Rockefeller Exits With Call for Bipartisanship

'Government Needs to Step in When Private Sector Can’t'

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W. Va.), retiring chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, took to the Senate floor Thursday to say farewell to the body he has served for 30 years.

Rockefeller's message was aimed at calling his colleagues to the more bipartisan angels of their nature. He also praised the E-rate program, saying that was an example of when the government needed to step in, when private industry couldn't or wouldn't, to insure that broadband got to schools and libraries.

He also said that the government should not outsource its security to telecom companies, saying he had "seen what telecommunications companies can do when they can get away with it." That appeared to be a reference to Congress' inability to pass legislation on data collection or cybersecurity.

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