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Bond bids Senate farewell

St. Louis Public Radio

By Rachel Lippmann, St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis –

"There's nothing like being eulogized while you're still breathing," Sen. Kit Bond said Tuesday as he stepped to a podium in the U.S. Senate to say farewell to the chamber where he has served for 24 years.

On the best way to solve the nation's problems:

"As I look back, the successes we have achieved in my time here have come because people of goodwill were willing to work across the aisle for the common good of our nation. ... So now, if my colleagues will permit a little parting advice from an old bull - work together, play nice. There'll be issues where people of good conscience cannot come together, but let us never let what cannot be done interfere with what can be done."

On keeping the nation safe:

"We must continue our efforts in (Afghanistan and Pakistan) to avoid giving Al Qaeda and its related terrorist allies an unchallenged place to develop recruiting and training camps, command and control units and threatening us. One of our greatest challenges, however is the publicly announced summer 2011 withdrawal datefrom Afghanistan. This told our enemies they only need to wait until next summer. ... We must prevent the relase of Gitmo detainees to other countries where they will return to the battlefield. We need to have a law of war which allows us to hold them."

To Republican leader Mitch McConnell:

"You kept us together on many tough votes and at least as much as it's possible to keep 40-something different independent minds together. While I have occasionally caused you heartburn, I have always appreciated your intelligence, your leadership and your friendship.

An economic prescription for the country:

"Right now we're engaged on the Senate floor in passing a bill that will stop historic tax increases from hitting most American families and the entire economy next year.  ... We must end the recent trend of the push for government overspending and the passing of burdensome mandates on states and the private sector."

On serving Missouri for 40 years:

"Most of all, I thank the voters of Missouri who sent me to Jefferson City three times and Washington D. C. four times to represent them. There is no greater honor. I have been truly blessed to be entrusted by them with the responsibility of public office, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart."

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