“I’d like to start by acknowledging the news from last week that three of our colleagues will be leaving us when their current terms expire. Senator Hutchison has been a trusted advisor of mine, a leader in the Senate, and a dear friend. Senator Conrad has been a leader on the budget, he’s done a lot to alert the country to the fiscal problems we face as a nation; and Senator Lieberman has been a consistent and courageous leader on defense and national security issues. We'll be sorry to see them go. They've all been a real credit to this body.