[Congressional Record Volume 140, Number 8 (Thursday, February 3, 1994)]
[Senate]
[Page S]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]


[Congressional Record: February 3, 1994]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

 
                          SENATOR TED STEVENS

  Mr. MURKOWSKI. Mr. President, I come before my colleagues today to 
remind them of a very special occasion, the silver anniversary, the 
25th anniversary, of my colleague from Alaska, Senator Ted Stevens. His 
entrance into this body occurred 25 years ago. As you know, Mr. 
President, the Senator is ranked eighth in overall seniority and third 
among his Republican colleagues. Senator Stevens has been a Member of 
the Senate since December 24, 1968. As I speak, the Senator is 
receiving treatment for back pain that generated, I suspect, from the 
long trips back and forth from Washington, DC, to Alaska. So, 
unfortunately, he cannot be in this body today.
  Mr. President, for over a quarter of a century now, Senator Stevens 
has demonstrated his dedication to the citizens of Alaska and certainly 
those of the United States as well.
  Alaskans celebrated Senator Stevens' 25th anniversary last December 
28 in Anchorage, and those in attendance enjoyed a Senate bean soup 
dinner, which soup we have all come to know so well in the Senate 
cafeteria. One of Senator Stevens' favorites is that particular soup. I 
suspect today he is going without that soup, but nevertheless it was a 
joyous occasion. Governor Hickel, our Governor, presented an official 
proclamation establishing the day as ``Senator Stevens Day.'' He also 
undertook an explanation of how he, Governor Hickel, appointed Senator 
Ted Stevens to the Senate back in December of 1968. The event 
highlighted the numerous accomplishments of the senior Senator from 
Alaska. Speakers personalized their tributes with recollections.
  Mr. President, I would like to take just a few minutes today to 
review Senator Stevens' outstanding service to our State and the Senate 
and offer a few of my own recollections and recognize him for his work 
on behalf of both Alaska and the Nation.
  Senator Stevens really has an impressive history of accomplishments 
both prior to and during his service in the Senate. During World War 
II, Senator Stevens was a pilot with the 14th Air Force in China. That 
was the famous Flying Tigers, Mr. President. After the war, he 
graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles and later 
Harvard Law School. He moved to Alaska to practice law in Fairbanks in 
1953, and in 1956 he was appointed legislative counsel to the 
Department of the Interior and became an assistant to the Secretary of 
the Interior in 1958, where he worked on the Alaska Statehood Act. He 
was named chief counsel to the Department in 1960 during the last 
Eisenhower administration.
  In 1961, he returned to law practice in Anchorage. My esteemed 
colleague was elected to his first of two terms in the Alaska House of 
Representatives in 1964 where, during his second term, he served as 
speaker pro tempore and majority leader. He was then appointed to the 
Senate upon the death of one of our first U.S. Senators, the late E. L. 
``Bob'' Bartlett.
  During Senator Stevens' service in the Senate, he served 8 years as 
Republican whip, from 1977 to 1985, 3 years, from 1981 to 1984, under 
former majority leader Howard Baker.
  Today, Senator Stevens serves on five Senate committees: Rules, where 
he is the ranking Republican, Appropriations, Commerce, Governmental 
Affairs, and Intelligence. He is also presently a co-chairman of the 
Senate Observes Group to the Arms Control talks.
  Senator Stevens also serves on the Commission on Arts and 
Antiquities; the Commission on the Bicentennial of the U.S. Capitol; 
the Joint Committee on the Library of Congress; the Joint Committee on 
Printing (Ranking Republican); the Joint Leadership Group; the U.S. 
Capitol Preservation Commission; and the Joint Committee on the 
Organization of Congress.
  Mr. President, further, Senator Stevens' subcommittee assignments on 
the Appropriations and Commerce Committees have enabled him to really 
play a very important role in the formulation of defense and security 
for our Nation as well as economic policy. The intensity and the 
intelligence Senator Stevens has always displayed are now focused on 
overseeing defense issues. As a veteran, he has resisted excessive cuts 
in defense spending in the post-cold-war era. In 1992, for example, 
Senator Stevens fought for the proposed $3.8 billion in funding for the 
strategic defense initiative, or SDI.
  Senator Stevens has fought hard, as have all Alaskans in Congress, to 
open a small portion of the vast Arctic National Wildlife Refuge [ANWR] 
to oil exploration. Meanwhile, in the wake of the Exxon Valdez 
oilspill, he played a key role in requiring that oil tankers be 
equipped with double hulls to protect the environment of his State and 
all coastal communities. Senator Stevens has refused to give up on 
issues such as maintaining a steady supply of timber to support the 
jobs of forest workers in southeast Alaska, working to support public 
boardcasting to serve Alaska's sparse population, and working to aid 
Federal workers who provide important services in Alaska under 
sometimes difficult conditions. Senator Stevens also has worked to 
instill reasonableness to wetlands regulation in Alaska--a vital issue 
given that 170 million acres of Alaska are classified as wetland.
  If Senator Stevens has had one credo during the years it has been to 
put Alaska first. In one speech during my first term in this body, I 
remember Senator Stevens saying, ``They sent me here to stand up for 
the State of Alaska.'' And he has done so with unsurpassed ability, 
persistence, and determination.
  Senator Stevens is married to Catherine Bittner. They have one child. 
Senator Stevens has five children by his first wife Ann, who died 
tragically in a 1978 plane crash. At that time Senator Stevens was 
trying to forge a compromise on the State's then biggest issue, passage 
of a bill to settle land allocation issues in Alaska. But then such 
dedication is not unusual, since the Senator has been involved with all 
of the major issues involving Alaska and the Federal Government during 
the State's 35-year history, including statehood.

  The list is truly impressive. Shortly after arriving in the Senate he 
spearheaded the effort to build a pipeline to move Alaska's new-found 
Prudhoe Bay oil wealth to market. To clear the way, he championed the 
most farsighted legislation ever to improve relations between the 
Federal Government and the native peoples of an American State. The 
Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 pioneered efforts to settle 
the real claims of America's first inhabitants and helped to meet their 
real needs for 20th century living improvements, while protecting their 
ancient cultures. His persistence to resolve the oil issue finally paid 
off 3 years later when the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Authorization Act 
passed with the Vice President breaking the tie in this body.
  Two years later Senator Stevens joined with Washington's legendary 
Senator Warren Magnuson to bring to America the right to rationally 
manage its fisheries--winning passage of the 200-mile limit.
  That law, more than any other one, has permitted Alaska to manage its 
huge fisheries resource over our 38,000-mile coastline for the benefit 
of future generations. Four years later Senator Stevens led the fight 
against an unacceptable version of the Alaska Lands Act which 
threatened to destroy the dreams of most Alaskans. He worked hard 
against tremendous odds to finally achieve a compromise bill. Alaskans 
are protected in that bill in the use of Federal lands in our State.
  Senator Stevens' accomplishments are certainly too numerous to 
mention in their entirety. But I will mention one more.
  In recent years he had the foresight to lead the effort to ban drift 
nets from the high seas, being the first Senator to push the United 
Nations to outlaw the destructive curtains of death.

  Mr. President, as Senator Stevens celebrates his silver anniversary 
in the U.S. Senate, the remarkable thing from my vantage point is that 
Alaska's senior Senator, while he has become a figure of truly national 
prominence, always puts Alaska and Alaskans first. Despite his 
seniority, Senator Stevens still finds the time to meet every Alaskan 
Close-Up student or talk with residents about their health concerns. 
His encyclopedic knowledge of Federal-State relations is legendary in 
Washington as well as in Alaska. In the Senate, which has lost some of 
its institutional memory in recent years, Senator Stevens is able to 
offer invaluable insights on the specifics of everything from Alaska 
Statehood to the history of weather forecasting in the North. His 
recollection of events is probably so extraordinary because he helped 
draft the Alaska Statehood Act while serving at the Department of the 
Interior during the Eisenhower years and because he has had a hand in 
virtually every major Federal issue affecting Alaska ever since.
  I stand here today to thank Senator Stevens for his skill, drive, and 
dedication during his first 25 years in Washington and to offer him a 
heartfelt good wish for many more years of service to the State of 
Alaska and the Nation. I think that former President Bush, who worked 
with Senator Stevens both as a colleague in Congress and as President, 
best described Senator Stevens' service, stating, ``He is a first-class 
public servant, whose tireless energy and leadership on the issues over 
the past quarter of a century have earned him respect on both sides of 
the aisle.''
  My wife, Nancy, and my Senate colleagues, join me in congratulating 
both Ted and his wife, Catherine. It has been great fun and a privilege 
working with my friend and senior colleague Senator Ted Stevens, and I 
look forward to our work together for many more years. I know my 
colleagues do as well.
  I thank the Chair.

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