[Congressional Record: August 2, 2011 (Senate)]
[Page S5230]

                        TRIBUTE TO EDWARD LEVINE

  Mr. KERRY. Mr. President, it is my pleasure but also a sad moment for 
members of the Foreign Relations Committee to take this time to 
celebrate the service of and also to salute the retirement of one of 
the Senate's great staffers: Ed Levine.
  Ed is retiring this week after a remarkable 35 years of service to 
the Senate--a lot longer than most Senators get to serve and that most 
staff up here have the courage to hang in there and serve.
  In his decades of service, Ed has provided wise and perceptive 
counsel to two committees, to many Members, and most recently to the 
Foreign Relations Committee. His deep knowledge of foreign policy and 
his remarkable sense of this institution are truly going to be missed 
and I mean missed enormously.
  He grew up and he went to school here in Washington, DC, before he 
headed off to Berkeley and then later to Yale. When he was a young man 
here in this community, he used to ride the streetcar down to Georgia 
Avenue, where he would watch the Senators play at Griffith Stadium. For 
those who are too young to remember, there actually was a baseball team 
called the Senators once upon a time. He did not watch folks here 
playing at Griffith Stadium. But when the Washington Senators left for 
good to become the Texas Rangers, I have to reckon that Ed just decided 
that the U.S. Senators were the only game left in town, and he has been 
here ever since.
  He first came to the Senate in 1976. He joined the Select Committee 
on Intelligence back then--literally right after it was established. It 
was a historic moment. Those who remember their history of the 1970s 
remember that was a time of great consternation about the covert 
activities of the CIA. The activities and the oversight of the CIA 
became a major national issue and concern. So it was a historic moment 
when the Senate was reasserting its constitutional responsibility to 
provide oversight.
  Ed spent the next 20 years overseeing some of the Nation's most 
sensitive programs and some of its most closely guarded secrets. He was 
trusted with some of the most secret information of our country because 
he never had anything but the interests of our country and the security 
of the Nation foremost in his mind.
  I think that is also borne out in the fact that through the course of 
his career, he worked for Members of both sides of the aisle while he 
was on the Intelligence Committee. He served on that committee as the 
personal representative of Republican Senator Clifford Case and then 
Republican Senator David Durenberger, and then later for Democratic 
Senators Howard Metzenbaum and Chuck Robb. His work for the 
Intelligence Committee exemplified a standard of public service that 
puts the fulfillment of the Senate's constitutional duties above any 
other partisan concerns.
  For him, there never was a party issue, Republican or Democrat, or an 
ideological issue, liberal or conservative. It was: What are the best 
interests of the United States of America and how do we protect its 
security? He has applied that very same approach to his work on the 
Foreign Relations Committee, where I have had the privilege of watching 
him work over the course of the 26 years I have been here.
  He worked mostly previously for now-Vice President Biden. A few days 
ago, we held a business meeting at the Foreign Relations Committee, and 
it was characteristic of Ed's diligence in representing the interests 
of country above party that Senator Lugar, the ranking member of the 
committee, and who has served with him for a long time, took time to 
acknowledge his service and to note how constructively he had worked 
with the Republican counterparts on the committee over these many 
  We saw that in large measure last year when we considered the New 
START treaty, in which Ed played an integral role. You know, I might 
mention to colleagues, when Vice President Biden was Senator Biden and 
chairman of the committee, he coined a nickname for Ed. He called him 
``Fast Eddie.'' And the irony of that for all of us who know him is 
that Ed does not do ``fast.'' He is one of the most careful and 
deliberate thinkers on our staff, and that is one of the things people 
valued in him the most. It was never a hip shot. It was always based on 
thinking, research, experience, and knowledge.
  His knowledge of arms control, I may say, is encyclopedic. During the 
New START debate, we had a war room set up one floor below this in the 
Foreign Relations Committee room, with dozens of experts from the 
various departments of our government, and stacks of briefing books, 
and instant computer linkage to the State Department, to the Defense 
Department, Intelligence, and so forth, but often when we had a 
question, all we had to do was turn to Ed and he would know the answer 
from right up here in his head, from his experience.
  That is not surprising, given how many treaties Ed has helped this 
body to consider during his career. He worked on the INF Treaty, on the 
START I treaty, on the START II treaty, on the Chemical Weapons 
Convention, on the Convention on Conventional Weapons.
  I went up to him a moment ago. I saw he was wearing a tie with a 
sword being beaten into plowshares, and he reminded me that came from 
the mutual and balanced force reduction treaty, which he said was the 
only thing they could agree on, but he is proudly wearing it today.
  What all of this adds up to is that Ed spent a great chunk of his 
life doing his best to help the Senate protect our Nation from the most 
dangerous weapons that ever existed. He did it with such 
professionalism, even, I might add, when faced with personal loss, as 
when his father died last year right during the consideration of the 
treaty, but it did not stop Ed from doing his duty.
  All of his Senate service is a real testament to his character. That 
he earned the respect from the Members he served and the staff he 
worked with is a testament to his great skill and knowledge. And that 
he has done so for so many years is a testament to his sense of public 
citizenship and his love of country.
  So, Ed, we thank you, all the Members of the Senate, for your 
service. We will miss you in the Senate. I wish you personally the best 
in all of your future endeavors.
  Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. SESSIONS. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.