I begin my remarks by paying my respect to our colleague and friend, Sen. John McCain.

A great American has died.

Sen. McCain represented the people of Arizona and the United States of America with great honor and always holding his ground and sticking with his principles.

Sen. McCain was tough and tenacious both as a 32-year member of the United States Senate and in the United States Navy.

His grit and determination as a prisoner-of-war in Vietnam is legendary and an inspiration.

For the rest of his life, he understood from his own experience what it takes to keep a country safe, and he stood up for the security of the United States and, in turn, the world.

He prioritized those in uniform and the veterans who safeguard our nation.

I had tremendous respect for Sen. McCain’s leadership of the Armed Service Committee and for the many ways he led on the number one responsibility of the federal government: the national defense.

Sen. McCain and I served in the Senate together since 1986.

Even after he became ill last year, Sen. McCain’s charisma was strong as ever.

At Christmastime, he greeted me with an oft-repeated joke that he had had his glass of ethanol for breakfast.

Being from Iowa, of course, I liked to hear it.

As I stand here today with his Senate desk close at hand and draped in his honor, Barbara and I share our condolences with Cindy McCain and Sen. McCain’s entire family.

Sen. McCain sacrificed so much of himself for his country, and we are grateful for his lifetime of service. 

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