Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
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 second congressional district.
It’s 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 in southeastern Arizona.
I am grateful to my dedicated staff in Arizona who were omnipresent in our 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 DC 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 Cherry Bell postal processing facility open, fast-tracked our veterans for jobs at the border, opened Arlington again to our World War II female pilot heroes, improved mental health access, stopped a harmful tax increases on seniors and the middle class, and led bipartisan efforts to break the gridlock on healthcare, border security, immigration, and so much more.
Our heartfelt thanks to all my staff, but especially those with me all four years: my chief, Justin Roth; my district director, CJ Caramargin; LD Pace McMullen; and my deputy district director, Rosa Ruiz.
As I reflect on my two terms in the House, I will cherish many memories from this time in service.
I was honored to have a front-row seat to history here in our nation’s capital.
I’ll 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 or the pope, Pope Francis, addressed a joint session of Congress.
I was blessed to pay final respects to American icons like Senator John McCain, Reverend Billy Graham and president George HW Bush on the sacred grounds under the capitol rotunda.
To my fellow members of Congress on both sides of the aisle, those who’ve been here a while and those that will be sworn here soon, I’d humbly ask you never forget the privilege it is to serve here and why you’re 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 remember us.
Use the time wisely. We’ve 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’re here.
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 of our limited resources. Reconciling these differences requires rigorous and robust debate both in this chamber and outside it. Disagreements are inevitable but we can and should set the example to disagree without being disagreeable.
Our challenge is then to find that sometimes very 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 you all over our incredible district at schools, senior centers, small businesses, nonprofits, 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 in 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. They — 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 second congressional district.
Thank you for the opportunity and the honor to 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 and God bless you all and God bless America and for the final time, Mr. Speaker, I yield back.