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Senate Proceeding on May 2nd, 2011 :: 1:40:35 to 1:53:35
Total video length: 4 hours 47 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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John Ensign

1:40:30 to 1:40:50( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: been the greatest professional privilege of my life. growing up with a single mom and very humble surroundings, i simply never imagined that one day i would end up as a member of such an august body as this. unfortunately that extend from the more than

John Ensign

1:40:35 to 1:53:35( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: John Ensign

John Ensign

1:40:51 to 1:41:12( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: 10 years of my senate service cannot be summed up in one single speech. i owe a humble thank you to many people who helped to get me here and served me effectively. from campaign volunteers, staff, donors, to some of the best people i have ever worked with, my senate staff. i cannot thank you enough for

John Ensign

1:41:13 to 1:41:33( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: the honor of the past many years. each of you has helped me to achieve more than any individual talents alone could have accomplished. when i look back over my time here and in the united states house of representatives, i'm very proud of the many accomplishment that's we, together, that we have been able to achieve. i would like to take a moment to mention just a few.

John Ensign

1:41:34 to 1:41:54( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: the beauty of the state of nevada has been greatly enhanced and protected for the enjoyment for future generations because of the public lands management act and several other important lands bill. because of these lands bills, nevada has been able to keep over $3 billion that has been

John Ensign

1:41:55 to 1:42:16( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: raised from land sales in southern nevada. this money that did not have to come out of the united states treasury. in the past, balimland was exchanged for sensitive land around the state. as a result of the lands bill that we worked on, we were able

John Ensign

1:42:17 to 1:42:37( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: to instead auction this b.l.m. land, raising far more money for the stat of nevada than the land exchanges ever were able to do. this land revenue has been used to purchase sensitive land to protect it for future generationsings but also to construct 100 beautiful parks

John Ensign

1:42:38 to 1:42:58( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: and trails in southern nevada. i cannot tell you how proud i am when i drive around las vegas and i see these family enjoying these beautiful areas. this has made the great quality of life that much better. additionally for northern nevada, my love for lake tahoe has been evident throughout the years.

John Ensign

1:42:59 to 1:43:22( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: i worked hard to ensure that the beauty of those waters an surroundings are just as beautiful decades from now as they are today. in our lands bills helped to achieve this goal. through this legislation hundreds of millions of dollars have been devoted to preserve its echosystem and important fuel reduction projects around

John Ensign

1:43:23 to 1:43:46( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: our state to help prevent catastrophic wildfires that so threaten the future of our state and its breathtaking landscape. additionally, i have been a passionate add row cat for education reform. our lands bills have directed millions and millions of dollars to nevada schools as an endowment that our state will reap the benefits from for many years yet to come.

John Ensign

1:43:47 to 1:44:08( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: i want to thank senators reid and bryant for their cooperation in drafting these great pieces of legislations that our states benefit from so greatly. i want to thank the folks on my staff, especially john lopez who worked so hard to turn these pieces of legislation into law. speaking of legislation that became law, i would also like to

John Ensign

1:44:09 to 1:44:29( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: highlight another accomplishment of which i'm so proud. as the only bipartisan provision in the so-called obamacare bill, senator tom carper and i worked against some powerful interest groups to get the healthy behaviors act added to the health reform bill. our provision was modeled after

John Ensign

1:44:30 to 1:44:50( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: efforts by safeway in the private sector to both improve health care quality and to reduce the costs of health care. essentially our provision rewards people in the form of lower health care premiums for making healthy choices such as quitting smoking.

John Ensign

1:44:51 to 1:45:12( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: if we, as americans, continue to eat too much, exercise too little, and to smoke, it really doesn't matter what kind of health care reform we enact in this country. costs will continue to escalate. i hope that this provision will highlight the individual contribution that we can all make to reduce our health care costs, and certainly this

John Ensign

1:45:13 to 1:45:34( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: legislation would not have become law if it were not for the spectacular job that michelle spence from my office did. as i mentioned earlier, i simply cannot list the number of things or the number of people on my staff who have helped me with legislation. we have accomplished a lot. i wish i could do it in just one

John Ensign

1:45:35 to 1:45:55( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: speech, but it's not possible. i could speak at length about my fight for lower taxes and individual freedoms, protection of constitutional rights, the dignity of our service men and women, education reform and so much more, but there is not enough time. and i hope that my voting record and legislative record here in the united states senate will continue t

John Ensign

1:45:56 to 1:46:16( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: longer -- long after i have left this chamber. i would like to speak, though, about a few observations that i have made through the course of my time here. when i first ran for office back in 1994, i was rather naive. i was also very idealistic. i simply wanted to make a

John Ensign

1:46:17 to 1:46:38( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: difference in this great country. throughout the years, i may have lost my naivete, but i never lost my idealism. i still strongly believe that the united states is the greatest country in the history of the world, and it is worth fighting for and worth protecting. i will leave this place knowing that there are some really

John Ensign

1:46:39 to 1:47:01( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: outstanding people here who are just as idealistic or maybe more so than i ever was, and they're willing to take the tough political votes that are necessary to save this country from total bankruptcy. my prayer is that will join them in that courage. our children and our grandchildren deserve to have the same country that we enjoy,

John Ensign

1:47:02 to 1:47:22( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: and it is up to the house, the senate and the white house to stand together with the american people to save the future of the united states from self-destruction. when i first arrived in the senate, i observed several people who were so caught up in their own self-importance and business that arrogance

John Ensign

1:47:23 to 1:47:43( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: literally dripped from them. unfortunately, they were blind to it, and everyone could see it but them. when one takes a position of leadership, this is a very real danger of getting caught up in the hype surrounding that status. oftentimes, the more power and prestige a person achieves, the more arrogant a person can become.

John Ensign

1:47:44 to 1:48:04( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: as easy as it was for me to view this in other people, unfortunately, i was blind to how arrogant and self-centered that i had become. i did not recognize that -- that i thought mostly of myself. the worst part about this is i even tried not to become caught up in my own self-importance. unfortunately, the urge to

John Ensign

1:48:05 to 1:48:26( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: believe in it was stronger than the power to fight it. this is how dangerous the feeling of power and adulation can be. my caution to all of my colleagues is to surround yourself with people who will be honest with you about how you really are and what you are

John Ensign

1:48:27 to 1:48:48( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: becoming, and then make them promise to not hold back, no matter how much you may try to prevent them, from telling you the truth. i wish that i had done this sooner, but this is one of the hardest lessons that i've had to learn. i believe that if i had learned this lesson earlier, i would have prevented myself from judging two of my colleagues

John Ensign

1:48:49 to 1:49:10( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: when i had no place to do so. when i was chairman of the national republican senate committee, i was confronted with the personal issues facing senator larry craig and senator ted stevens. following larry's admission and ted's guilty verdict, i, too, believed in the power of my leadership position and i called on both of them to resign.

John Ensign

1:49:11 to 1:49:31( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: i sincerely struggled with these decisions afterward, so much so that i went to each of them a few weeks afterward and admitted what i did was wrong and i asked both of them for forgiveness. each of these men were gracious enough to forgive me, even though publicly i did not show

John Ensign

1:49:32 to 1:49:52( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: them the same grace. i'm very grateful to both of these men. when i announced my personal failure two years ago, larry craig was one of the first to call and to express his support. i truly cannot tell you what that meant then and what it means to me today. the purpose of me speaking about

John Ensign

1:49:53 to 1:50:14( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: this is to humbly show that in life, a person understands mercy a lot more when they need it and when it is shown to them. again, this is a hard lesson that i have had to learn, but i hope that i can now show mercy to people who come into my life who truly need it. as i conclude, i have a few

John Ensign

1:50:15 to 1:50:35( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: others that i want to thank. my colleague from the state of nevada, senator reid. i ran against senator reid in 1998. he beat me by just a little over 400 votes. afterward, when i -- two years later, when i was fortunate enough to win the election, senator reid and i sat down and

John Ensign

1:50:36 to 1:50:56( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: we kind of made a pact between us that we were going to get along even though we are of different parties, we were going to put the past behind us and we were going to work together for the people of the state of nevada. a funny thing happened along the way over these last 10-plus years. senator reid and i developed a friendship.

John Ensign

1:50:57 to 1:51:17( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: two people with opposite voting records, opposite views on major national issues, but we work together on a lot of issues that affected our states. friendships formed between our staffs and a true friendship formed between senator reid and myself, and for that, i want to thank him. to my senate colleagues, i would

John Ensign

1:51:18 to 1:51:38( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: like to take a moment to apologize for what you have had to go through as a result of my actions. i know that many of you were put in difficult situations because of me, and for that i sincerely apologize. to my wife darlene who has been through so much with me and who has fought through so many

John Ensign

1:51:39 to 1:51:59( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: struggles, is owed more than i could ever repay. i do not deserve a woman like her, but i love her and i'm so grateful that the lord has put her in my life. our children trevor, ciena, michael, have never known anything other than their dad leaving each week to come back

John Ensign

1:52:00 to 1:52:21( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: to washington, d.c., for my work. all three of them are incredible, and it's been a blessing and a privilege just to be their dad. i have also been very blessed with a great set of parents who have stood by me through thick and thin, and also the rest of my extended family. i also have wonderful friends who have been there with me and my family through the highs and the lows.

John Ensign

1:52:22 to 1:52:42( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: and want to thank god for allowing me to be here. i have been encouraged by some not to mention god because it looks hypocritical because of my own personal failings, but i would argue that i have not mentioned him enough. i'm glad that the lord not only forgives, but he actually likes it when we give him thanks.

John Ensign

1:52:43 to 1:53:03( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: so, lord, thank you for all that you've done in my life. i hope that i can do better in the future. i hope that i can learn to love you with all of my heart, soul and strength and to love others as myself. my colleagues, i bid you farewell. know that you will all be in my prayers.

John Ensign

1:53:04 to 1:53:15( Edit History Discussion )

John Ensign: i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.

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