Gov. Brown: Be Smart. Veto SB.649.

Substantial Evidence That Demands a Veto of SB.649

1. This is What We Are Working Hard to Prevent . . . Brain Tumors and More

John McCain is a genuine American hero who votes with his now-threatened brain and his prodigious conscience. No one will ever forget that McCain, just a few days after undergoing surgery to remove as much of his brain tumor as possible (a deadly Glioblastoma), on Fri 7/21/17, shortly before 2 a.m., McCain voted against against a “skinny” plan to repeal parts of the Affordable Care Act.

Several days later, McCain delivered an impassioned speech to encourage bi-Partisan health legislation, going forward. You can read his full remarks from 7/25/17, below.

McCain’s prognosis for his Glioblastoma is not good. McCain told 60 Minutes: “They said that it’s very serious. That the prognosis is very, very serious. Some say three percent, some say 14 percent. You know, it’s a very poor prognosis.”

California needs to listen to and learn from John McCain. You might be surprised that John McCain was the only Republican Senator (and only one of five Senators) who voted against the Federal 1996 Telecommunications Act.

Glioblastoma Facts

  • The median survival rate (a measure of how long patients on the treatment tend to survive) is 14.6 months
  • The percentage of people alive five years after receiving the diagnosis, is just 10%
  • Glioblastoma also killed Senator Ted Kennedy, Vice President Joe Biden’s son, 46-year old Beau Biden, and the CA Senate’s own beloved Ira Ruskin, who lasted only three years after his diagnosis

Here is what John McCain said in 2003, in the Congressional record, about the 1996 Telecommunications Act:

“Whether we agree with them or not, the FCC’s actions are a direct result of the direction given to it by Congress in the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which should have been called ‘The Leave No Lobbyist Behind Act of 1996.’ . . . I voted against it because I thought it was an outrageous exercise of lobbying power and special interest power and would have enormous unintended as well as intended consequences; and the unintended consequences we are dealing with today . . .

In fact, the court — I think very appropriately — characterized the 1996 act’s deregulatory tone as not subtle but quite explicit, likening it to ‘Farragut’s order at the battle of Mobile Bay– Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead.’ That is how the court described the 1996 deregulatory act.

If not vetoed by California Governor Brown, California’s own SB.649, Wireless Telecommunications Tools of Commerce will be our own ‘Leave No Lobbyist Behind Act of 2017’ and California’s cities, counties and residents will be suffering for many years to come.

2. Exhaustion Of Remedies: In 2017, CA Legislature and Governor Were Fully Warned of The Following Likely Consequences from Passing SB.649

If SB.649 is signed into law, Californians would suffer through wholly preventable Glioblastomas, other brain cancers, heart cancers, infertility, DNA damage, neurological damages, early dementia, ALS, diabetes, autism and many other environmentally-induced illnesses caused by too much pulsed, data-modulated Radio-Frequency Microwave Radiation (RF/MW radiation) exposures at distances far too close to where Californians live, work, go to school, play and sleep.

And all of this misery is for what gain? The (still empty) promise of 4k Video streamed wirelessly anywhere at any time. Streaming video is a simple act of commerce, which has nothing to do with national necessity, so local preemption is not justified.

In fact, Wireless is a terribly energy-inefficient and greenhouse-gas-producing way to move large payloads of data from Point A to Point B. Even the Telecoms understand this.

3. Moving Data: Fiber Optic is Thousands of Times More Energy-Efficient Than Wireless Access Networks

Read the Center for Energy Efficient Telecommunications (CEET) Report (link below).

“Data centers are only part of a much larger cloud-computing ecosystem. In fact, as this white paper puts forward, the network itself, and specifically the final link between telecommunications infrastructure and user device is by far the dominant and most concerning drain on energy in the entire cloud system . . . the current focus on data center efficiency is misplaced and that wireless access networks are clearly the biggest and most inefficient consumer of energy in the cloud environment.

The energy consumption of the wireless cloud estimated by the CEET model assumes take-up rates and technological improvements predicted by current industry forecasts. In 2015 Using the CEET model, as outlined in section 4, the total energy consumption of the wireless cloud is estimated to be between 32 Terawatt hours (TWh) (Lo scenario) and 43 TWh (Hi scenario) in 2015. This corresponds to an increase in carbon footprint from approximately 6 megatons in 2012 to around 30 megatons in 2015. This increase corresponds to adding and extra 4.9 million cars onto the roads.”

4. SB.649 is NOT About 5G; It is About Eliminating Regulation and Transferring Liability

SB.649 never mentions 5G once, it focuses on a real-estate play: a taking of public property at below-market rents. The Bill is really about

  • dismantling consumer protections;
  • erasing private Telecom companies’ Public Utility regulation and duties; and
  • giving these already obscenely profitable, private Telecomm companies even more subsidies

. . . at the expense to California cities, counties and residents.

Read here that 98% of Americans (and Californians) can already make calls and texts today. This national necessity has been achieved. What is left to do is close the so-called Digital Divide, but SB.649 does nothing to encourage the closing of the Digital Divide. Indeed, SB.649 encourages the opposite.

SB.649 is focused only on the following:

  • violation of Californians inalienable rights to happiness, privacy and safety (i.e. surveillance and reducing Californians’ health and fertility)
  • providing the utterly superfluous and dangerous activity of streaming Wireless video

It is critically important that a more energy-efficient, more secure, more reliable, far superior and proven alternative already exists: i.e. delivering video content through a Title II, regulated, shared Fiber-Optic to the Premises (FTTP) network. One Big Dig for California will keep Californians employed for many years and would be the single largest economic driver, lighting up communities with 1,000 megabit per second Internet download speeds at $25/month (similar to what Russians, South Koreans and Germans enjoy today). Google already proved the economic benefits of FTTP when it installed fiber optic to homes in 10+ target cities for five years from 2011 to 2016.

5. Don’t Fall for the Telecom Companies’ Ruse of Empty Wireless Broadband Promises and unwittingly allow the State to take on the Liability by Creating a ‘Dangerous Condition of Public Property’

This unproven 4G-now-to-5G-later, pie-in-the-sky proposal in SB.649 would lead to slower, capped Internet access at high prices that would violate Federal laws: the 1996 Telecommunications Act, Americans with Disabilities Act and Fair Housing Act. SB.649 is a genuine loser. John McCain would not support this stinker. You shouldn’t, either.

Be smart, Governor Brown. Veto SB.649.


Thorough Warnings and Exhaustion of Legal Remedies: Letters from Attorney, Harry Lehmann

  1. 2017-0327-S19-Legal-Notice-Lehmann-to-Sen-John-McCain
    • Faxed to all 100 US Senators
    • Personally addressed, customized and ink-signed
    • Personally addressed, color, two-pager from Scientists for Wired Technology hand-delivered to all 100 US Senators
  2. 2017-0512-SB649-Legal-Notice-Lehmann-to-Sen-Ricardo-Lara
    • Hand-delivered to all 40 CA Senators
    • Personally addressed, customized and ink-signed to each Senator
  3. 2017-0522-SB649-Financial-Catastrophe-Lehmann-to-Sen-Ricardo-Lara
    • Hand-delivered to all 15 members of the CA Senate Appropriations Committee
    • Included Affidavit: seven-page MAY 21, 2017 DECLARATION re: SB.649 rules/procedure violations
  4. 2017-0530-SB649-Legal-Notice-Lehmann-to-Sen-Mike-McGuire
    • Hand-delivered to all 40 CA Senators
    • Personally addressed, customized and ink-signed to each Senator
  5. 2017-0706-SB649-Mass-Casualties-Lehmann-ASM-Mark-Levine
    • Hand-delivered to all 79 CA Assemblymembers
    • Personally addressed, customized and ink-signed to each Assemblymember
  6. 2017-0719-SB649-CA-Liability-Lehmann-to-Galehouse.pdf2017-0719-SB649-CA-Liability-Lehmann-to-Galehouse
    • Hand-delivered to all 40 CA Senators
    • Hand-delivered to all 79 CA Assemblymembers
  7. 2017-0810-SB649-CA-Liability-Lehmann-to-Galehouse
    • Hand-delivered to all 40 CA Senators
    • Hand-delivered to all 79 CA Assemblymembers
  8. 2017-0824-SB649-Injury-Lehmann-to-ASM-Lorena-Gonzalez-Fletcher
    • Hand-delivered to all 40 CA Senators
    • Hand-delivered to all 79 CA Assemblymembers
  9. 2017-0907-SB649-Lehman-to-Sen-Kevin-de-Leon
    • Hand-delivered, with attachments, to all 40 CA Senators
    • Personally addressed, customized and ink-signed to each Senator
  10. 2017-0907-SB649-Lehman-to-ASM-Anthony-Rendon
    • Hand-delivered, with attachments, to all 79 CA Assemblymembers
    • Personally addressed, customized and ink-signed to each Assemblymember
  11. 2017-0908-SB649-Lehmann-to-Gov-Jerry-Brown

Scientific Papers and Letters to Governor Jerry Brown

  1. 2013-0401-CEET-white-paper-wireless-inefficiency
  2. 2013-0902-Foster-Affidavit-Firefighter-RFR-Hazard-Study
  3. 2014-0207-US-Dept-of-Interior
  4. 2014-0604-Dr-Dart-Biological-Effects-of-RFR-Transmissions/li>
  5. 2016-0525-SPIN-vs-FACTS-NTP-Carcinogenesis-Study
  6. 2016-0713-Dr-Marshall-Electrosmog-and-Autoimmune-Disease
  7. 2017-0130-Drs-Hardell-Carlberg-RFR-Exposure-Study
  8. 2017-0316-Drs-Hardell-Carlberg-BioMed-Glioma-Causation
  9. 2017-0606-Dr-Hardell-RFR-Health-Effects-Int-J-Oncol
  10. 2017-0820-SB649-Oppose-Turner-NISLAPP-to ASM-Appropriations
  11. 2017-0821-SB649-Oppose-Turner-NISLAPP-to-CA-Assembly
  12. 2017-0908-SB649-VETO-Dr-Ishai-to Gov-Jerry-Brown
  13. 2017-0913-Scientist-5G-Moratorium-Appeal
  14. 2017-0915-SB649-VETO-Dr-Davis-to-Gov-Jerry-Brownf
  15. 2017-0915-SB649-VETO-Dr-Moskowitz-to-Gov-Jerry-Brown
  16. 2017-0917-SB649-VETO-Drs-Hardell-Carlberg-to-Gov-Jerry-Brown
  17. 2017-0918-SB649-VETO-Dr-Russell-MDSAFETCH-to-Gov-Jerry-Brown
  18. 2017-0918-SB649-VETO-UCSD-Dr-Golomb-to-Gov-Jerry-Brown
  19. 2017-0919-SB649-VETO-Dr-Russell-to-Gov-Jerry-Brown
  20. 2017-0919-SB649-VETO-Dr-West-to-Gov-Jerry-Brown
  21. 2017-0919-SB649-VETO-Scientific-Experts-to-Gov-Jerry-Brown
  22. 2017-0920-SB649-VETO-Dr-Milham-to-Gov-Jerry-Brown
  23. 2017-0920-SB649-VETO-Dr-Pall-to-Gov-Jerry-Brown
  24. 2017-0920-SB649-VETO-Dr-Pall-w-References
  25. 2017-0920-SB649-VETO-Foster-Firefighters-to-Gov-Jerry-Brown
  26. 2017-0924-SB649-VETO-Rees-to-Gov-Jerry-Brown

Expert Analysis from 30-Year Wireline Executive/Consultant

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/bruce-796

  1. 10/19/17 — Wireless Smartphones with Only 10Mbps Down, 1Mbps Up, are Not a Substitute for a Wired Broadband Connection.
  2. 10/15/17 — America’s Wireless: 59th in the World in LTE; 2nd in ‘Most Expensive’ Data Prices; 40% Overcharged due to “Whamming”
  3. 10/9/17 — Not happy with your wireless service? Blame the FCC
  4. 9/26/17 — (Part I: FCC Rewrote America’s Broadband History; Covers Up $½ Trillion in Overcharging
  5. 9/26/17 — Part II: Facts Missing from the FCC’s Section 706 Broadband Reports
  6. 9/20/17 — Verizon’s FiOS Deployment In Boston Is Fiber-To-The-B.S.
  7. 9/04/17 — Open Letter to California about SB-649: You’re being Played by ALEC & AT&T Et Al.
  8. 9/04/17 — The Copper-Wire World of AT&T: The Reason to Investigate AT&T, Now
  9. 8/30/17 — Solve Net Neutrality, Privacy, & Bring Back Competition: Break Up AT&T and Verizon . . . Again.
  10. 8/28/17 — Expose: AT&T California Fiber Optic Scandal: Billions Charged for Broadband that Never Showed Up
  11. 8/23/17 — Californians Paid Billions Extra: The State Assembly Should Investigate AT&T’s Cross-Subsidies.
  12. 8/04/17 — IRREGULATORS: Stop the FCC and Investigate AT&T, Verizon, Et Al.
  13. 7/30/17 — Brendan Carr Omitted Critical Facts in His Testimony to Congress: He Worked for AT&T, Verizon, Et Al.
  14. 6/26/17 — Verizon and AT&T Should be Required to Deliver FTTP, Fiber to the Home – Finally.
  15. 5/31/17 — Investigate the FCC’s Accounting Rule Scandal before They are Erased.
  16. 5/15/17 — California Wireless Legislation: Paid for by AT&T Et Al.
  17. 5/12/17 — “Title II” Is Used to Overcharge Local Utility Customers, Turning Them into “Defacto” Investors.
  18. 5/06/17 — AT&T, ALEC, FCC. The FCC’s plans are based on AT&T’s Petition, which is from ALEC Model Legislation.
  19. 4/17/17 — The FCC Wants to Hide All Controversial Cross-Subsidies and Manipulations of AT&T, Verizon and CenturyLink’s Financial Accounting

Exlplicit links (for readers of print)

  1. http://scientists4wiredtech.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/2017-0327-S19-Legal-Notice-Lehmann-to-Sen-John-McCain.pdf
  2. http://scientists4wiredtech.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/2017-0907-SB649-Lehman-to-ASM-Anthony-Rendon.pdf
  3. http://scientists4wiredtech.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/2017-0522-SB649-Financial-Catastrophe-Lehmann-to-Sen-Ricardo-Lara.pdf
  4. http://scientists4wiredtech.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/2017-0530-SB649-Legal-Notice-Lehmann-to-Sen-Mike-McGuire.pdf
  5. http://scientists4wiredtech.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/2017-0706-SB649-Mass-Casualties-Lehmann-ASM-Mark-Levine.pdf
  6. http://scientists4wiredtech.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/2017-0719-SB649-CA-Liability-Lehmann-to-Galehouse.pdf
  7. http://scientists4wiredtech.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/2017-0810-SB649-CA-Liability-Lehmann-to-Galehouse.pdf
  8. http://scientists4wiredtech.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/2017-0824-SB649-Injury-Lehmann-to-ASM-Lorena-Gonzalez-Fletcher.pdf
  9. http://scientists4wiredtech.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/2017-0907-SB649-Lehman-to-Sen-Kevin-de-Leon.pdf
  10. http://scientists4wiredtech.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/2017-0907-SB649-Lehman-to-ASM-Anthony-Rendon.pdf
  11. http://scientists4wiredtech.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/2017-0908-SB649-Lehmann-to-Gov-Jerry-Brown.pdf

  1. http://scientists4wiredtech.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/2013-0401-CEET-white-paper-wireless-inefficiency.pdf
  2. http://scientists4wiredtech.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/2013-0902-Foster-Affidavit-Firefighter-RFR-Hazard-Study.pdf
  3. http://scientists4wiredtech.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/2014-0207-US-Dept-of-Interior.pdf
  4. http://scientists4wiredtech.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/2014-0604-Dr-Dart-Biological-Effects-of-RFR-Transmissions.pdf
  5. http://scientists4wiredtech.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/2016-0525-SPIN-vs-FACTS-NTP-Carcinogenesis-Study.pdf
  6. http://scientists4wiredtech.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/2016-0713-Dr-Marshall-Electrosmog-and-Autoimmune-Disease.pdf
  7. http://scientists4wiredtech.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/2017-0130-Drs-Hardell-Carlberg-RFR-Exposure-Study.pdf
  8. http://scientists4wiredtech.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/2017-0316-Drs-Hardell-Carlberg-BioMed-Glioma-Causation.pdf
  9. http://scientists4wiredtech.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/2017-0606-Dr-Hardell-RFR-Health-Effects-Int-J-Oncol.pdf
  10. http://scientists4wiredtech.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/2017-0820-SB649-Oppose-Turner-NISLAPP-to-ASM-Appropriations.pdf
  11. http://scientists4wiredtech.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/2017-0821-SB649-Oppose-Turner-NISLAPP-to-CA-Assembly.pdf
  12. http://scientists4wiredtech.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/2017-0908-SB649-VETO-Dr-Ishai-to-Gov-Jerry-Brown.pdf
  13. http://scientists4wiredtech.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/2017-0913-Scientist-5G-Moratorium-Appeal.pdf
  14. http://scientists4wiredtech.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/2017-0915-SB649-VETO-Dr-Davis-to-Gov-Jerry-Brown.pdf
  15. http://scientists4wiredtech.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/2017-0915-SB649-VETO-Dr-Moskowitz-to-Gov-Jerry-Brown.pdf
  16. http://scientists4wiredtech.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/2017-0917-SB649-VETO-Drs-Hardell-Carlberg-to-Gov-Jerry-Brown.pdf
  17. http://scientists4wiredtech.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/2017-0918-SB649-VETO-Dr-Russell-MDSAFETCH-to-Gov-Jerry-Brown-.pdf
  18. http://scientists4wiredtech.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/2017-0918-SB649-VETO-UCSD-Dr-Golomb-to-Gov-Jerry-Brown.pdf
  19. http://scientists4wiredtech.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/2017-0919-SB649-VETO-Dr-Russell-to-Gov-Jerry-Brown-.pdf
  20. http://scientists4wiredtech.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/2017-0919-SB649-VETO-Dr-West-to-Gov-Jerry-Brown.pdf
  21. http://scientists4wiredtech.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/2017-0919-SB649-VETO-Scientific-Experts-to-Gov-Jerry-Brown.pdf
  22. http://scientists4wiredtech.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/2017-0920-SB649-VETO-Dr-Milham-to-Gov-Jerry-Brown.pdf
  23. http://scientists4wiredtech.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/2017-0920-SB649-VETO-Dr-Pall-to-Gov-Jerry-Brown.pdf
  24. http://scientists4wiredtech.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/2017-0920-SB649-VETO-Dr-Pall-w-References.pdf
  25. http://scientists4wiredtech.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/2017-0924-SB649-VETO-Rees-to-Gov-Jerry-Brown.pdf

  1. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/bruce-796
  2. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/wireless-smartphones-with-only-10mbps-down-1mbps-up_us_59e8ecbce4b0542ce4290c1c
  3. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/americas-wireless-59th-in-the-world-in-lte-2nd-in_us_59e06c5be4b003f928d5e5c9″
  4. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/59e06c5be4b003f928d5e5c9
  5. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/not-happy-with-your-wireless-service-blame-the-fcc_us_59db1ebce4b0705dc79aa964
  6. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/fcc-rewrote-americas-broadband-history-covers-up_us_59c9ef3fe4b0f2df5e83b128
  7. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/part-ii-facts-missing-from-the-fccs-section-706-broadband_us_59ca0474e4b0b7022a646d7c
  8. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/verizons-fios-deployment-in-boston-is-fiber-to-the_us_59c2b5cfe4b0be1b32c1967a
  9. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/open-letter-to-the-california-about-sb-649-youre_us_59b591a2e4b0c50640cd6877
  10. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/the-copper-wire-world-of-att-the-reason-to-investigate_us_59adac5de4b0bef3378cda83
  11. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/solve-net-neutrality-privacy-bring-back-competition_us_59a67fe5e4b05fa16286be5a
  12. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/expose-att-california-fiber-optic-scandal-billions_us_59a4ce47e4b0b234aecad1c7
  13. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/californians-paid-billions-extra-the-state-assembly_us_599d26bee4b0b87d38cbe637
  14. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/irregulators-stop-the-fcc-and-investigate-att-verizon_us_5984b8fce4b00833d1de27b1
  15. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/brendan-carr-omitted-critical-facts-in-his-testimony_us_597d621fe4b0c69ef70528d3
  16. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/verizon-and-att-should-be-required-to-deliver-fttp_us_595093c0e4b0f078efd982ed
  17. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/investigate-the-fccs-accounting-rule-scandal-before_us_592e43c4e4b047e77e4c3faf
  18. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/california-wireless-legislation-paid-for-by-att-et_us_591a0001e4b0f31b03fb9e0e
  19. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/title-ii-is-used-to-overcharge-local-utility-customers_us_59153166e4b00ccaae9ea197
  20. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/att-alec-fcc-the-fccs-plans-are-based-on-atts_us_590e8074e4b046ea176aec17
  21. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/the-fcc-wants-to-hide-all-controversial-cross-subsidies_us_58f57758e4b0156697225231

John McCain’s Full Remarks from the Senate Floor from 7/25/17

“Mr. President,

I’ve stood in this place many times and addressed as president many presiding officers. I have been so addressed when I have sat in that chair, as close as I will ever be to a presidency.

It is an honorific we’re almost indifferent to, isn’t it. In truth, presiding over the Senate can be a nuisance, a bit of a ceremonial bore, and it is usually relegated to the more junior members of the majority.

But as I stand here today — looking a little worse for wear I’m sure — I have a refreshed appreciation for the protocols and customs of this body, and for the other ninety-nine privileged souls who have been elected to this Senate.

I have been a member of the United States Senate for thirty years. I had another long, if not as long, career before I arrived here, another profession that was profoundly rewarding, and in which I had experiences and friendships that I revere. But make no mistake, my service here is the most important job I have had in my life. And I am so grateful to the people of Arizona for the privilege — for the honor — of serving here and the opportunities it gives me to play a small role in the history of the country I love.

I’ve known and admired men and women in the Senate who played much more than a small role in our history, true statesmen, giants of American politics. They came from both parties, and from various backgrounds. Their ambitions were frequently in conflict. They held different views on the issues of the day. And they often had very serious disagreements about how best to serve the national interest.

But they knew that however sharp and heartfelt their disputes, however keen their ambitions, they had an obligation to work collaboratively to ensure the Senate discharged its constitutional responsibilities effectively. Our responsibilities are important, vitally important, to the continued success of our republic. And our arcane rules and customs are deliberately intended to require broad cooperation to function well at all. The most revered members of this institution accepted the necessity of compromise in order to make incremental progress on solving America’s problems and to defend her from her adversaries.

That principled mindset, and the service of our predecessors who possessed it, come to mind when I hear the Senate referred to as the world’s greatest deliberative body. I’m not sure we can claim that distinction with a straight face today. I’m sure it wasn’t always deserved in previous eras either. But I’m sure there have been times when it was, and I was privileged to witness some of those occasions.

Our deliberations today — not just our debates, but the exercise of all our responsibilities — authorizing government policies, appropriating the funds to implement them, exercising our advice and consent role — are often lively and interesting. They can be sincere and principled. But they are more partisan, more tribal more of the time than any other time I remember. Our deliberations can still be important and useful, but I think we’d all agree they haven’t been overburdened by greatness lately. And right now they aren’t producing much for the American people.

Both sides have let this happen. Let’s leave the history of who shot first to the historians. I suspect they’ll find we all conspired in our decline — either by deliberate actions or neglect. We’ve all played some role in it. Certainly I have. Sometimes, I’ve let my passion rule my reason. Sometimes, I made it harder to find common ground because of something harsh I said to a colleague. Sometimes, I wanted to win more for the sake of winning than to achieve a contested policy.

Incremental progress, compromises that each side criticize but also accept, just plain muddling through to chip away at problems and keep our enemies from doing their worst isn’t glamorous or exciting. It doesn’t feel like a political triumph. But it’s usually the most we can expect from our system of government, operating in a country as diverse and quarrelsome and free as ours.

Considering the injustice and cruelties inflicted by autocratic governments, and how corruptible human nature can be, the problem solving our system does make possible, the fitful progress it produces, and the liberty and justice it preserves, is a magnificent achievement.

Our system doesn’t depend on our nobility. It accounts for our imperfections, and gives an order to our individual strivings that has helped make ours the most powerful and prosperous society on earth. It is our responsibility to preserve that, even when it requires us to do something less satisfying than ‘winning.’ Even when we must give a little to get a little. Even when our efforts manage just three yards and a cloud of dust, while critics on both sides denounce us for timidity, for our failure to ‘triumph.’

I hope we can again rely on humility, on our need to cooperate, on our dependence on each other to learn how to trust each other again and by so doing better serve the people who elected us. Stop listening to the bombastic loudmouths on the radio and television and the internet. To hell with them. They don’t want anything done for the public good. Our incapacity is their livelihood.

Let’s trust each other. Let’s return to regular order. We’ve been spinning our wheels on too many important issues because we keep trying to find a way to win without help from across the aisle. That’s an approach that’s been employed by both sides, mandating legislation from the top down, without any support from the other side, with all the parliamentary maneuvers that requires.

We’re getting nothing done. All we’ve really done this year is confirm Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Our healthcare insurance system is a mess. We all know it, those who support Obamacare and those who oppose it. Something has to be done. We Republicans have looked for a way to end it and replace it with something else without paying a terrible political price. We haven’t found it yet, and I’m not sure we will. All we’ve managed to do is make more popular a policy that wasn’t very popular when we started trying to get rid of it.

I voted for the motion to proceed to allow debate to continue and amendments to be offered. I will not vote for the bill as it is today. It’s a shell of a bill right now. We all know that. I have changes urged by my state’s governor that will have to be included to earn my support for final passage of any bill. I know many of you will have to see the bill changed substantially for you to support it.

We’ve tried to do this by coming up with a proposal behind closed doors in consultation with the administration, then springing it on skeptical members, trying to convince them it’s better than nothing, asking us to swallow our doubts and force it past a unified opposition. I don’t think that is going to work in the end. And it probably shouldn’t.

The Obama administration and congressional Democrats shouldn’t have forced through Congress without any opposition support a social and economic change as massive as Obamacare. And we shouldn’t do the same with ours.

Why don’t we try the old way of legislating in the Senate, the way our rules and customs encourage us to act. If this process ends in failure, which seems likely, then let’s return to regular order.

Let the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee under Chairman Alexander and ranking member Murray hold hearings, try to report a bill out of committee with contributions from both sides. Then bring it to the floor for amendment and debate, and see if we can pass something that will be imperfect, full of compromises, and not very pleasing to implacable partisans on either side, but that might provide workable solutions to problems Americans are struggling with today.

What have we to lose by trying to work together to find those solutions? We’re not getting much done apart. I don’t think any of us feels very proud of our incapacity. Merely preventing your political opponents from doing what they want isn’t the most inspiring work. There’s greater satisfaction in respecting our differences, but not letting them prevent agreements that don’t require abandonment of core principles, agreements made in good faith that help improve lives and protect the American people.

The Senate is capable of that. We know that. We’ve seen it before. I’ve seen it happen many times. And the times when I was involved even in a modest way with working out a bipartisan response to a national problem or threat are the proudest moments of my career, and by far the most satisfying.

This place is important. The work we do is important. Our strange rules and seemingly eccentric practices that slow our proceedings and insist on our cooperation are important. Our founders envisioned the Senate as the more deliberative, careful body that operates at a greater distance than the other body from the public passions of the hour.

We are an important check on the powers of the executive. Our consent is necessary for the president to appoint jurists and powerful government officials and in many respects to conduct foreign policy. Whether or not we are of the same party, we are not the president’s subordinates. We are his equal.

As his responsibilities are onerous, many and powerful, so are ours. And we play a vital role in shaping and directing the judiciary, the military, and the cabinet, in planning and supporting foreign and domestic policies. Our success in meeting all these awesome constitutional obligations depends on cooperation among ourselves.

The success of the Senate is important to the continued success of America. This country — this big, boisterous, brawling, intemperate, restless, striving, daring, beautiful, bountiful, brave, good and magnificent country — needs us to help it thrive. That responsibility is more important than any of our personal interests or political affiliations.

We are the servants of a great nation, ‘a nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.’ More people have lived free and prosperous lives here than in any other nation. We have acquired unprecedented wealth and power because of our governing principles, and because our government defended those principles.

America has made a greater contribution than any other nation to an international order that has liberated more people from tyranny and poverty than ever before in history. We have been the greatest example, the greatest supporter and the greatest defender of that order. We aren’t afraid. We don’t covet other people’s land and wealth. We don’t hide behind walls. We breach them. We are a blessing to humanity.

What greater cause could we hope to serve than helping keep America the strong, aspiring, inspirational beacon of liberty and defender of the dignity of all human beings and their right to freedom and equal justice? That is the cause that binds us and is so much more powerful and worthy than the small differences that divide us.

What a great honor and extraordinary opportunity it is to serve in this body.

It’s a privilege to serve with all of you. I mean it. Many of you have reached out in the last few days with your concern and your prayers, and it means a lot to me. It really does. I’ve had so many people say such nice things about me recently that I think some of you must have me confused with someone else. I appreciate it though, every word, even if much of it isn’t deserved.

“I’ll be here for a few days, I hope managing the floor debate on the defense authorization bill, which, I’m proud to say is again a product of bipartisan cooperation and trust among the members of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

After that, I’m going home for a while to treat my illness. I have every intention of returning here and giving many of you cause to regret all the nice things you said about me. And, I hope, to impress on you again that it is an honor to serve the American people in your company.

Thank you, fellow senators.
Mr. President, I yield the floor.”