WASHINGTON (KTUU) - Sen. Lisa Murkowski took to the Senate floor on Tuesday, to pay tribute to the late Sen. John McCain, who died last month from brain cancer.
In the floor speech, Murkowski highlighted the qualities she felt made McCain's legacy stand for itself.
"John McCain was a beloved colleague. He was a patriot. He was truly an American hero," Murkowski said. "He had remarkable intellect. He had an iron will most certainly. His unquestionable integrity. Courage that was absolutely unwavering."
Murkowski, like junior Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan who previously delivered similar sentiments about McCain, spoke on the many facets of McCain's life, from military serviceman to politician.
McCain was an officer in the United States Navy who was captured in Vietnam as a prisoner of war, and tortured in a prisoner of war camp. He then rose to the United States Senate after first serving in the House of Representatives. He was also a candidate for President, being defeated by Barack Obama in 2008.
Despite very kind words for McCain, Murkowski identified when their views differed just as much as when they alligned. Sometimes, those issues were pivotal for Alaska, Murkowski said.
"I remember one very interesting and heated exchange over the merits of Essential Air Service. John was on one side of the issues, and I was an advocate of Essential Air and I said, we’re literally nose to nose and I said, ‘Don’t you understand when it’s called essential air because it’s essential, because we don’t have roads to these places.’ And he kind of growled at me and said, ‘well, I don’t know why we need to have it.’"
Murkowski said McCain visited Alaska over the years, and validated through those visits his view of climate change being a real threat.
"It’s something that we have to deal with, that we have to take practical steps to address it. And I agree with John. I don’t need any convincing and that and I will be proud to help achieve that goal."
The entire speech by Murkowski can be viewed in full below.