
             because of his humanity. That is the Joe Biden I know and 
             I want everyone else to know that too.
                It has been an honor to call Joe a fellow Senator, Mr. 
             Vice President, but mostly a great friend.
                I want to thank Joe for what he has taught me and all 
             of our colleagues through his service and thank him for 
             his extraordinary and inspiring leadership throughout his 
             life in the best of times and in the worst. Joe--and his 
             aviators--will be sorely missed.
                Mr. President, I yield the floor.

                The VICE PRESIDENT. The Senator from Maine.

                Ms. COLLINS. Thank you, Mr. President.
                In 1974, a freshman Senator from Delaware named Joe 
             Biden was identified as one of Time magazine's ``200 Faces 
             for the Future.'' That prescient prediction anticipated 
             the more than four decades of contributions and 
             accomplishments that followed. Joe Biden served six terms 
             in the U.S. Senate and became Vice President of the United 
             States, but he is exactly the same person today as he was 
             when more than 40 years ago he took that first train trip 
             from Wilmington to Washington to be sworn in as a U.S. 
             Senator. He is everybody's friend--but nobody's fool. 
             While Joe Biden changed Washington, Washington never 
             changed him.
                It is an article of faith among those of us who know 
             and love Joe Biden that nothing is more important to him 
             than family. It is, therefore, a cruel irony that this 
             good and decent man has faced so many family tragedies 
             during his long and fruitful career in public service.
                Although he has been sorely tested by several wrenching 
             losses, Vice President Biden's irrepressible spirit has 
             never been broken. He is as optimistic about his country 
             today as he was in 1972, when as a county councilman he 
             defeated a long serving Senate incumbent and began the 
             journey that ultimately led him to the second highest 
             office in the land. With his Cancer Moonshot Initiative, 
             Joe Biden once again has turned personal tragedy into a 
             public cause that undoubtedly will save lives.
                To know Joe Biden is to admire him, his warmth, his 
             devotion to friends and family, his commitment to all 
             things Delaware, and his fierce loyalty to his party that 
             somehow never alienated those of us on the other side of 
             the aisle. Perhaps that is due to the many thoughtful 
             gestures the Vice President demonstrates every day.
                How well I remember bringing my younger brother to the 
             White House holiday party one year and running into the 
             Vice President just as he was leaving after a long day of 
             work. He instantly stopped and asked if we would like for 
             him to give us a personal tour of the West Wing of the 
             White House. For the next 45 minutes, instead of being 
             driven home, the Vice President of the United States took 
             my brother and me on the best tour of the White House that 
             anyone could ever have. I still remember the shocked look 
             on the face of the marine at the situation room when we 
             arrived there.
                Another wonderful memory that I have was of the time 
             Joe Biden and I were named Irish Americans of the Year by 
             the American Ireland Fund. I thought it was so telling 
             that both of us brought our family members to the 
             celebratory dinner, and both of us talked about our Irish 
             mothers. Now, I do remember that Joe's speech was 
             considerably better than mine, but mine was much shorter.
                In a time of almost suffocating partisanship, Joe Biden 
             is a breath of bipartisan fresh air. People may disagree 
             with Joe on 1 or 2 or even 10 issues, but nobody finds him 
             disagreeable. It is often said that if you don't love Joe 
             Biden, it is time for some serious introspection. You may 
             have a serious problem.
                No one can say with certainty what lies ahead for Vice 
             President Joe Biden, but this much is certain: He will 
             face the future with unbridled enthusiasm, extraordinary 
             energy, and an unwavering commitment to his family, his 
             friends, and his country.
                I thank the Vice President for his outstanding service 
             to our country, but most of all I thank him for his 
             extraordinary friendship to me. I wish the Vice President 
             and his wonderful family all the best.
                Thank you, Mr. President.

                The VICE PRESIDENT. The Senator from Maryland.

                Ms. MIKULSKI. Thank you very much, Mr. President and 
             Vice President.
                Well, Mr. President, we all take pleasure in calling 
             you that. Mr. Vice President, Senator, foreign policy 
             guru, the Senator who was tough on crime but a soft touch 
             when it came to compelling human need, a longtime 
             colleague, but most of all, I know you as my friend Joe. 
             It is not only that I know you as my friend Joe, the 
             people of Delaware know you as ``my friend Joe.'' The fact 
             is, your colleagues, both present and past, here feel the 
             same way about you and so do the American people.
                You have a unique ability to make a visceral connection 
             to people. You actually connect to them, not only on the 
             abstraction of big ideas, of which you were more than 
             capable, but I think your connection was hand to hand, 
             heart to heart. I think when you talk with people, that is 
             why you have this visceral connection.
                Sure, you can debate the great ideas, whether it is 
             national security or economic growth, but it is that heart 
             connection you are able to make that I think has been one 
             of your great signatures.
                We in Maryland know you as a neighbor, the Delmarva 
             gang from Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. We also know 
             you as ``Amtrak Joe.'' I think that is so fitting because 
             not only have you been a champion of Amtrak and ridden the 
             train so faithfully--which has now become the stories of 
             fact and fiction--but also Amtrak Joe is right because, 
             really, in the way you have lived your life, conducted 
             yourself in public service, you have kept America on track 
             and going in the right direction because you knew what 
             your destinations were. I salute you for that. You have 
             done a great job in everything you have undertaken.
                I know you because while others just go for the pomp 
             and they love the policy--if I hear one more ``I'm going 
             to dive deep in policy,'' I am going to shake my head.
                I am like you. I believe that we do need policies that 
             help people, keep our Nation strong and safe, help our 
             people be able to help themselves, and make sure there is 
             an opportunity structure here. But we are here to be 
             champions of the people. That is what you have been, a 
             champion of the people, and you have been a steady friend.
                When I arrived in the Senate, I was the only Democratic 
             woman. I have often said that, though I was all by myself, 
             I was never alone. I was surrounded by the good men in the 
             Senate, and particularly the Democrats reached out their 
             hands and helped me.
                Of course, my very good friend Paul Sarbanes, who is 
             here today, was my senior Senator when I came and was my 
             colleague and my champion, but you were right up at the 
             top of the list too. I call the men who were so incredibly 
             helpful to me, Galahads. You help me in every way you can.
                In my time in the Senate, when I reached out to you, 
             you were always there. When I reached out to fight for 
             women to be included in the NIH protocols, you were there 
             to help me. When I reached out to fight against the skimpy 
             and spartan money for breast cancer research, you were 
             there to help me. When we organized the women of the 
             Senate, the Democratic women, to fight then-President Bush 
             on the privatizing of Social Security, when we said we 
             shouldn't rely on the bull of political promises while we 
             fear the bear market, you joined right there with us, side 
             by side, shoulder to shoulder. Whether it was equal pay 
             for equal work or so many issues, you were always there 
             when we called upon you. You were always such tremendous 
                I was also there to try to help you. I remember a day 
             in the mid-1990s when I got a call from you. Maybe you 
             remember that, but I remember it. You said you really 
             wanted to stop violence against women. You knew of my 
             social work background, my advocacy for what was then 
             called battered women. You said, ``Can you help me kind of 
             go over this legislation to make sure that the money goes 
             to people who will help those women and not to people who 
             just want to get grants?''
                So we worked together. We talked about the need for 
             shelters. We talked about the reform of police, courts, 
             and so on. Then you came up with that fabulous idea to 
             have a hotline. So it didn't matter whether you lived in 
             Delaware or in Des Moines or in San Diego, there was 
             always help on the other side of that line.
                I was so happy to work with you and to support you as 
             you led that battle through--as only a good man could--to 
             stand for women who were being battered in their own homes 
             and facing danger.
                Lately I checked on the statistics on that hotline. Joe 
             Biden, since that hotline legislation passed, over 4 
             million have called that hotline. Many of them were in 
             lethal danger. Because of you, Joe Biden, there are 
             thousands, if not tens of thousands, of women and children 
             alive today because you had the foresight and the 
             fortitude to create this legislation. That in and of 
             itself would have been enough for a career. But, oh, you 
             did so many other things.
                Now we know you are advocating the national Cancer 
             Moonshot, but you have been a champion on finding the cure 
             for cancer for a long time, whether it was for women with 
             breast cancer or others. I am so pleased that in that 
             cloture vote we are going to include $352 million for 
             that. So on issue after issue, we were there.
                I know you have been a great leader, but I also know 
             that behind great men there are also very terrific women. 
             I think we owe a salute to Jill. She is a wonderful woman, 
             a leader in her own right, with a belief in higher 
             education, a belief in working at the community college 
             level so people who had big dreams in their hearts but not 
             a lot of money in their pockets could be able to go on to 
             college. What a champion she has been there and also what 
             a champion for our veterans and for our wounded warriors. 
             Wow, she is just terrific. I know she has been at your 
                There are so many stories I could tell, but I want to 
             wrap up with one. I met your mother. She was spunky. She 
             was feisty. She was a delight. If there is anything 
             spunkier, feistier, or more delightful than an Irish 
             mother, it is a Polish mother. I wish you could have met 
             mine. Those two would have been kindred spirits.
                Do you remember when the Pope came to Baltimore? The 
             Pope was coming to Baltimore, and I told my mother I 
             wanted to greet the Pope in Polish. My mother's response 
             was, ``Oh, my God.''
                I grew up in a family that before World War II was 
             bilingual. I was bilingual as a child, but during World 
             War II we stopped speaking all foreign language, so my 
             pronunciation is really awkward. My mother made me 
             practice Polish words, how to say hello to the Pope and 
             how to say goodbye to the Pope.
                You and I were at the Baltimore-Washington Airport. 
             There goes the Pope in his popemobile. He is heading up, 
             he is getting on ``Shepherd Two,'' and you are saying 
             goodbye: ``Goodbye Your Holiness.''
                I say, ``No, say it in Polish. You have a large Polish 
                I taught you how to say one simple phrase, ``sto lat.'' 
             In the tongue of my ethnic heritage, when you say ``sto 
             lat'' to someone, you say may they live 100 years.
                So, Joe, sto lat.

                The VICE PRESIDENT. The Senator from Delaware.

                Mr. COONS. Mr. President, I wish to recognize the 
             presence in the Chamber of five former Senators--Senators 
             Bayh, Harkin, Kaufman, Salazar, and Sarbanes--and to thank 
             many Senators who have asked that their comments be placed 
             in the Record.
                Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to have printed 
             in the Record, given the lateness of the hour, the lengthy 
             and moving remarks that former Senator and now Secretary 
             of State Kerry has provided.
                There being no objection, the material was ordered to 
             be printed in the Record, as follows:
                            Secretary of State John Kerry
                               Statement on Joe Biden
                                  December 7, 2016
               Mr. President:
               Almost 4 years ago this winter, after almost 29 years 
             serving in the Senate from Massachusetts, and after five 
             times the people of Massachusetts voted to send me to 
             Washington--my Senate colleagues were kind enough to vote 
             to send me away, but not far away, just up the street to 
             the State Department.
               So, as a prodigal U.S. Senator, I am especially grateful 
             to Senator Coons for the privilege to share some thoughts 
             about my colleague of a quarter century in the Senate, and 
             my colleague of the last 4 years in the Obama 
             administration--the Vice President of the United States, 
             Joe Biden. That Senator Coons--who sits in the Senate seat 
             which Joe held for almost 37 years--organized this 
             remarkable tribute says something about Delaware--a small 
             State where politics is personal, where courtesy is still 
             the currency--but it says much more about the kind of 
             friend and mentor Joe has been to Chris, and to so many of 
             us who have known the Vice President. It is, simply, the 
             right thing to do--but the kind of thing that doesn't 
             happen enough these days in Washington, in politics, or in 
             the institution which Joe reveres, the U.S. Senate.
               I first heard the name ``Joe Biden'' about 38 years ago. 
             It was 1972--the 1st year Joe and I ran for national 
             office. We shared a set of friends and political teammates 
             in progressive politics, friends Joe and I have shared to 
             this day--and they shuttled between Wilmington, DE, and 
             Lowell, MA, trying to help us both to victory. In that 
             improbable year, I lost and Joe won--and weeks later 
             tragedy intervened and changed the trajectory of Joe's 
             life not as a Senator, but as a father and a person. I 
             won't forget reading his words back then: ``Delaware can 
             find another Senator, but my boys can't find another 
             father.'' We are all grateful that Joe was persuaded not 
             to give up on public service, but to be sworn in, and to 
             rely--as the Bidens do in their remarkable way--on the 
             closeness of family--of Val and Jimmy in particular--to 
             help him be both a remarkable father and a remarkable 
             public servant.
               Twelve years after Joe was elected, I finally arrived in 
             Washington--a junior Senator, second to last in 
             seniority--and one of the first people to pull me aside 
             and offer himself up not as a generational rival, but as a 
             slightly older big brother ready to show me the ropes was 
             the then, senior Senator from Delaware--2 years older than 
             me, Senator Joe Biden.
               I loved serving with Joe--and I don't just mean we 
             served contemporaneously; we were friends and partners in 
             so many efforts--environment, civil rights, the 
             empowerment of women, foreign policy--and always with Joe 
             Biden, whether you agreed or disagreed with him, no matter 
             where you were from in the country or where you stood 
             ideologically, you knew exactly what you could expect: a 
             person of conviction, a person of character, a person who 
             studied the issues and never cut corners--and a Senator in 
             the best tradition whose word was his bond.
               For Joe, that's a quality that's deeply personal. The 
             Vice President lives by a very old-fashioned code of 
             loyalty: You always tell the truth, you never forget where 
             you came from, and your word is your bond. I can't tell 
             you how many times in the Senate when I was listening to 
             Joe negotiate or we were working on something he would 
             say, ``I give you my word as a Biden.'' And you knew you 
             had a very special commitment that would not be broken. 
             That never changed when he became Vice President.
               That code also guided his approach as a legislator--not 
             just in how he worked with his colleagues, but to how he 
             approached the issues. I'd been a prosecutor back in the 
             days when some people still argued that violence against 
             women wasn't a crime--but it was Joe Biden who was far 
             ahead of the curve in the Senate--throughout the 1980s and 
             1990s--beating the drum on the Judiciary Committee to pass 
             a Violence Against Women Act because there was no crime 
             comparable, as he saw it, in robbing a human being of two 
             things to which everyone is entitled, two words Joe talks 
             about often: dignity and respect.
               That is why he was so outspoken about the horrors 
             happening in Bosnia and Kosovo--thousands of miles from 
             our shores--and why as one of those most powerful voices 
             on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee he stood up to 
             Slobodan Milosevic, looked him in the eye, and called him 
             a war criminal. That's Joe Biden--on issues of moral 
             clarity, you know exactly where he stands. It is no 
             surprise to me then that long before he served in Iraq, 
             his beloved son Beau volunteered to go to Kosovo and do 
             legal work helping victims find justice, helping victims 
             reclaim dignity through the judicial system. For the 
             Bidens, this was an article of faith.
               Over the years, I had the privilege of traveling with 
             Joe overseas--often with Chuck Hagel and Lindsey Graham. I 
             saw first hand that when Senator Biden traveled overseas, 
             it wasn't government tourism, whether the administration 
             was Democratic or Republican, Joe always traveled with a 
             constructive purpose in mind: To learn first hand about 
             foreign leaders and other perspectives--to forge 
             relationships--and to advance America's cause. In long 
             flights and long meetings headed into places like 
             Afghanistan and Pakistan, again and again I saw someone 
             who leads by listening, who leads by learning, and who 
             speaks with conviction--wherever the place, whatever the 
               Joe's leadership as Vice President has been a terrific 
             asset on domestic issues, and his fluency in the ways of 
             the Senate a special tool called upon at many key moments 
             by Leaders McConnell and Reid. But as Secretary of State 
             I've been particularly grateful for the role he has played 
             on foreign policy. Joe believes to his core that American 
             diplomacy isn't about admiring problems--it's about 
             solving them. When thousands of unaccompanied children 
             showed up on our Southwestern border, Joe Biden worked 
             with Congress to provide funding to help Central America's 
             leaders make the difficult reforms and investments 
             required to address the region's multifaceted challenges--
             because he knew the security and prosperity of Central 
             America are inextricably linked with our own. As the 
             conflict in Ukraine has pressed on, Joe has worked hard--
             not only to keep the Minsk deal in place, but to encourage 
             and help the Government of Ukraine take on corruption and 
             make necessary economic reforms that will help Ukraine 
             flourish and thrive in the years to come. Again and again, 
             in our breakfasts at the Naval Observatory and in phone 
             calls from farflung places, he always encouraged me to 
             keep pressing--to speak up and speak out, and to fight--
             even inside the administration--for the policies I 
             believed in, even when he didn't agree. That's Joe Biden.
               We still joke about a trip that we took with Chuck Hagel 
             to Afghanistan back in 2008. We went up to a forward 
             operating base up in Kunar Province. Our helicopter, on 
             the way back, got caught in a snow squall in the 
             mountains. Our pilot found himself effectively snowblind, 
             and suddenly we were banking and heading down and braced 
             for an emergency landing on this snow-covered road high in 
             the mountains near Bagram Airbase. Joe Biden turned to 
             Chuck Hagel and me and he offered an alternative. He said, 
             ``Maybe we could keep the helicopter aloft if the three of 
             us just started to give a speech.'' But laughter aside, on 
             that frozen mountaintop, as we waited to be rescued, you 
             learn the measure of a person. Throughout that time, what 
             Joe kept coming back to was the gift of family, and the 
             privilege of public service.
               America has known Vice President Biden in moments of 
             great triumph and also on occasions of immeasurable pain. 
             We revere the dignity with which he carries himself 
             through all of it. We admire him. We love him. Above all, 
             we thank him--a great Vice President, a ``Senate man'' 
             still to the core, and someone I know I can call on and 
             count on as a friend long after we both leave office on 
             January 20. Thank you, Senator--Mr. Vice President--
             ``Joe''--and I know you will carry on in contribution to 
             the cause of country.

                Mrs. FEINSTEIN. Mr. President, today I wish to honor 
             Joe Biden, the 47th Vice President of the United States.
                After I came to the Senate in 1992--known as ``the Year 
             of the Woman''--then-Senator Joe Biden invited me to lunch 
             at his office in the Russell Senate Office Building. We 
             sat at a small table in his elegant office and discussed 
             the importance of having a woman on the Judiciary 
             Committee, of which he was chairman at the time.
                This was in the wake of the Anita Hill hearings, and 
             there were no women on the committee. It was a real honor 
             when Joe Biden asked me to join. He then asked Senator 
             Carol Moseley Braun to join, giving the committee two 
             women for the first time.
                Serving on the committee with him, I noticed 
             immediately that he had a commanding presence. As I 
             watched him chair the committee, I was impressed by the 
             passion he displayed while working to slow the drug trade, 
             protect women from domestic violence, and help advocate 
             for a ban on assault weapons. These were issues that I, 
             along with millions of other Americans, felt strongly 
             about, and we had a champion in Joe Biden.
                During discussions about a proposed crime bill in 1993, 
             I told Joe I was working on an assault weapons ban. This 
             was in the wake of a mass shooting in San Francisco that 
             shocked me. I told Joe we had at least 48 votes and I 
             wanted to introduce it as an amendment to the crime bill. 
             He laughed--a big raucous laugh--and said, ``Well, you're 
             just a freshman. Wait till the gunners get to you.''
                He may have had his doubts, but he was a staunch 
             supporter of the amendment, and with the help of President 
             Clinton and Chuck Schumer in the House, we were able to 
             secure bipartisan support and pass the amendment. It was a 
             proud day for me when it was signed into law.
                Joe was right about the gunners, though. The gun lobby 
             did come after us, and they continue to oppose commonsense 
             gun laws today.
                During that debate and in every fight since then, Joe 
             Biden has been staunch, impassioned, and a committed 
                That crime bill was a monumental piece of legislation. 
             In addition to our assault weapons ban, it put 100,000 
             more cops on the street, protected children from dangerous 
             predators and included a very important piece of 
             legislation: the Violence Against Women Act.
                It has been two decades since Joe introduced the 
             Violence Against Women Act. In that time, domestic 
             violence rates have decreased by 64 percent, conviction 
             rates for abusers increased, and 4 million women and men 
             have been helped by the National Domestic Violence 
                Beyond the numbers, Joe changed the debate around 
             domestic violence with enactment of this bill. States and 
             localities changed outdated laws. Victims were given 
             courage to speak out and seek help, and millions of women 
             felt empowered knowing that in America, they had the right 
             to be free from violence and free from fear.
                Joe's legacy as chair of the Judiciary is matched by 
             his time leading the Foreign Relations Committee. From 
             atop the committee, he was a forceful advocate for peace 
             and stability around the world. He called for strategic 
             arms limitations with the Soviet Union, helped secure 
             peace in the Balkans, helped bring former Soviet bloc 
             states into NATO, called for U.S. action to end the 
             genocide in Darfur, and spoke out against failed policies 
             in Iraq.
                He was also a critic of the CIA's detention and 
             interrogation program and backed our efforts to release 
             the torture report. During heated debate, Joe made the 
             argument simple and easy to understand: America will be 
             stronger by saying the following: ``This was a mistake, we 
             should not have done what we've done and we will not do it 
                He was right, and our Nation is stronger for having the 
             courage to admit that.
                Joe Biden's willingness to speak the truth is one of 
             the many reasons President Obama tapped him to be his 
             running mate. The President knew Joe would discuss every 
             issue with the same frank honesty--whether he was offering 
             counsel in the Oval Office or chatting with someone on the 
             train ride back home.
                President Obama relied on his Vice President to oversee 
             the recovery after the worst economic recession since the 
             Great Depression. He was tasked with implementing the 
             American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Ready to Work 
             Initiative and to chair the Middle Class Task Force.
                Joe Biden was the perfect choice for the job. He is the 
             product of his Catholic faith and the values instilled in 
             him growing up in Scranton. Those same values that he 
             carried throughout his career in Delaware and into the 
             Vice Presidency.
                He is a tough individual who has faced adversity that 
             would knock a lesser man down; yet through it all, Joe 
             never wavered from his commitment to serving others.
                To those of us who have had the pleasure of working 
             with him and to millions of Americans, Joe Biden is a good 
             and honest man who simply wants to make the world a better 
                After 44 years in this Chamber, the last 8 as the 
             President of the Senate, Joe can leave knowing he has 
             accomplished just that. The world is a better place thanks 
             to you, and it is grateful for your service, Joe Biden.

                Mrs. BOXER. Mr. President, for more than 30 years, Vice 
             President Joe Biden has held a big place in my heart. 
             Through thick and thin, he trusted me to be his partner in 
             so many fights, and I will be forever grateful to him.
                Joe first impressed me after he took a stand against 
             the Reagan administration's support of South Africa when 
             it was still in the depths of apartheid. So when he asked 
             me to help organize women for his 1988 Presidential 
             campaign, I was all in.
                While that race wasn't meant to be, I fell in love with 
             Joe's vision of ``reclaiming the idea of America as a 
             community'' and his beautiful, persistent optimism and 
             hope--qualities we all still love him for today.
                I cherished our time serving in Congress together, and 
             I was so honored that he asked me to carry the Violence 
             against Women Act in the House. Joe was determined to put 
             the spotlight on this quiet epidemic--and he has been 
             doing just that ever since.
                It took 5 years, but President Bill Clinton finally 
             signed VAWA into law in 1994. It was one of Joe's many 
             monumental achievements.
                By then, I had won election to the U.S. Senate where 
             Joe played a major role in one of my own biggest personal 
             accomplishments: the dolphin-safe tuna label law. Well, if 
             I am being honest, it was his then 8-year-old daughter, 
             Ashley, who got him involved.
                Schoolchildren across the country were boycotting their 
             tuna fish sandwiches after learning that dolphins could be 
             killed as tuna was caught, and Ashley was begging her 
             father to take action.
                I was so proud that Joe chose to partner with me on a 
             bill that required companies that sell dolphin-safe tuna 
             to prove that dolphins were not hurt in the fishing 
             process. Like any good father, Joe wanted to show Ashley 
             that he would come through for her--and he did.
                Our bill became law in 1992, and it is estimated that 
             it saves tens of thousands of dolphins every year.
                Joe also served as an extraordinary chairman on the 
             Foreign Relations Committee, where I am a member. He was 
             gracious and respectful, listening to every viewpoint, but 
             he also wasn't afraid to speak up and take charge. I 
             thought he was very courageous to point out a better way 
             to solve the civil war in Iraq, and I was so proud to 
             stand with him.
                For all of these reasons, and so many more, it is no 
             surprise that President Barack Obama chose Joe Biden to 
             serve as his Vice President.
                It is no surprise that Joe will go down as one of the 
             most effective Vice Presidents in history because of his 
             warm, open relationship with President Obama. They have 
             spent a great deal of time together, exchanging thoughts 
             and ideas, and Joe was one of the key advisors who 
             influenced President Obama as he successfully confronted 
             horrific challenges, such as: two wars; the worst 
             recession since the Great Depression; and rising violence 
             in our communities.
                Who could ever forget Joe Biden's immense respect and 
             gratitude for our men and women in uniform and their 
             families and his determined fight to bring them home 
                Who could ever forget how he shepherded the Recovery 
             Act through Congress--a near impossible feat in this 
             polarized political climate?
                Who could ever forget his long history of fighting for 
             community policing and to strengthen the bonds between 
             police officers and their communities?
                No one has fought harder for the things he believes in 
             than Joe Biden--no one--and there is nothing that he will 
             not do for the country he so deeply loves.
                Love of country is second only to the love Joe has for 
             his beautiful family. When he talks about his incredible 
             wife, children, and grandchildren, you know they are his 
             guiding star.
                It is because of this love that we have all come to 
             know and adore Joe, and for that same reason, it is why 
             our hearts broke for him over the profound, unspeakable 
             loss of his son, Beau. All of America mourned with Joe.
                He had every right to stay down, but Joe is as 
             resilient as they come. He likes to tell the advice that 
             his father gave him as a child: ``Champ, when you get 
             knocked down get up. Get up.''
                Well, Joe always gets up. He gets up again and again 
             and again.
                We are all so fortunate that he does because, from the 
             U.S. Senate to the Office of the Vice President, Joe has 
             never stopped fighting for the things he believes in--for 
             civil rights, women's rights, worker's rights, economic 
             fairness, a world-class education for our kids, health 
             care for all, and a safe and peaceful world.
                Joe has taught me so much, and I am so proud to call 
             him my forever friend.
                Many of you know that I love to rewrite song lyrics.
                This is what I wrote for Joe:

              Joe is a many splendored thing.
              He is tough and smart and strong and wise.
              Winter, fall and spring.
              He's for kids and health and child care.
              Our Joe will always be there.
              A smile, a glow,
              It's not for show, it's true.
              Joe worked with us for years and years,
              And there is no sleep for our busy Veep.
              He has hope not fears.
              Whether guy or gal,
              Joe is our pal.
              And this we know is true,
              Joe Biden, colleagues,
              All love you.

                Ms. STABENOW. Mr. President, I join my colleagues today 
             in honoring you and thanking you for the incredible 
             devotion you have shown to the U.S. Senate and to express 
             my deep respect for you--respect that I know the people of 
             Michigan share.
                You have been a longtime friend to me and to the people 
             of my home State. One thing we have always had in common: 
             our parents were both in the automobile industry. As of 
             course you know, your dad was a car salesman, and my 
             father owned an Oldsmobile dealership.
                So we have both known, from the very beginning, how 
             critically important American manufacturing is for so many 
             people in Michigan and across the country.
                We worked together, both when you were the Senator from 
             Delaware and then as the Vice President of the United 
             States, to save the auto industry back in 2008.
                You know that the only way we succeed is if we do 
             everything we can to support and grow America's middle 
             class, which you have done your entire career.
                There are countless instances over your 40 years of 
             service when you were on the right side of history: when 
             you led the passage of the Violence Against Women Act; in 
             your work as the chair of the Judiciary and Foreign 
             Relations Committee; through your wise counsel as Vice 
             President and your ability to work with us to get so much 
             done over the last 8 years; with Dr. Biden, who is here 
             today, for your work supporting Michigan's military 
             families and community colleges; and now in your effort to 
             cure cancer through the Cancer Moonshot.
                Early on in your career, you said that the work that we 
             do here allows us to ``literally have the chance to shape 
             the future--to put our own stamp on the face and character 
             of America, to bend history just a little bit.'' I would 
             believe, as every one of my colleagues does, that you have 
             done more than bend the future of America ``just a little 
                You have changed this Nation and you have changed this 
             Senate for the better.
                There is a great quote from a poet I know that you 
             admire very much, William Butler Yeats.
                It is a piece of advice that he gave out frequently to 
             young writers. It goes: ``Think like a wise man but 
             communicate in the language of the people.''
                Yeats--like you Mr. President--understood that the best 
             way to reach people is by appealing to their heart, 
             meeting them where they are.
                I think, moving forward, we have to remember that we 
             all have to reach people's hearts and strive to serve as 
             well as you have.
                Thank you for your service to this Senate and to the 
             American people.

                Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Mr. President, it is fitting that Joe 
             Biden ascended from Senator to Vice President--or as the 
             office is known around here, President of the Senate.
                Joe was elected to the Senate as a very young man. We 
             have heard Joe talk about how hard it was after losing his 
             wife, Neilia, and baby daughter, Naomi, in an automobile 
             accident, just weeks before he was to be sworn in, to come 
             to Washington and assume his duties. He credits his older 
             colleagues like Mike Mansfield, Ted Kennedy, Danny Inouye, 
             Hubert Humphrey, Fritz Hollings, and Rhode Island's 
             Claiborne Pell, who opened his Washington home to the 
             young Senator, with convincing him to stick it out, just 
             for a few months.
                Well, he did more than stick it out. He dove in. The 
             Senate saved his life, he has said, in that time of grief. 
             In return, he gave his life to the Senate, serving the 
             people of Delaware for more than three decades.
                Joe Biden presided over Supreme Court nomination 
             hearings as chairman of the Judiciary Committee. He 
             shepherded the assault weapons ban and the Violence 
             Against Women Act. He served also as the chairman of the 
             Foreign Relations Committee, facing down dictators and 
             championing nuclear nonproliferation.
                He is, of course, recognized in Senate lore as a 
             particularly strong speaker and debater. From his familiar 
             perch in the back row of the Chamber, Joe would hold forth 
             on the merits of legislative proposals and the positions 
             of his colleagues. If the Chamber was empty of Senators, 
             he would even turn and deliver his speeches to the captive 
             audience in the staff gallery behind him.
                Joe can always be counted on for telling it like it is. 
             Not long ago, he was in my home State of Rhode Island to 
             tout needed infrastructure projects. Now, Rhode Island has 
             one of the highest rates of structurally deficient bridges 
             in the Nation, and my senior Senator, Jack Reed, and I 
             have worked hard to bring Federal resources to bear in 
             addressing that need. Joe put it in no uncertain terms. 
             Standing under the East Shore Expressway Bridge on Warren 
             Avenue in East Providence, the Vice President cried, ``For 
             10 years you've had Lincoln logs holding the damn thing 
             up! No, I mean go look at it.'' The press went and looked 
             at it. ``If everybody in Rhode Island watched the news 
             tonight and saw that, they'd try to go around the damn 
                Whatever his style or accomplishments, Joe will always 
             pin his success in the Senate on the personal 
             relationships he forged so deeply and so sincerely, with 
             ideological allies and strange bedfellows alike. ``Every 
             good thing I have seen happen here, every bold step taken 
             in the 36-plus years I have been here, came not from the 
             application of pressure by interest groups but through the 
             maturation of personal relationships,'' he said in his 
             2009 farewell speech. ``Pressure groups can and are strong 
             and important advocates, but they are not often vehicles 
             for compromise. A personal relationship is what allows you 
             to go after someone hammer and tongs on one issue and 
             still find common ground on the next.''
                That is why Joe Biden was uniquely well suited for the 
             one job in this country with one constitutional foot in 
             the executive branch and the other in the legislative. He 
             was at the center of a number of high-stakes compromises 
             between the White House, Congress, and the two parties. 
             And every once in a while, he still got to vote.
                ``Except for the title `father,''' he said, ``there is 
             no title, including `Vice President,' that I am more proud 
             to wear than that of U.S. Senator.'' Joe Biden is a great 
             father to Hunter and Ashley, and to Beau, whose passing 
             last year was felt by the entire Senate family. He served 
             honorably as Vice President. But he will always be the 
             pride of the Senate.
                I thank him for his faithful service and for his 
             enduring example. I wish him and Jill great happiness in 
             the adventures to come.

                Mr. UDALL. Mr. President, I wish to pay tribute to Vice 
             President Joe Biden, a man who has dedicated his life to 
             serving our country, working across the aisle whenever he 
             can, and always doing his best to get things done for the 
             American people.
                I am proud to have known and admired Joe a long time. I 
             first met Joe toward the end of his first campaign for the 
             Senate, in fall 1972. My father, Stewart Udall, had been 
             called to Delaware to help the young Democratic candidate 
             with environmental issues. I tagged along with my dad and 
             spent a day on the campaign trail with a man who would 
             come to spend 36 distinguished years in the Senate and 
             become our 47th Vice President.
                The following summer, I worked as a staffer in his 
             Senate office--writing constituent letters, researching 
             policy issues, preparing press materials. That was my 
             first job in the Senate.
                In so many ways, Joe Biden is the same person now as 
             then--caring, passionate, energetic, tenacious, and ready 
             and able to get things done.
                Joe gave me my first Senate job, and in January--44 
             years later--he swore me in for the 114th Congress.
                I note that Senators from across our country--from both 
             parties--have lined up to speak to Joe's character and 
             accomplishments. We respect him as a colleague, and we 
             love him for his passion and commitment to public service.
                Joe has never forgotten his blue collar roots. He has 
             never forgotten our country's working class. Joe has 
             fought all his life to make sure the working class gets a 
             fair shake. He sounded the clarion call in the last months 
             and weeks of the Presidential campaign--that we not forget 
             working families and, more broadly, America's middle 
                In his words:

               The middle class is not a number; it's a value set. It's 
             being able to own your house and not have to rent it; it's 
             being able to send your kid to the local park and know 
             they'll come home safely. It's about being able to send 
             your kid to the local high school and if they do well they 
             can get to college, and if they get to college, you can 
             figure out how to [pay to] get them there, and when your 
             mom or dad passes away, you can take care of the other who 
             is in need and hope your kids never have to take care of 

               That's Joe Biden's definition of the middle class, and 
             the middle class has been clobbered.
                Joe championing the working and middle class helps my 
             State of New Mexico, helps all of our States.
                His policy expertise is broad and deep but maybe in no 
             area as much as foreign policy. He has spent decades 
             working on international matters--as a member of the 
             Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as the committee's 
             chair or ranking member, as President Obama's foreign 
             relations troubleshooter.
                From my service on the Foreign Relations Committee, I 
             have a keen appreciation for the complexity of foreign 
             policy matters in today's world.
                Joe's foreign policy is at once pragmatic and 
             sophisticated. He has stalwartly promoted peace and 
             nonproliferation. But he understands the need for military 
             force when national interests are at stake, diplomacy is 
             not an option, and such action will bear intended results.
                Joe recently summed up what can be called the Biden 
             doctrine in foreign affairs. He identifies the broad 
             themes of Obama foreign policy strategy and advises the 
             next administration. The essay should be required reading 
             for anyone serious about foreign policy, and I hope the 
             new administration takes his advice to heart.
                While Joe's legislative accomplishments are too many to 
             list, I would like to underscore one achievement that has 
             made a difference in my home State of New Mexico--the 
             Violence Against Women Act.
                As chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Joe drafted 
             VAWA and led the charge for enactment. Passed in 1994, 
             VAWA reordered how the Federal criminal justice system 
             handled rape, sexual assault, and domestic violence cases. 
             VAWA gave victims needed protections and strengthened 
             prosecutors' tools.
                I was attorney general of New Mexico in 1994. In the 
             wake of VAWA's passage, I formed the Violence Against 
             Women Task Force. We got strengthened antistalking laws 
             passed in the New Mexico Legislature in 1997.
                While VAWA was easily reauthorized and strengthened 
             during the 2000s, reauthorization became difficult in 
             2012. As Vice President, Joe was instrumental in breaking 
                VAWA represented a sea change for how our society 
             addresses violent crime against women.
                The law was reauthorized and strengthened in 2013, and 
             now extends protections to gay and transgender persons, 
             immigrant women, and on-reservation Native Americans.
                Like Joe, I am a husband and father of a daughter. I am 
             proud to have voted in favor of reauthorization.
                We all know that Joe has faced deep, personal 
             tragedies. But he has confronted tragedy with courage and 
             love for his family and with an unimaginable determination 
             to keep working for the American people--turning his own 
             losses into ways to help others.
                Joe and his equally capable, determined, and 
             indefatigable wife Jill have brought new energy and 
             urgency to the fight to cure cancer. The Cancer Moonshot 
             has already had many successes. Joe turned the premature 
             death of his son into actions to help others with cancer.
                This week, the Senate that Joe gave so much to gave 
             something back, sending the 21st Century Cures Act to 
             President Obama for signature. The $1.8 billion cancer 
             initiatives in that bill are the direct result of Vice 
             President Biden's Cancer Moonshot Initiative.
                It is fitting that we named the cancer initiatives in 
             the Cures Act after Beau Biden.
                Joe Biden leaves the Vice Presidency, but he will never 
             leave the fight for all Americans--Black, Brown, White, 
             poor, working class, middle class, gay, straight, Muslim, 
             Christian--everyone--fighting for what is right, fighting 
             to make sure we all have a fair shot.
                Joe's heart is as big as they come. I honor his decades 
             of work, commitment, and accomplishments, and I look 
             forward to Joe continuing being Joe--the same guy I met in 
             1972--working hard every day to make a difference in the 
             lives of all Americans.

                Mr. WARNER. Mr. President, today I wish to honor the 
             contributions and the long and colorful career of Vice 
             President Joe Biden--the pride of Scranton, PA--and of 
             Wilmington, DE--and the pride of the entire United States.
                Joe Biden lived, learned, and grew up among hard-
             working Americans in the 1950s and 1960s, when everything 
             in America seemed possible--and it was. Remarkably, this 
             gifted orator grew up with a crippling stutter--a 
             challenge which he overcame through determination and 
             perseverance. He displayed that same uncommon strength 
             after he lost his wife and daughter in a horrific car 
             accident just weeks after being first elected to the U.S. 
                Joe Biden considered giving up his seat to tend to his 
             injured children. It is one of this country's great 
             fortunes that Joe Biden decided against that. Scarred by 
             the tragedy and by a close brush with death himself and 
             more recently by the loss of his son Beau, the Vice 
             President has shown us the power of and the comfort 
             derived from a deep personal faith.
                When he was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1972, 
             he was only 29 years old. In a Senate career spanning 36 
             years, Joe Biden left behind a legacy as chairman of the 
             Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Perhaps his greatest 
             achievement was his tireless advocacy for civil rights, 
             especially the protection of women and children from 
             domestic violence. The passage of the Violence Against 
             Women Act in 1994 is an enduring Biden legacy which we 
             will continue to build upon for years to come.
                Now, even as he is about to retire from political life, 
             Vice President Biden has taken on a new cause: to find a 
             cure for the disease which has claimed too many millions 
             of Americans, including his beloved son, Beau. The Cancer 
             Moonshot has refocused and reinvigorated our Nation's 
             efforts to eradicate this devastating disease, and I was 
             proud to support renaming the legislation to honor Beau 
                Vice President Biden is as honest and authentic a 
             person as you will find, providing a welcome dose of 
             humanity and authenticity to the business of governing. He 
             has served with great honor and humility.
                I recall a dinner the Vice President attended at my 
             home where, before he greeted a single guest, he made sure 
             to spend time with my children--greeting them and engaging 
             them in a real conversation. They have never forgotten 
                As the meal was ending, the Vice President said he 
             wanted to hear from each of our guests. Now, this may come 
             as no surprise to those of you who know Joe Biden, but he 
             actually spoke at some considerable length about how 
             important he thought it was to hear from everybody who was 
             there. Two and a half hours into a dinner scheduled to 
             last just 90 minutes, I think one guest got to ask the 
             Vice President a question.
                I know Vice President Biden and his exceptional 
             partner, Jill, will continue to be engaged in the life of 
             our Nation, so I will simply thank him today for four 
             decades of public service--and pledge my continued respect 
             for his many contributions to this great Nation which he 
             loves so completely.
                Thank you, Mr. Vice President.

                Mr. BENNET. Mr. President, I want to join in honoring 
             Vice President Biden's lifetime of service and sacrifice 
             to our country.
                Throughout his career, Vice President Biden has carried 
             out his work with a sense of humility, integrity, and 
             authenticity that often seems missing in today's politics.
                He served as either chairman or ranking member of the 
             Senate Judiciary Committee for 17 years. In this capacity, 
             he crafted the Violence Against Women Act, which provided 
             critical new protections to victims of domestic violence 
             and sexual assault. The landmark bill also supported local 
             law enforcement to help increase prosecutions and 
             convictions of abusers. He has continued this legacy by 
             serving as the White House adviser on violence against 
                Most recently, he led the White House's efforts on the 
             Cancer Moonshot Initiative, which seeks to hasten our 
             advances in cancer research, prevention, and treatment. 
             Earlier today, the Senate passed a bill to help make the 
             Cancer Moonshot Initiative a reality, which is a further 
             testament to the Vice President's leadership and 
                The Vice President's involvement in the Cancer Moonshot 
             Initiative was born out of the death of his son, Beau, who 
             lost his battle with brain cancer last year. The Vice 
             President also grappled with tragedy at a young age when 
             his first wife and his 13-month-old daughter were killed 
             in a car accident. The poise, dignity, and humility that 
             the Vice President has been able to maintain in the face 
             of these tragedies speaks to his strength and his 
             character. Through all this, he has continued to serve the 
             American people with the utmost integrity and 
             authenticity, which have undoubtedly contributed to his 
             successful career in public service.
                The Vice President has also consistently advocated for 
             the leadership role the United States plays in the world. 
             Over the years, Vice President Biden has lent his 
             diplomatic hand to U.S. engagement in development and 
             security in places like Eastern Europe and the Northern 
             Triangle countries of Central America. He has worked 
             tirelessly to strengthen our partnerships across the 
             globe, in places like Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, 
             in an effort to further U.S. interests and the values upon 
             which our Nation has thrived.
                When he was in Denver this past September to speak at 
             the Korbel School, the Vice President warned against 
             ``turning inward.'' Joe has no capacity to turn inward in 
             any walk of life. His career is characterized by reaching 
             outward to the American people and to the world, working 
             to listen, collaborate, heal, and serve. We can all learn 
             a lot from that open and inclusive approach.
                We are grateful for the Vice President's leadership and 
             example. I thank him and his incredible family for their 
             service to our Nation.

                Mr. BLUMENTHAL. Mr. President, I would like to pay 
             tribute to an incredible leader, public servant, mentor, 
             and friend.
                It seems impossible to place a period on the public 
             service career of Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr.
                So perhaps this is just an ellipsis.
                For 36 years, Joe Biden was a towering presence in this 
             body. As a member, ranking member, and chairman of the 
             Foreign Relations Committee, he dove headfirst into the 
             most challenging issues in a volatile world, shaping a 
             generation of U.S. foreign policy. He tackled arms control 
             issues, stood up directly to Slobodan Milosevic, fought 
             against apartheid in South Africa, and strongly advocated 
             for NATO bombing of Serbia in the 1990s. He once called 
             his contribution to ending the Yugoslav wars one of the 
             ``proudest moments'' of his political career. For years, 
             he worked to shape our policy in Iraq and the Middle East. 
             He did so not just from his Washington office, but through 
             regular visits to war zones, where he met face to face 
             with military leaders and enlisted men and women, alike. 
             This is Joe Biden's legacy.
                As a member and chairman of the Judiciary Committee, 
             Senator Biden spearheaded the Federal assault weapons ban, 
             presided over Supreme Court confirmations, and--in perhaps 
             his most significant legislative triumph--authored the 
             Violence Against Women Act.
                For generations, violence against women was a private 
             matter--a tragedy suffered over and over by women with no 
             recourse against abusive partners. VAWA brought this 
             scourge out of the shadows and into the open, affirming 
             that domestic violence survivors would not also be 
             victimized by the system that was supposed to protect 
             them. Because of VAWA, which Senator Biden helped 
             reauthorize three times, 4 million women and men have 
             called the National Domestic Violence Hotline and gotten 
             the support they need. From 1994, when VAWA became law, 
             until 2010, the rate of domestic violence in the United 
             States has fallen by 64 percent. These are real 
             accomplishments and real people--not just statistics. This 
             is Joe Biden's legacy.
                As everyone knows, he did it all commuting daily from 
             and to his beloved Delaware.
                Then he got a job that included accommodation in 
             Washington, DC.
                Joe Biden has transformed the job of Vice President. A 
             key liaison to Congress because of his years of 
             relationships on the Hill, Joe Biden stood shoulder to 
             shoulder with President Obama and brought our economy back 
             from the brink. Vice President Biden was tasked with 
             implementing and overseeing the American Recovery and 
             Reinvestment Act, which laid the foundation for the 
             sustainable economic future we are experiencing today.
                He also tackled longer term economic challenges, 
             traveling the country in support of American manufacturing 
             jobs and working tirelessly to rein in the exorbitant cost 
             of college and spiraling student loan debt. Joe Biden 
             believes in his bones that all Americans deserve a fair 
                That is why he was an early advocate for marriage 
             equality. He accelerated change, forcing a conversation 
             that, at its heart, was about love and the simple premise 
             of all men and women being equal.
                His belief in a fair shot for all is why Vice President 
             Biden devoted incredible energy after the Sandy Hook 
             shooting to sparing other families the heartbreak felt by 
             too many in Newtown. Some of the most challenging days of 
             the Obama administration were days of mass shootings.
                Aurora, San Bernardino, Orlando, Fort Hood, Charleston, 
             Tucson, and of course Newtown--to anyone who has been 
             active in the push for commonsense gun safety measures--as 
             I have--the Vice President's steady hand, commitment, and 
             leadership in this space have been obvious. Along with the 
             President, he has comforted families, devoted countless 
             hours to healing, and contributed energy and ideas to a 
             years-long push that will eventually affect real change 
             and keep the most lethal weapons out of the hands of the 
             most dangerous people.
                That will be Joe Biden's legacy.
                Vice President Joe Biden was taught early on by his 
             parents that hard work mattered, that how you treat others 
             matters, and above all else that family matters most. 
             Throughout his career, he had a rule in his office: if one 
             of his children, his wife Jill, or a sibling called, staff 
             was to pull him out of a meeting so he could take the 
             call. The same rule extended to staff. He never wanted to 
             hear that someone had stayed at work instead of making it 
             to a graduation, Little League game, or school play.
                That, laid bare, is Joe Biden. He came to Washington on 
             the shoulders of his family, which fanned out across 
             Delaware and knocked on doors until there were no more 
             doors to knock. When tragedy struck--between his 
             improbable election victory and his swearing in--and he 
             suffered the unimaginable loss of his wife and infant 
             daughter, his family pulled him closer. He stayed by the 
             hospital beds of his two sons, Beau and Hunter, and nursed 
             them back to health, questioning all along whether he 
             would ever serve in the Senate.
                But this body--this Senate--pulled him closer, too. 
             Senators Inouye, Mansfield, Humphrey, Hollings, and 
             Kennedy all pleaded with him to give the Senate a chance: 
             ``Just 6 months, Joe. Just stay 6 months.''
                He stayed 36 years. He learned lessons about character 
             and motives--lessons we are all still learning today. He 
             learned from Mike Mansfield never to question another 
             man's motive--question his judgment but never his motive. 
             It was a lesson that bridged divides that too often keep 
             us apart. The lesson made for lasting friendships with 
             Jesse Helms and Strom Thurmond--whose eulogy he delivered.
                Joe Biden arrived in the Senate after a 1972 campaign 
             heavy on civil rights. Years later, the centerpiece in his 
             Senate office was a large table that had belonged to 
             Senator John Stennis, around which Senator Richard Russell 
             and Southern segregationists had planned the demise of the 
             civil rights movement. In 2009, Joe Biden became Vice 
             President to our first African-American President.
                The arc of the moral universe is long, but it does 
             indeed bend toward justice.
                We have not seen the end of Joe Biden. Just this week, 
             he presided over this body as we took an important step 
             toward realizing the dream of the Cancer Moonshot--an 
             ambitious project to end cancer as we know it.
                It is another effort that has profound personal meaning 
             to the Vice President, who lost his son Beau to this 
             horrible disease. It is also a place where Joe Biden's 
             work will have lasting, indelible effect on Americans--
             indeed all of humanity--if he is successful.
                That is Joe Biden's legacy.
                He brought people together. He tackled the impossible. 
             He overcame obstacles. He bridged divides. Tireless and 
             fierce, Joe Biden put family and country first. We cannot 
             ask for more than that.

                Ms. HIRONO. Mr. President, I rise to join my colleagues 
             to pay tribute to Vice President Joe Biden.
                Joe has made countless contributions to our country 
             throughout his more than 40 years in public service and 
             six terms in the U.S. Senate.
                Whether it was passing the Violence Against Women Act, 
             leading the congressional opposition to apartheid South 
             Africa, or advocating for Amtrak, Joe honored the Senate 
             with his service.
                This year, after the loss of his beloved son Beau, Joe 
             harnessed his grief to spearhead a new Cancer Moonshot 
             Initiative to accelerate finding cures for cancer.
                This past Monday night, with Joe presiding, we named 
             this initiative in memory of Beau.
                After Monday's vote, Joe said that it made him realize 
             all of the support he has had since Beau's passing.
                In the face of his own loss, Joe has supported 
             countless other families in similar situations.
                I will remember Joe for this incredible empathy.
                This year we lost our colleague and friend Congressman 
             Mark Takai of Hawaii.
                I affectionately called Mark my younger brother, and 
             his passing was a shock to many of us.
                Joe joined us to honor Mark at a memorial service here 
             in the Capitol.
                Reflecting on his own life, Joe spoke directly to 
             Mark's wife, Sami, and his children, Matthew and Kaila:

               I promise you that the day will come when Mark's memory 
             brings a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to 
             your eye.
               My prayer for you and your family is that they come 
             sooner rather than later. But I promise you. I promise you 
             it will come.

                Like so many times in his life, Joe's words spoke to 
             our hearts.
                From his own experience, he comforted the Takais and so 
             many of us who knew Mark.
                That is who Joe is--a man of empathy and soul, who 
             always had a kind word, and who will leave a legacy of 
             commitment to doing the right thing, and a legacy of hope.
                Joe, you will be missed.
                Mahalo for your service.

                Mr. KING. Mr. President, today I would like to join 
             with my colleagues to honor Vice President Joseph R. 
                Though I did not have the privilege to serve with Vice 
             President Biden while he was a Member of the Senate, I 
             have long admired Joe and his sincere commitment to the 
             people of this country and especially to those in his 
             beloved home State of Delaware.
                The details of Joe's early years are well known to this 
             body and to the Nation, but because they are so central to 
             his character, they bear repeating. After an upset win of 
             a U.S. Senate seat at just 29 years old, Joe experienced a 
             tragedy that most of us cannot even begin to fathom--the 
             death of his wife, Neilia, and his young daughter, Naomi, 
             in a car accident just weeks before he was set to take 
             office. A now-iconic photograph shows a young Joe being 
             sworn into office at his sons' hospital bedside.
                A tragedy of that magnitude, so early in Joe's career, 
             would have been reason for most to put on hold--or even 
             end--a promising future in public service. Indeed, no one 
             would have faulted Joe had he decided that the demands of 
             the work he was set to undertake were not worth pursuing 
             after the unimaginable loss he had just experienced. But, 
             from the depths of his sorrow, Joe summoned the courage to 
             press forward, committing himself to his two sons and to 
             his work fighting for Delaware in the U.S. Senate. 
             Committed to caring for his young family in the wake of 
             such loss, Joe would take the train from Wilmington to 
             Washington each day the Senate was in session.
                During his 36 years as a Member of this body, Joe 
             distinguished himself as a thoughtful, principled leader 
             on a number of critical issues. Joe's leadership on the 
             Senate Judiciary Committee put him at the center of some 
             of the most consequential debates in recent years, from 
             passage of the 1994 crime law to the enactment of the 
             Violence Against Women Act. In his role on the Senate 
             Foreign Relations Committee, Joe garnered the respect of 
             lawmakers on both sides of the aisle as he helped to shape 
             U.S. foreign policy. His leadership in both of these 
             areas, as well as the respect of his colleagues in 
             Congress, made Joe a natural pick to join then-Senator 
             Obama as his running mate in 2008.
                As Vice President, Joe has been a trusted adviser to 
             President Obama and has been tasked with overseeing 
             significant initiatives within the administration. From 
             his work on the economic stimulus package in 2009 to his 
             continued leadership in the fight against sexual assault 
             and domestic violence, Joe has brought to the White House 
             his characteristic dedication and charisma. It has been a 
             pleasure to observe the real friendship that the Vice 
             President has forged with President Obama, one grounded in 
             mutual respect and admiration for one another.
                We saw again last year Joe's strength in the face of 
             adversity when cancer claimed the life of his son, Beau. 
             Like his father, Beau Biden was a gifted communicator, and 
             the Nation mourned alongside Joe at the news of his 
             passing. In the aftermath of Beau's death, Joe accepted 
             the President's charge to lead the Cancer Moonshot 
             Initiative to accelerate cancer research--yet another 
             shining example of Joe channeling his experience with loss 
             into advancement for the public good. It is a fitting 
             testament to Joe's leadership that the cancer provisions 
             in the bill currently under consideration in the Senate, 
             the 21st Century Cures Act, were renamed in honor of Beau. 
             I know of few people who have endured the magnitude of 
             loss that Joe has over the course of his life, and the 
             fact that he carries on every day with a full heart and 
             renewed dedication to fighting for the American people is 
             an inspiration.
                Beyond his accomplishments--which are many--Joe is 
             perhaps best known for his good humor and genuine ability 
             to connect with people. In a city associated more with 
             political rancor than authenticity, Joe has long been a 
             breath of fresh air, an homage to a more amicable past. 
             His ability to get things done while making steadfast 
             friends on both sides of the aisle is a model for all of 
             us and an inspiration to me.
                I wish Joe and his wife, Jill, nothing but the best as 
             they move onto their next adventure. I know in times of 
             trial, I will look to Joe's leadership and example for the 
             wisdom to make the right decision.
                Mr. Vice President, on behalf of the people of Maine, I 
             thank you for your service to our country.

                Ms. WARREN. Mr. President, today I join my colleagues 
             in celebrating the many contributions of Vice President 
             Joe Biden, a man who has spent his career fighting for 
             working families.
                For more than four decades, Vice President Biden has 
             tirelessly served the people of Delaware and the United 
             States. As many of my colleagues have already noted, he 
             has been on the frontlines of some of our Nation's 
             toughest battles--from steering the Foreign Relations and 
             Judiciary Committees, to introducing the Violence Against 
             Women Act and championing efforts to reduce gun violence 
             in our communities. He takes on every fight with restless 
             energy and relentless optimism.
                I first met then-Senator Biden back in the 1990s when I 
             was a law professor with no experience in the ways of 
             Washington. We tangled over an issue, each of us laying 
             into the fight with determination. Senator Biden won, and 
             I lost. Years later, when I next saw him, he held out his 
             arms and shouted from halfway across the room, 
             ``Professor! Come here and give me a hug!''
                He had not forgotten our earlier battle, but he made it 
             clear that he continued to think and rethink issues about 
             working families and that, even when we disagreed, we 
             could respect--and even like--each other. When I was later 
             sworn into the U.S. Senate, I thought about the example he 
             set to fight hard, but to treat each other with respect.
                The Vice President has faced down hardship with 
             exceptional grace and courage, and he continues to wake up 
             every day with a steadfast commitment to ensuring that the 
             voices of ordinary Americans are heard here in Washington. 
             For me personally, he has provided encouragement, wisdom, 
             and good counsel, time and again--and for that, I am truly 
                So, Vice President Biden: those of us here in the 
             Senate are fortunate to have had the opportunity to work 
             alongside you. I know I speak for millions of Americans 
             when I say that we all are enormously grateful for your 
             many years of service to this country. Thank you, and I 
             wish you the very best as you begin the next chapter of 
             your life and career.

                Mr. COONS. We have five Senators remaining who have 
             asked to speak briefly: Senator Alexander, Senator Cardin, 
             Senator Casey, and Senator Kaine. My senior Senator, Tom 
             Carper of Delaware, will conclude this session today.
                I yield the floor to the Senator from Tennessee.

                The VICE PRESIDENT. The Senator from Tennessee.

                Mr. ALEXANDER. Mr. President, knowing there is a 
             reception coming, I will try to set a good example. After 
             hearing a speech, my late friend Alex Haley, the author of 
             ``Roots,'' said, ``May I make a suggestion?''
                I said, ``Well, yes.''
                He said, ``If, when you make a speech, you would say 
             `Instead of making a speech, let me tell you a story,' 
             someone might actually listen to what you have to say.''
                I have always remembered that, so let me tell one short 
             story about a Vice President who knows how to get things 
                Nearly 2 years ago, you and President Obama invited 
             Senator Corker and me to go with you to Knoxville when the 
             President announced his community college program. Before 
             that, we had lunch privately, and we talked about many 
             things, but the President talked about his interest in 
             precision medicine.
                I said, ``Mr. President, we are working on something we 
             call 21st Century Cures. Why don't we fold that into your 
             precision medicine interest, and we will do it together.''
                At the State of the Union Address a year later, the 
             President talked about the Cancer Moonshot and announced 
             Vice President Joe Biden would be in charge of that. So I 
             talked to you and said, ``Well, we will just fold that in 
             as well.''
                It wasn't moving along as fast as I would like because, 
             as you know and as most people here know, it is full of 
             difficult issues--FDA, safety, moving things through, drug 
             companies' incentives, and then the funding issue on both 
             sides of the aisle.
                So I called you and I said, ``Joe, we are not moving as 
             we should.''
                You said, ``Well, let me see what I can do.''
                You held a meeting of the Democrats and Republicans in 
             the House--Senator Murray and me--and you moved us along 
             pretty well and off we would go. You didn't take credit 
             for that; nobody knew much about it. You were the key to 
                Then it got stuck again. So I called you again. I said:

               Joe, I have the precision medicine, I have the Cancer 
             Moonshot, we have the BRAIN Initiative, we have the 
             opioids money, but I can't get a response. I feel like the 
             butler standing with a silver platter outside the Oval 
             Office, and no one will take the order.

                You said, ``If you want to feel like a butler, try 
             being Vice President.''
                Well, the fact was, you went to work again. The 
             President called; he went to work. Speaker Ryan went to 
             work, Senator McConnell went to work, and today that 
             legislation on which you worked so hard passed the Senate 
             with 94 votes. That is an example of a man who understands 
             the issues, who knows how to get things done, and who has 
             the respect of everyone in this body.
                This is Pearl Harbor Day. Pearl Harbor Day reminds us 
             of the Greatest Generation of men and women who cared 
             about the country, didn't care about the credit, resolved 
             their differences, and realized that diversity is 
             important but turning that diversity into one America is 
             even more important. You are not of that generation, but 
             you show the same spirit as that generation did. Your work 
             on 21st Century Cures and the fact that the Cancer 
             Moonshot section is not only something that is your 
             initiative--is named for your son--is important not just 
             to you but to all of us.
                You are a friend of every single one of us. We honor 
             you today. We are delighted you came down to let us tell a 
             few stories about your effectiveness as Vice President of 
             the United States.

                The VICE PRESIDENT. The Senator from Maryland.

                Mr. CARDIN. Mr. President, I also wish to join in 
             thanking you for your incredible service. Senator Mikulski 
             talked about a lot of things you have done. The two of us 
             represent the State of Maryland. Other than the two of us, 
             there is no other Senator who has spent more time in 
             Maryland than the Vice President.
                Admittedly, most of that time was spent on an Amtrak 
             train, but we consider you to be a resident of Maryland. 
             We have tried to find a way to tax you, but we will let 
             you get by. We very much appreciate your interest in our 
             entire region and in our entire country.
                When I was elected to the Senate in 2007, I talked to 
             Senator Sarbanes--the person whom I was replacing in the 
             Senate--about committee assignments, and we talked about 
             the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He said, ``Get on 
             the committee. Joe Biden is an incredible leader. Any time 
             you can spend with him is going to be time well spent.''
                I talked to Senator Mikulski, and she told me the same 
             thing. I was honored to be able to serve on the Senate 
             Foreign Relations Committee and saw first hand your 
             extraordinary leadership on behalf of our country. 
             Bringing us together in that committee, you didn't know 
             who the Democrats and who the Republicans were. We worked 
             together in a unit in the best interests of our country. 
             That really was a model for all of us in the service of 
             the Senate and service on behalf of our people.
                A little over 8 years later, I became a ranking member 
             of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and we had some 
             extremely challenging issues that could have divided us. 
             You helped me through that period. I really wish to thank 
             you for that. Your extraordinary leadership in helping us 
             resolve some very difficult issues, your openness, your 
             willingness to listen, and your ability to find a way to 
             go forward were incredibly helpful. I think it allowed the 
             Senate to do the right thing on that issue--as well as the 
             oversight. I thank you very much.
                That wasn't your only opportunity to help us resolve 
             issues. You have heard Members talk about the Violence 
             Against Women Act and how important that was. The Cancer 
             Moonshot is going to be incredibly valuable. Each one of 
             our families has been affected by cancer. Through your 
             efforts, we know we are going to find the answer to this 
             dread disease. You have done this in so many different 
             areas, law enforcement--the list goes on and on.
                Last year I was in Central America. I think there you 
             could easily run for office and have no problems at all. 
             They know what you have done to give them a hope, to give 
             them a future. You take an interest in an area and find a 
             way to be helpful that I think has made our country 
             stronger. You have given hope to people all over the 
                You have a love for people. You hear that. You hear 
             that often. It was Will Rogers who famously said he never 
             met a man he didn't like. That is true of Joe Biden. It is 
                I remember when I was being sworn in, in the ceremony 
             in the Old Senate Chamber, you not only talked to Members 
             of the Senate, you talked to every member of our families. 
             I don't know if you had the best staff work or not, but 
             you knew every Member's family. To this day my 
             grandchildren talk about the conversation they had with 
             you during that swearing in ceremony. You really care 
             about people, and that shows. This is a family here, and 
             you have truly shown that to us. Myrna and I look at you 
             and Jill as people who are part of our family.
                I think you are, perhaps, the most ebullient politician 
             in America. Horrific family tragedies and life-threatening 
             cranial aneurysms severely tested, but ultimately didn't 
             diminish, your faith in God or your love for the 
             ``retail'' aspect of politics--meeting and greeting 
             people, making those human connections.
                Mr. President, for those who may not know your story, I 
             would like to tell them part of it. Joe Biden was born in 
             Scranton and raised there before his parents moved the 
             family to Delaware. He was the first member of his family 
             to attend college. He earned his B.A. from the University 
             of Delaware and then went to law school at Syracuse 
             University, during which time he married his college 
             sweetheart, Neilia Hunter. They had three children--two 
             sons and a daughter.
                In 1972, just 4 years after Joe graduated from law 
             school and when he was just 29 years old--he ran a bare 
             bones, long shot campaign for the U.S. Senate against the 
             incumbent, Caleb ``Cale'' Boggs, who had previously been 
             Delaware's Governor and had served three terms in the U.S. 
             House of Representatives. Joe's sister Valerie ran the 
             campaign; most of the other ``staff'' were other family 
             members. He demonstrated his extraordinary ability to 
             connect with voters and won the election by 3,162 votes 
             and became the sixth-youngest Senator in U.S. history.
                Just a few weeks after the election, Joe's wife and 
             their infant daughter Naomi were killed in a traffic 
             accident; their two young sons, Hunter and Beau, were 
             seriously injured. Joe was sworn in to the U.S. Senate 
             next to his sons' hospital beds and steadfastly began 
             commuting to Washington from Wilmington every day by 
             train, a practice he maintained throughout his career in 
             the Senate.
                In 1977, Vice President Biden married Jill Jacobs. Jill 
             has a Ph.D. in education and is a lifelong educator. 
             Together, Joe and Jill had daughter, Ashley, who is a 
             social worker.
                Joe's affinity for the people of Delaware was 
             reciprocal: he was reelected to the Senate six times, 
             including in 2008 when he was also elected Vice President.
                In February 1988, Joe was admitted to Walter Reed Army 
             Medical Center. He had an intracranial aneurysm that had 
             begun leaking. The situation was dire, a priest had 
             actually administered last rites at the hospital. The 
             surgery was successful but he suffered a pulmonary 
             embolism and had to undergo another operation, which was 
             successful, in May 1988. Two brain operations might slow 
             down most people, but not Joe. Two years after he nearly 
             died, he won reelection to a fourth Senate term.
                Joe's Senate career wasn't just long; it was 
             distinguished. He became the ranking member of the 
             Judiciary Committee in 1981. Three years later, he helped 
             to steer the Comprehensive Crime Control Act to passage. 
             It was the first of many major legislative accomplishments 
             which included the Violent Crime Control and Law 
             Enforcement Act of 1994. That bill contained the assault 
             weapon ban and the Violence Against Women Act, and it 
             established the Community Oriented Policing Services 
             (COPS) Program.
                Joe's accomplishments on the domestic policy side are 
             impressive, but he also became a foreign policy expert. 
             When Congress refused to ratify the Strategic Arms 
             Limitation Talks (SALT) II Treaty Soviet leader Leonid 
             Brezhnev and President Jimmy Carter signed in 1979, Joe 
             met with Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko. He was 
             able to secure changes to the treaty to overcome the 
             Senate Foreign Relations Committee's objections. He has 
             played a pivotal role in shaping U.S. foreign policy ever 
             since. I was honored to serve on the Foreign Relations 
             Committee for the last 2 years Joe served as chairman. I 
             have been honored to work with him in his current capacity 
             as Vice President to expand the North Atlantic Treaty 
             Organization, NATO, to include the former Warsaw Pact 
             countries of Eastern and Central Europe and support a 
             sovereign, democratic Ukraine. He is a champion of Israel 
             and has been one of the principal architects of the 
             administration's rebalance to the Asia-Pacific. He has 
             developed deep relationships with the world leaders by 
             excelling at face-to-face diplomacy.
                Mr. President, we were all devastated when your beloved 
             son Beau lost his battle with brain cancer last year. Beau 
             was just 46. It was a poignant moment on Monday when you 
             were in the Chair, presiding over the Senate as we voted 
             to invoke cloture on the motion to concur in the House 
             message to accompany H.R. 34, the 21st Century Cures Act. 
             The bill contains provisions to implement the 
             administration's ``Cancer Moonshot''--yet another one of 
             your sparkling accomplishments. I want to commend Senator 
             McConnell and the majority for renaming that title of the 
             bill the ``Beau Biden Cancer Moonshot and National 
             Institutes of Health (NIH) Innovation Projects.'' I know 
             it means a lot to you and your family.
                I have made my lifetime serving in public life. You 
             have made that profession an honorable profession through 
             the manner in which you have conducted yourself, your 
             integrity, who you are, and the way that you bring people 
             together. I am proud to have served with you in this body.
                Mr. President, you have been an extraordinary public 
             servant for nearly half a century. You have also been a 
             dedicated family man and a good friend. I said at the 
             beginning of my remarks that you never met a man you 
             didn't like. I don't think anyone who has ever met you 
             didn't like you, too.

                The VICE PRESIDENT. The Senator from Pennsylvania.

                Mr. CASEY. Mr. President, it is an honor to be here 
             today. I was thinking about what I would say today and 
             making it as brief and as personal as I could. I have to 
             say that on a day like today it is difficult. We all have 
             the privilege of being able to go to this floor on a 
             regular basis to talk about issues, to talk about our 
             country, and to talk about the world, but we also have one 
             of the great privileges to talk about those with whom we 
             have served and for whom we have great respect.
                This is one of those moments. It is of great 
             significance for me that I am able to stand on the floor 
             of the Senate as a native of and as a resident of the city 
             of Scranton in Lackawanna County to talk about a son of 
                I know this is a big day for Delaware's No. 1 citizen 
             and a historic day for Delaware. I have to say I am so 
             grateful to be able to say on behalf of the people of 
             Scranton and Lackawanna County in northeastern 
             Pennsylvania how proud we are today to be able to pay 
             tribute to Vice President Joe Biden.
                There is so much to say about that history, so much to 
             say about what it means to be able to stand on the floor 
             and talk about his record, his life, his achievements, but 
             mostly to talk about who he is.
                When I consider what he has contributed to our country, 
             to his State, and to the world, it is difficult to 
             encapsulate it. I tried to jot down a few notes to remind 
             myself of how best to encapsulate that life.
                I guess I would start with the word ``integrity.'' It 
             may be a word that we take for granted, but it is a word 
             that has to be part of the life of a public official. I 
             would say in the case of Joe Biden, he has the kind of 
             integrity that is uncommon--uncommon not because it is a 
             rare trait but uncommon because it is so much a part of 
             his whole life. He was a public official with integrity, 
             and we hope he is again when he might consider public 
             office again. But he is also a person of great integrity 
             when it comes to the fights he has had to wage on behalf 
             of people without power, the work he has had to do as a 
             public official infused with that kind of integrity and, 
             at the same time, the same kind of integrity we expect 
             from a family member and a friend. So I would start with 
             that word.
                Certainly the word ``compassion'' comes to mind. Every 
             one of us can tell a story. I was hearing stories just 
             yesterday from a colleague about a phone call the Vice 
             President made over the last couple of years to someone 
             who was grieving, who was in the depths of the darkness of 
             grief, and the phone call he made to that person.
                I have heard stories over the years about not just 
             phone calls but visits with people, stopping into a 
             funeral home for a long lost friend who had lost a loved 
             one, letters he has written. I know a personal friend who 
             lost his wife and his sons had lost their mom and what the 
             Vice President wrote to them just this summer. Over and 
             over again, he has demonstrated that kind of compassion.
                I can remember my own case in a very personal way. It 
             was only an election loss. I ran for Governor of 
             Pennsylvania in a primary. As many of my colleagues know, 
             primaries are particularly difficult. I lost badly. No one 
             called on Wednesday after Tuesday. One reporter showed up 
             at my door, and I opened the door and I really couldn't 
             say much to this reporter, but I was grateful she was 
             there. I got one phone call on Wednesday--maybe a couple 
             of family members; I come from a family of eight. I think 
             my wife was talking to me, but other than that, the only 
             person who called me was Joe Biden. He made some kind of 
             grand prediction--I thought he was just being nice--that I 
             would somehow come back. But he was right. He made me feel 
             much better that day. He may not remember it, but I will 
             remember that for the rest of my life.
                I think certainly when we think about the Vice 
             President, we could center on one other word: 
             ``justice''--an abiding and enduring commitment to 
             justice. His whole public life could be summarized in that 
             word and the commitment he has had to justice. We could 
             quote from the Bible: ``Blessed are they who hunger and 
             thirst for justice, for they shall be satisfied.'' I am 
             not sure Joe Biden has ever been satisfied yet with 
             justice. He is always pursuing it, always trying to bring 
             justice to a problem or to a situation or to the life of a 
             fellow citizen.
                We think of what Saint Augustine said about justice a 
             long time ago, but it still bears repeating: ``Without 
             justice, what are kingdoms but great bands of robbers?'' 
             That is what Saint Augustine said hundreds of years ago. 
             Joe Biden has lived his life as a public official and as a 
             man, as a citizen, with that same burning desire to bring 
             justice into the dark corners of our world. He knows that 
             without that justice, someone is, in fact, robbed of so 
             much--robbed of their dignity, robbed of their safety, 
             robbed of a full life.
                I think I would say that maybe the best line, with all 
             due respect to the Scriptures and to Saint Augustine, was 
             one my father said. He wrote it down years ago, but he 
             probably gave maybe the best description of what a public 
             official should be about. I am not sure I have ever 
             attributed this to anyone else but him. He said the most 
             important qualities a public official can bring to their 
             work are two things: a passion for justice--which, of 
             course, Joe Biden has in abundance--and a sense of outrage 
             in the face of injustice; that if you have both of those, 
             on most days, you are going to get it right. His life as a 
             U.S. Senator for 36 years, as Vice President for 8 years, 
             and as a citizen for all of those years and more, has been 
             about that passion for justice and a sense of outrage in 
             the face of injustice.
                We all know his record; we don't have to recite all of 
             it. From the Violence Against Women Act, which we know is 
             an acronym--VAWA--but it doesn't do justice to the name of 
             what that meant. So many today have talked about how he 
             saved the lives of women and families because of that 
             legislation. So from VAWA to ARRA, as we call it--the 
             American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the act that 
             helped dig this economy out of the ditch it was in and 
             rescued this country and improved the lives of so many 
             people--he not only worked to get it passed, but then he 
             made sure it was implemented. It might be the most popular 
             piece of legislation 25 years from now when people really 
             appreciate what happened with the Recovery Act.
                From diplomacy, to law enforcement, to not just 
             supporting our troops, not just working on legislation and 
             supporting them not only when his son was a member of our 
             Armed Forces but long before that, to what he did very 
             specifically to protect our troops--we know the scourge of 
             IEDs, which was the No. 1 killer of our troops in Iraq and 
             in Afghanistan. A lot of those troops' lives were saved 
             because of Joe Biden up-armoring vehicles and doing all 
             the work he did to protect our troops.
                So whether it was national security or security on our 
             streets, whether it was protecting women who would be the 
             subject of abuse or helping children or improving our 
             economy--on and on--we could talk about that record. But 
             just as you can't just list achievements in a record and 
             encapsulate what it means, so the same is true of a 36-
             year career in the U.S. Senate and then 8 years as Vice 
                Lincoln probably said it best. Lincoln said, ``It is 
             not the years in your life that matters, in the end, it is 
             the life in those years.'' That is, I think, true of Joe 
             Biden as well.
                Two more points. One of the best qualities of the Vice 
             President as a man especially but also as a public 
             official is his sense of gratitude. If you knew him for 
             half an hour or for your whole life, you know that almost 
             always he is speaking about people in his life who made 
             him who he is today, whether it is his mother and father 
             or whether it is his whole family, including brothers and 
             sisters and his sons and daughters and, of course, Jill. 
             It is a reminder of how grateful we should be. In so many 
             ways, when you hear Joe Biden speak, his speeches tend to 
             be, on many occasions, a hymn to gratitude, and that comes 
             through all the time.
                We know how much he suffered with all of the losses he 
             has sustained. I was talking to him recently at an event 
             in Scranton about his son Beau and his life and what a 
             patriot Beau Biden was. I think today we can say the 
             following about the Vice President: This is a man who was 
             a great Vice President. This is a man who was a committed 
             and very effective U.S. Senator, but maybe most important, 
             he has been a faithful son, a loving and proud husband and 
             father, and a patriot.
                Thank you, sir, and God bless you.

                The VICE PRESIDENT. The Senator from Florida.

                Mr. NELSON. Mr. President, these speeches were just 
             supposed to go on for 1 hour, and we are already at the 2-
             hour mark, but perhaps, since we are honoring you, this is 
             most appropriate.
                I would say to our colleagues and our guests, you say 
             the name among us of Joe Biden, and a smile automatically 
             comes to our lips, and that is because the Vice President 
             is a lover of people. That is true. We know it is true. 
             That is why today we have this genuine affection being 
                Since the hour is late, my remarks are going to be very 
             short, but I just want to highlight that it is very true 
             and it is very characteristic. I can even tell all of the 
             stories of the Biden family because I have heard them so 
                It is also very true that if you are talking to Joe and 
             suddenly your wife comes up or your daughter comes up, all 
             of a sudden, Joe is not focusing on you, he is giving his 
             total attention to the ladies present, and that is most 
             appreciated. That, of course, is why he is such a big fan 
             of the Nelson household, not only of Grace and Nan Ellen 
             but also of Bill Junior. He always treats our children 
             with respect and goes out of his way.
                In Florida, fortunately we had the good fortune of 
             seeing him a lot in his two campaigns as Vice President 
             and then the campaign for the ticket in this last 
             campaign. I can remember those days. It was so cold in a 
             horse pasture west of Ocala. I can remember recently just 
             absolutely cooking in North Palm Beach on the stage in the 
             hot sun, and Joe was always there making the case for 
             whoever it was he was standing up for.
                Of course, he always made you feel that you were 
             welcome. I remember one time we got off an airplane, and 
             he was going to his limousine and I am going back to the 
             guest van in the back. He motions, I am to come with him. 
             I said, ``Mr. Vice President, I never presumed that I 
             should come here.'' He says, ``I always want you here with 
             me when we are traveling together.'' That is what makes 
             him so special.
                Finally, I want to comment about Moonshot. Why is the 
             effort at cancer research called the Moonshot? It is 
             because we achieved what was almost the impossible when 
             the President said we are going to the Moon and return 
             safely within the decade, and America marshaled the will 
             and in fact did that incredible accomplishment. That is 
             why we are going to have the Moonshot for cancer.
                We have already made so much progress; but now, with 
             the former Vice President of the United States heading up 
             all the efforts where we can keep the attention on NIH, so 
             it doesn't go from a level rocking along about $24 
             billion, $25 billion a year, and the stimulus shoots it in 
             the first 2 years of the Vice President's office up to $30 
             billion a year, then it drops down to $24 billion, $25 
             billion, and Dr. Francis Collins has to cancel 700 of the 
             medical research grants that he has already issued. 
             Because we have the Moonshot headed by Joe Biden, we are 
             going to find the cure for all those kinds of cancer. That 
             is the great legacy that the Vice President of the United 
             States will have.
                Mr. President, I yield the floor.

                The VICE PRESIDENT. The Senator from Virginia.

                Mr. KAINE. Mr. President, I rise in honor of your 
                I just want to tell my favorite Joe Biden story. This 
             is a story the Vice President has heard me tell, but I 
             want it on the Record because everyone should know this 
             story. It is the story of an interaction between our Vice 
             President on one of the most important days of his life 
             and a young man from Richmond, VA, my hometown, on one of 
             the most important days of his life.
                It was election day 2008, and I was Governor of 
             Virginia. I was responsible for the running of the 
             elections in my State that day when Senator Joe Biden was 
             running for Vice President with our President, Barack 
                I received a call in the middle of the morning: There 
             was going to be a surprise visit to a polling place in 
             Richmond. After having voted in Wilmington, Senator Biden 
             was going to make a stop in Richmond and wanted to meet 
             some voters before he headed to Chicago to await the 
             election results. We gave him the address of an elementary 
             school polling place that was very near the Richmond 
             Airport, and I raced there with my security detail to get 
             there a few minutes before he arrived for a surprise visit 
             with voters who were going to love having the chance to 
             meet the soon-to-be Vice President. I got there a few 
             minutes before Senator Biden arrived, and I saw a friend 
             who had come to vote. I asked how he was doing. He said, 
             ``I am doing great. I am really excited about voting 
             today. It is also a special day because I have a nephew 
             with sickle cell anemia and he is casting his first vote, 
             but he is so sick, he can't even get out of the vehicle.''
                I watched the election officials at the polling place 
             take a voting machine from inside the school into the car 
             so that his 18-year-old nephew could cast the first vote 
             of his life. I saw this young man, the nephew of my 
             friend, and he was very ill.
                I said to my friend and his nephew, ``Can you wait here 
             for 5 minutes? Because I think we can do something really 
                ``Well, just wait.''
                They said they would.
                Within 5 minutes, Senator Biden came up to meet voters 
             and shook the hands of those in line. I said, ``Senator, 
             there is a young man here, and just as this day is very 
             important to you, because I think you are about to be 
             elected Vice President of the United States, for this 
             young African-American male, who is very ill but extremely 
             excited even in his illness to get out of his house to 
             come here and cast his vote to elect the first African-
             American President--he is sitting there in that vehicle. 
             Will you go and visit with him?''
                I didn't even have to finish the sentence and put the 
             question mark at the end before Senator Biden shot across 
             the parking lot and went up to the vehicle. The press 
             corps was following him. The young man was sitting in the 
             back seat. Joe just jumped in the front seat, closed the 
             door, rolled up the window so nobody could hear the 
             conversation, and the press corps gathered around all four 
             sides of the vehicle with their cameras taking pictures of 
             Senator Biden in an extremely animated and somewhat 
             lengthy conversation with the 18 year old who had just 
             cast his vote. To me, that will always be the 
             quintessential Joe Biden story.
                Joe Biden is the Irish poet of American politicians. He 
             and I share a passion for the Irish poet William Butler 
             Yeats. Yeats, like our Vice President, was not just a 
             poet. He was a man of the public. He was a public 
             official. People asked him to weigh in on political 
             matters all the time.
                Once, in the middle of the First World War, somebody 
             asked Yeats to write a war poem. He wrote a war poem, and 
             the poem was titled, ``On Being Asked for a War Poem.'' 
             The poem says this:

              I [often] think it better that in times like these
              A poet's mouth be silent, for in truth ...
              He has had enough of meddling who can please
              A young girl in the indolence of her youth,
              Or an old man upon a winter's night.

                The meaning of the poem is this: I may be a public 
             figure. I may have a public job to do. I may be asked to 
             do a public job and to claim upon matters of public 
             importance. But sometimes even more than the matter of 
             public importance is the ability to please a young girl or 
             an old man--or an ill young man casting a first vote, an 
             important vote.
                The fact that you took your time on that day of 
             importance to you to shed some light and offer some joy to 
             someone who was struggling--that is the Joe Biden who has 
             us here for 2 hours offering these tributes.
                I yield the floor.

                The VICE PRESIDENT. The Senator from Connecticut.

                Mr. BLUMENTHAL. Mr. President, I never had the 
             privilege of serving with you in this Chamber, but, like 
             many of my colleagues, I have come to know you as a friend 
             and public servant and a model and a mentor.
                What I want to say very simply is that you have 
             inspired so many of us, beyond this Chamber, beyond the 
             people whom you have known directly, and beyond the people 
             with whom you have worked. Countless young people are 
             involved in this noble profession because of your example.
                At a time when public officials and politics are often 
             held in little repute and often challenged in their 
             integrity, you have given us a good name, you have given 
             politics a good name, and you have enabled so many of us 
             to serve with pride in a profession that is so vital to 
             the continuance of our democracy. Beyond pieces of 
             legislation, whether it is the Violence Against Women Act 
             or the assault weapon ban or criminal justice--the list 
             goes on--is that model of public service.
                I want to close by saying that as long as I have known 
             Joe Biden, I really came to know him through the eyes of 
             his son. I had the honor of working and serving with Beau 
             Biden when he was attorney general of the State of 
             Delaware and I was attorney general of my State of 
             Connecticut. My ambition in life is to have my four 
             children talk about me with the sense of admiration and 
             love and pride that Beau Biden talked about his dad.
                I am very proud and grateful that we had the 
             opportunity to vote today on a law that bears his name. As 
             proud as his dad is of him, his pride in his dad is an 
             example that all of us as parents hope our children have 
             for us.
                I am proud to be in this Chamber and to have been sworn 
             in to this Chamber by you, Mr. Vice President. I hope our 
             paths will continue to cross, as I know they will, with so 
             many of us in this Chamber and in this country. Thank you 
             for your service.
                I yield the floor.

                The VICE PRESIDENT. The Senator from Missouri.

                Mrs. McCASKILL. Mr. President, me too.

                The VICE PRESIDENT. The Senator from Massachusetts.

                Mr. MARKEY. Mr. President, in 1972 I was a young man in 
             my last year at Boston College Law School, and I decided 
             to run for State representative. I had a cousin who worked 
             at NASA, an older cousin, the smart one, the physicist. He 
             said, ``Well, there is a young man in Delaware who is 
             running for the Senate.''
                ``So what is his name?''
                ``Joe Biden.''
                From that moment on, I was following the career of this 
             Irishman, this latter-day descendent of Hubert Humphrey, a 
             happy warrior, the man who stands up for the common man 
             and woman in our country.
                In 1972 you had this great campaign team led by John 
             Marttila--the great John--who captured your spirit, your 
             soul, what you represented now in this half century of 
             American politics.
                In 1976, when I ran for Congress, just 4 years later--
             the same as you, age 29--saying ``I think I can run,'' I 
             walked into the office of this man, John Marttila, in 
             Boston, and it looked like a museum to Joe Biden with all 
             the Joe Biden literature and messages on his wall. So from 
             that moment on, from John Marttila, through Larry Rasky, 
             through Ron Klain--through all of these people who worked 
             for me and worked for you, I have been privileged to be 
             able to chronicle your journey of work and inspiration for 
             our country.
                I think it is just perfect that you are the commander 
             in chief of this rocket ship to the Moon to find the cure 
             for cancer because that is a mission that has the right 
             man who is going to be leading it. I think that each and 
             every one of us out here knows that one of the reasons 
             this bill is receiving such an overwhelming vote today is 
             because of you, Mr. President. It is because of the 
             respect we have for you. It is the knowledge that when you 
             were negotiating this bill, at the end of the day, you 
             were going to put the American people first, you were 
             going to make sure that bill reflected the highest 
             aspiration of every American.
                So I want to speak briefly because there is a reception 
             after this, and many people are still waiting to say hello 
             to you. I think every Member wanted to come out here, and 
             you inspired them to speak a lot longer than they may have 
             intended on speaking, but it is because of the incredible 
             respect and admiration they have for you. My best to you. 
             My wife Susan's best to you. There has never been a better 
             public servant in American history. All my best.

                The VICE PRESIDENT. The Senator from Indiana.

                Mr. DONNELLY. Mr. President, on behalf of all the 
             people in our great State--and our dear colleague Senator 
             Bayh is here because of his love as well--we want to tell 
             you how grateful we are for your services, for the 
             extraordinary job you have done as Vice President for 
             President Obama.
                Everybody is telling stories. As you know, I had the 
             privilege of having you put your arm around me, and when 
             everybody said there was no chance I could ever win, you 
             said, ``You and I are a lot alike and you can do this and 
             you can win.''
                I came back, and they said, ``What advice did Vice 
             President Biden give you?''
                I said, ``He told me that I could win.''
                They said, ``Well, he is right a lot; I don't know 
             about that one.''
                You turned out to be right.
                Then we were blessed that your sons, Hunter and Beau, 
             often came to Indiana during the summers. You would then 
             come out as well. I will never forget going to the coffee 
             shop one Sunday morning. The lady at the coffee shop said 
             to me, ``This has been an unbelievable day because the 
             Vice President came in with all his grandchildren; and, by 
             the way, Joe, he bought ice cream for everybody in the 
             store, and you have never done that.''
                I said how sorry I was that I never did that.
                She also said, ``This is one of the greatest days of my 
             life, to meet somebody who has always looked out for 
             working families, who has always looked out for us.''
                That is how we see you back home. You have always 
             looked out for us. You have always cared about us. As a 
             second-generation Irish immigrant, you have always been an 
             example to all of us that we can accomplish anything we 
             dream of.
                God bless you and Jill and your whole family. We are so 
             lucky to have been touched by you.

                The VICE PRESIDENT. The Senator from Minnesota.

                Ms. KLOBUCHAR. Vice President Biden, earlier Hubert 
             Humphrey's name was mentioned. You know the great love the 
             people of Minnesota have for you. Vice President Humphrey 
             was your mentor when you first got to the Senate, where 
             you didn't even know if you were going to last a few 
             months here, and he was there for you. You have extended 
             that kindness to so many since then.
                Vice President Mondale, another Minnesotan, has great 
             affection and love for you, and I will report back to him 
             tonight that I was here with you today.
                When I first got elected to the Senate and made one of 
             my first speeches about police funding to a completely 
             empty Chamber--and I thought even my mom wasn't watching 
             on C-SPAN--I walked out of this place and I got a phone 
             call on my cell phone and it was Joe Biden, then a 
             Senator, saying ``that was a really great speech.''
                When you came to my State and one of my best friends 
             suddenly lost her husband and you heard about it, you did 
             not know who she was, you just heard the story, and in 2 
             weeks, on her first day back at work, she was driving home 
             and she got a call from you. You talked to her for 20 
             minutes. When you were done and had given her all this 
             wonderful advice, you said, ``We are not done; I want you 
             to write down my phone number.''
                She said, ``I am driving, Mr. Vice President; I can't 
             do that.''
                You said, ``Pull over.''
                She wrote your phone number on her hand. You did that 
             for her, Mr. Vice President, and you have done that for so 
             many Americans. On behalf of our entire State of Minnesota 
             that has loved you forever, thank you.
                I yield the floor.

                The VICE PRESIDENT. The Senator from Delaware.

                Mr. CARPER. Mr. President, a few minutes ago, I sent up 
             a note to you that I handwrote that said: ``Flattery won't 
             hurt you if you don't inhale, so don't breathe too deeply 
             up there.''
                I also recall walking into a hearing with EPA 
             Administrator Gina McCarthy not too long ago in the House 
             of Representatives, a joint House-Senate hearing. A lot of 
             people had been there asking questions, and she was in the 
             seat for 4 hours. It finally became my turn to ask a 
             question, and I said to her, ``Is there any question, 
             Administrator McCarthy, that you have not been asked 
             today?'' She said, ``I wish somebody had asked me if I 
             needed a bathroom break.''
                There are 30 more Senators in the Cloakroom who want to 
             come out and speak. If you need one, let us know and one 
             of the pages or somebody will take your spot up there.
                It has been a joy to sit here and listen to all these 
             stories. John Carney, our Congressman, Governor-elect, has 
             been here and come and gone. He has gone back to the House 
             to go into session. He used to work for you, and you are 
             one of his great mentors. He wants you to know he was 
             here, in case you didn't.
                I want to say to Chris Coons, who put this all 
             together, making possible a wonderful tribute, this is the 
             Senate at its best. It is wonderful to see some of our 
             still young colleagues who have come back to visit us and 
             to be with us on this special day.
                Over the years, people have asked me why I have had 
             some success in my life, and I say that my sister and I 
             picked the right parents. Joe Biden and his brother and 
             sister picked the right parents. I have had the privilege 
             of knowing them both. When your dad was sick and in the 
             hospital, I visited and spent time with him, just the two 
             of us.
                Joe, I want to say for those who maybe didn't know your 
             parents, they valued education and made sure you got a 
             good one, along with his brother and sister. Val is up 
             there somewhere. I want to say hi to Val. They valued 
             education and people of faith. I am Protestant, and Joe 
             and his family are Catholic, but he doesn't wear it on his 
             sleeve. I will tell you this, nobody believes in the 
             Golden Rule of treating other people the way you want to 
             be treated any more than Joe Biden.
                Nobody adheres to Matthew 25, the ``least of these,'' 
             any more than Joe Biden. Nobody does a better reading of 
             James 2: ``Show me your faith by your words, and I will 
             show you my faith by my deeds.'' He doesn't just talk a 
             good game. He doesn't talk a whole lot about his faith, 
             but he sure lives it.
                From his family--from his mom and dad--he learned the 
             importance of family and the importance of loyalty to his 
             family and, frankly, to his friends--his multitude of 
             friends. He learned there is a difference between right 
             and wrong and figure out what it is and do right. Do it 
             all the time.
                He learned a little bit about common sense. My dad used 
             to say to my sister and me when we did some boneheaded 
             stuff, just use some common sense. I think your dad said 
             that to you once or twice as well. One of the things your 
             mom used to say to you was, ``if you are knocked down, get 
             up''--the idea you just never give up. You know you are 
             right, never give up. That is Joe Biden.
                People say to us in this Chamber I am sure every day 
             that they wouldn't want our job. I wouldn't want your job. 
             I know you heard that a lot of times. I think we are 
             fortunate to have these jobs and responsibilities to 
             serve. An even tougher job is to be married to one of us. 
             Several people talked about Jill and your bride--for how 
             many years? Almost 40 years. Is that possible? I first saw 
             Jill Biden when I was a graduate student when I was just 
             out of the Navy. I was a graduate student at the 
             University of Delaware. I happened to see her on campus. I 
             thought then, and I would say now, one of the two 
             loveliest people I think I have ever seen. The other being 
             Martha Carper. Not only is she lovely--as Joe knows--on 
             the outside, really lovely on the inside. She is a person 
             with deep caring, a person with incredible warmth and 
             compassion. She is a terrific educator. She taught in our 
             State in public schools. She taught in a hospital for 
             folks with special needs. She taught at Delaware Technical 
             Community College when it was selected as the best 
             technical community college in the Nation during the time 
             that she was on the faculty there.
                She continued as Second Lady to continue to critique, 
             but she started off in a place called Willow Grove, PA. 
             There is a naval air station there where I used to fly P-3 
             aircraft--mission commander--out of there. I retired as a 
             Navy captain in 1991. She was just down the road, growing 
             up with her four sisters, Jill Jacobs and the Jacobs 
             girls. I am sure they broke a lot of hearts.
                In the case of Jill Biden, she helped to mend one. As 
             much as anybody, Val and your family are hugely supportive 
             and helped you get through a terribly tough time, but I 
             think Jill perhaps made you whole. She got her undergrad, 
             I believe, from the University of Delaware. She has two 
             master's degrees--a Ph.D. focused on how to increase 
             retention in community colleges around the country. She 
             got those advanced degrees while working and raising a 
             family, three kids that any of us would be proud to claim 
             as our own.
                Last week, I happened to be in a classroom in a school 
             where the Vice President probably has been before, Mount 
             Pleasant Elementary School, right down the road from the 
             high school. I was in a classroom of a woman by the name 
             of Wendy Turner, who is the Delaware Teacher of the Year. 
             I had a chance to be with her and her grade school kids. 
             We all gathered around together, and I sat on a stool. 
             They gathered around me. There were about 20, 25 kids. I 
             said, ``Why is she such a great teacher?'' Talking about 
             Wendy Turner, Teacher of the Year.
                They said, ``She loves kids. She loves us.'' They said, 
             ``She knows her stuff. She really knows what she is 
             talking to us about. She knows how to make clear why it is 
             important, like when we leave school, and why it is 
             important we learn these things. She believes everybody 
             can learn.''
                I thought about her, and I think about Jill Biden 
             today. She is that kind of educator as well, continues to 
             be that kind of educator as well.
                A lot has been said today of the Cancer Moonshot that 
             Joe has been leading with great skill and success here, 
             especially today. Before there was Cancer Moonshot, there 
             was Joe Biden's breast health initiative, which helped 
             thousands of young women to learn about the importance of 
             early detection for breast cancer.
                Beau went into the military, Delaware National Guard, 
             deployed to Iraq. Some people would send cookies and 
             packages to their kids and maybe write emails or Skype 
             with them. Jill decided she was going to take that 
             experience and create something with Delaware Boots on the 
             Ground to look out for families. Later on, as Second Lady, 
             working with Michelle Obama, she created something they 
             called Joining Forces, which focuses on education for 
             military families--education, employment opportunities, 
             access to wellness services.
                She even managed to write a book. She wrote a book from 
             a child's point of view of having a loved one in their 
             family deployed overseas in the military. As I said 
             earlier, she helped raise three terrific kids.
                Sometimes I like to quote Maya Angelou, who sang at the 
             second inauguration of Barack Obama and Joe Biden, and she 
             passed away not long ago. Maya Angelou said something that 
             I think is appropriate for all of us today when she said: 
             ``People may not remember what you said, people may not 
             remember what you do, but they will remember how you made 
             them feel.'' One of the threads through everything that 
             has been said here today really reminds me of what Maya 
             Angelou said because people may not remember what we said. 
             They may not remember what we do, but there are not just 
             thousands, not just tens of thousands, not just hundreds 
             of thousands, but there are millions of people in this 
             country who will remember how you and Jill made them 
             feel--cared for, important, loved.
                I know our Vice President likes music, and as a Boomer 
             he later on liked a British group. I forget what their Fab 
             Four was called. I think it might have been the Beatles, 
             and maybe the best rock 'n' roll album ever, ``Abbey 
             Road,'' ends with these lyrics--the last part of Abbey 
             Road, side two, was largely written by Paul McCartney. The 
             last words on ``Abbey Road'' were these words: ``The love 
             you take is equal to the love you make.''
                You are going to take a lot of love with you, and Jill 
             as well, far from here and for the rest of your lives. God 
             bless you.
                Mr. President--I have always wanted to call you Mr. 
             President. With that, Mr. President, I suggest the absence 
             of a quorum.

                The VICE PRESIDENT. The clerk will call the roll.
                The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.

                Mr. COONS. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that 
             the order for the quorum call be rescinded.

                The VICE PRESIDENT. Without objection, it is so 

                Mr. COONS. Mr. President, I would like to invite all of 
             my colleagues to join us in a reception in honor of the 
             Vice President. I remind any colleagues who wish to speak 
             who did not have the opportunity to submit their comments 
             for the Record, and I very much look forward to our 
             jointly presenting a bound copy to the Vice President.
                Thank you for your service, and we look forward to 
             hearing from you at the reception.
                                             Thursday, December 8, 2016
                Mr. REED. Mr. President, I was also very privileged to 
             serve with the Vice President of the United States, Joe 
             Biden. The Vice President was here yesterday. I was here 
             listening to the comments. I must add, if I could, some 
             words of my own.
                Joe Biden is a true statesman. I had the privilege of 
             serving with him for over a decade. We traveled together 
             to places such as Afghanistan and Iraq. I am honored to 
             have gotten to know him and his wonderful family. Even 
             though he is Vice President of the United States of 
             America--the second highest office of the land--I know the 
             titles he is proudest to hold are father, grandfather, 
             husband, brother, and, after that, Senator.
                A tribute to Joe Biden really has to extend to some 
             others, and one person I want to single out is his sister, 
             Valerie Biden Owens. Val is not only his closest adviser 
             but the architect of his first campaign and every one 
             thereafter. At a time when very few women were running 
             U.S. Senate campaigns, Val was responsible for electing a 
             29-year-old newcomer. When tragedy struck, she was the one 
             who helped bring him back, who enabled him to serve the 
             people of Delaware and, ultimately, the people of the 
             United States and of the world. She is a brilliant 
             strategist who has gone on to advise many officeholders. 
             We thank her for her lasting contributions, and I wanted 
             to make sure she got some credit.
                Both the Vice President and Val are quick to note the 
             real credit goes to their parents--Catherine Jean Finnegan 
             Biden, his mom, and his late, great father, Joe Senior. 
             The Vice President and I would often joke--and it is not a 
             joke; it is actually a truth: Always aspire to be half as 
             good as mom and dad. That is an Irish aspiration. Joe has 
             made it. I am still working on it, but he is at least half 
             as good as these extraordinary people.
                If you have spent any time with the Vice President, you 
             know that he is famous for quoting his father and his 
             mother and the wisdom they imparted to all the children--
             Joe, Val, Jimmy, and Frank. I think you have heard Senator 
             Biden, Chairman Biden, and Vice President Biden say: ``I 
             give you my word as a Biden.'' You know you can take that 
             to the bank. He meant it.
                Once you heard that, without hesitation, you knew he 
             was there with you and would not equivocate, would not 
             deviate, and would be with you.
                I had the privilege of not only working with Senator 
             Biden, but I also had the privilege of working with a 
             young captain in the U.S. Army, at least briefly, as we 
             visited him, and that was CPT Beau Biden of the Delaware 
             National Guard. Beau Biden didn't have to join the 
             National Guard. He didn't have to volunteer for Iraq, but 
             he felt it was his duty and his obligation. When we were 
             together with him in Iraq, you saw someone who personified 
             the very best of this Nation--a soldier, someone 
             conscientious, someone who would give his all, give his 
             life for others and, particularly, give every ounce of 
             energy and service to this great Nation.
                Anyone who met Beau knew he was a Biden. He didn't have 
             to say it. He looked like his dad but, more important, he 
             acted like his dad--strong, tough, proud, dedicated, 
             committed to helping others, particularly those who needed 
             a chance, who needed a hand up. He had a passion for 
             social justice, compassion, and that element of kindness. 
             In the sum of his days--of Beau's days--he certainly 
             surpassed that test of kindness, decency, and compassion.
                The Biden family has known a great deal of tragedy--
             more than most families--but they have stuck together, and 
             they have shared both moments of triumph and moments of 
             profound sadness. Together, they have shaped history and 
             made this a better nation and a better world. All of us 
             who have had the privilege of knowing Joe, Jill, and their 
             family are better people.
                Mr. President, let me thank you. Mr. Vice President, 
             Senator, Joe, thank you.
                With that, I yield the floor.

                Mr. ENZI. Mr. President, today I wish to recognize the 
             service of a former colleague and our current Vice 
             President, Joe Biden.
                Joe was born in Pennsylvania, but moved with his family 
             to Delaware when he was 13. He left Delaware for brief 
             stints at St. Helena School and Syracuse University Law 
             School, but he has always returned to Delaware, including 
             the daily trips he made home during his Senate career and 
             the regular trips he makes home to this day.
                Because of his devotion to Delaware, Joe quickly got 
             his start in politics, first on the New Castle County 
             Council and then in the U.S. Senate, where he became the 
             fifth-youngest U.S. Senator in history in 1972. He also 
             has the distinction of being Delaware's longest serving 
                I worked with Joe on many different issues during his 
             time in the Senate and served on the Foreign Relations 
             Committee when he was our chairman. Joe is known as a 
             foreign affairs expert, and he has many reasons to be 
             proud of the work he has done in that area. One of those 
             things that we worked on together was the President's 
             Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.
                I remember being at the 2003 State of the Union speech 
             when President Bush said, ``We're going to put $15 billion 
             into an AIDS effort.'' That shocked all of us who were 
             there. It was a lot of money. We worked together to 
             develop a bill that passed the House and Senate 
                Joe managed the floor when we reauthorized that program 
             in 2008, and we worked with Senators Coburn, Burr, and 
             Lugar to develop that reauthorization. At the time, Joe 
             suggested historians will regard PEPFAR as President 
             Bush's ``single finest hour,'' and I tend to agree. A few 
             years ago, I visited the Kasisi Orphanage in Zambia. We 
             were told that before PEPFAR, they had to bury 18 kids a 
             month that died of AIDS, but because of PEPFAR, they got 
             that down to 1 a month. I know Joe shares my pride in the 
             difference that program is making.
                We were all a little sad to see Joe move to the White 
             House in 2009, when he became our 47th Vice President. 
             Lucky for us, he has been able to keep his ties to the 
             Senate in his role as President of this body, and I think 
             he has been one of our best partners in the 
                All of us were glad to be able to honor Joe and his 
             son, Beau Biden, by naming the cancer section of the 21st 
             Century Cures Act after Beau. I expect Joe will continue 
             to be a voice for ending cancer, and I hope to work with 
             him toward that cause.
                Joe, Diana and I send our best to you, Jill, and your 
             family. You have served the people of Delaware and the 
             people of the United States with distinction.
                I yield the floor.

               Mr. GRAHAM. Mr. President, in a political world getting 
             more contentious by the day, with even greater divisions 
             and an increasing lack of civility, Joe Biden has always 
             stood out.
               The reason so many Republicans and Democrats appreciate 
             him is because he has touched us all in a special way. 
             When it comes to Joe Biden, his word is his bond. He is a 
             fierce competitor, but never takes the fight too far. If 
             he can help you, he always will. He tries, as much as 
             possible, to ensure every decision is a win-win.
               As Vice President, he served President Obama extremely 
             well with unquestionable loyalty. He has proven to be one 
             of the most successful negotiators for the President.
               I have traveled the world with Joe and the private man 
             is exactly what you see in public. Joe Biden is 
             articulate, determined, kind, gracious, funny, and an 
             eternal optimist. I am confident he will continue to serve 
             the Nation he loves so much.
               Vice President Joe Biden stands out in all the right 
                                               Friday, December 9, 2016
                Mr. COONS. Mr. President, I rise in support and 
             recognition of the tireless efforts of my friend and 
             colleague from West Virginia [Mr. Manchin]. We were sworn 
             in the same day, moments apart, and we were sworn in by a 
             man who held this seat and this desk for 36 years. Born in 
             Scranton, PA, Joe Biden, our Vice President, served 
             Delaware for 36 years. I know Joe and I know one of the 
             things he tirelessly fought for, and that was the working 
             men and women of this country--just like my colleague from 
             Missouri [Mrs. McCaskill], who speaks from the desk long 
             held by Harry Truman and in whose honor she spoke about 
             our keeping our promises that date back to a law passed by 
             this Congress and signed into law by Harry Truman that 
             promised pensions and health care to 100,000 coal miners. 
               Mr. BOOZMAN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that 
             there be printed as a Senate document a compilation of 
             materials from the Congressional Record in tribute to 
             retiring Members of the 114th Congress, and an additional 
             Senate document a compilation of materials from the 
             Congressional Record in tribute to the President of the 
             Senate, Joe Biden, and that Members have until Tuesday, 
             December 20, to submit such tributes.

               The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so 
                                  ORDER FOR PRINTING
               Mr. PORTMAN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that 
             any tributes submitted by December 20, 2016, as authorized 
             by the order of December 10, 2016, be printed in the 
             January 3, 2017, Congressional Record of the 114th 

               The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so