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McSally's last speech in House: Full transcript & video

The final floor speech in the House of Representatives by U.S. Rep. Martha McSally, as released by the Republican's office Wednesday:

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to give my final speech in the United States House of Representatives to express my gratitude for the opportunity to serve the people of Arizona's 2nd Congressional District.

It has been a tremendous honor to deploy here to the People's House over the past four years as an advocate and champion of Tucson, Sierra Vista, Douglas, Bisbee and all the other amazing communities of Southeastern Arizona.

I am grateful to my dedicated staff in Arizona who were omnipresent in the community and fought for constituents who needed help with federal bureaucracies. They were able to solve nearly 6,000 cases, returning nearly $2.5 million to seniors, veterans, and others—money that was rightfully theirs in the first place! This is one of the most meaningful and impactful parts of our job.

My D.C. staff tirelessly helped push our legislative initiatives forward. Because of them, we saved the A-10 Warthog, put the Douglas port of entry project on the map, kept the Cherrybell postal facility open, fast-tracked our veterans for jobs at the border, opened Arlington again to our WWII female pilots heroes, improved mental health access, stopped a harmful tax increase on seniors and middle class, led bi-partisan efforts to break the gridlock on healthcare and border security and immigration, and so much more. A heartfelt thanks to all my staff, but especially those who were with me all four years: my Chief--Justin Roth, my district director--CJ Karamargin, LD—Pace McMullan, and Deputy District Director—Rosa Ruiz.

As I reflect on my two terms in the House, I will cherish many memories from this time of service.

I was honored to have had a front-row seat to history here in our nation's capital. I will never forget sitting next to an American hero, Sam Johnson, on the day I was sworn in. Or to be on this floor as two presidents delivered their State of the Union speeches, or world leaders like Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Pope Francis addressed a joint session of Congress. I was blessed to pay final respects to American icons Senator John McCain, Reverend Billy Graham, and President George H.W. Bush in the sacred grounds under the Capitol rotunda.

To my fellow members of Congress on both sides of the aisle--those who have been here a while, and those who will be sworn in soon—I humbly ask that you never forget the privilege it is to serve here and why you are here. Membership in this body is a precious opportunity. Don't take it lightly and don't squander it. It's not about us. As soon as we leave here, this institution will move on and candidly, few will really remember us. Use the time wisely. We have been entrusted to solve our nation's problems and chart its course for a better future. Do the right thing. Do it for the right reasons. And get things done. This is why we are here!

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The people of our great country – the people each of us represent – often have very different views on how to solve our challenges, the proper role of our government, and the priorities for our limited resources. Reconciling these differences requires rigorous and robust debate, both in this chamber and outside of it. Disagreements are inevitable, but we can and should set the example to disagree without being disagreeable.

Our challenge is then to find the sometimes tiny sliver of common ground where we CAN agree and govern. I am particularly proud of the fact that every one of the five bills I introduced that were signed into law had bipartisan support.

And lastly, and most importantly, to my constituents: in my time as your representative, I deeply valued meeting with people all over our incredible district at schools, senior centers, small businesses, non-profits, military bases, medical facilities, farms, ranches, and other places to hear about the challenges that you have, along with the opportunities to make an impact with your lives that only come in America. You inspired me and fueled my purpose here.

I represent a diverse and amazing district. These are Americans with real issues, real problems and real dreams, who are not concerned with what party we belong to or what ads we run every two years. They care that we care. That we are here to serve, not ourselves, but our country and them.

Our democracy requires that our time here be spent in humility, dedication and pride. Pride to fight for those who can't, pride to work for those who are unable, pride to push back against the bureaucracy that frequently stands in the way and hampers their ability to conduct their business and live their lives.

I stand here today proud of the work we did in these four short years but more proud of the people who sent me here. The citizens of Arizona's 2nd Congressional District.

Thank your for the opportunity, and the honor, to be your representative and serve you.

To my successor, Ann Kirkpatrick, I wish you all the best as you are sworn in to serve our amazing and inspiring community.

God bless you all and God bless America.

And for the final time, Mr. Speaker, I yield back.

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Martha McSally represents Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District.

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