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Outgoing Lawmakers Bid Farewell to Congress

How do these speeches make you feel?

by Countable | 12.30.18

Over the final weeks of the 115th Congress, numerous lawmakers took to the floor of their respective chambers to deliver their farewell speeches. We’ve compiled some notable speeches for you below.

Senate

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) is retiring as the longest-serving Republican senator in history, having represented Utah since 1978. At various times, Hatch chaired the Judiciary, Finance, and Labor committees. (31 minutes)

Sen Bill Nelson (D-FL) was defeated in his re-election bid after serving three terms in the Senate. He served 12 years in the U.S. House of Representatives earlier in his career. (31 minutes)

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) chose not to seek re-election to a second term in the Senate. He previously served six terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. (21 minutes)

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) was defeated in her re-election bid and served two terms in the Senate. She previously served in the Missouri House of Representatives. (13 minutes)

Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) was defeated in his re-election bid. He served one term in the Senate and two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives prior to that. (24 minutes)

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) was defeated in her re-election bid after serving one term in the Senate. She previously served as Attorney General and Tax Commissioner in North Dakota. (34 minutes)

Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN) was defeated in his re-election bid after serving one term in the Senate. He previously served three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. (35 minutes)

Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) chose not to seek re-election after serving two terms in the Senate. For the last four years he has served as the Chair of the Foreign Relations Committee. He hasn’t delivered a farewell address, but if he chooses to we’ll post it here.


House

Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX) is retiring after serving 13 terms in the House. During the Vietnam War, Johnson was a cellmate of the late Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) when they were prisoners of war at the ‘Hanoi Hilton’. He was awarded the Purple Heart and Silver Star. (2 minutes)

Del. Madeleine Bordallo (D-Guam) is retiring after serving eight terms representing Guam in Congress as a non-voting delegate. Previously she served as Guam’s Lieutenant Governor and First Lady at different times. (6 minutes)

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) chose not to seek re-election after serving 10 terms in the House. He served as Speaker for three years after chairing the Budget Committee for four years and the Ways and Means Committee for nine months before he was chosen to replace outgoing Speaker John Boehner (R-OH). (43 minutes)

(Given that there are dozens of House members who won’t be returning to Congress, we had to be selective here. So if you’re not seeing a lawmaker’s farewell address that you wanted to see try searching C-SPAN’s video archives!)

— Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: iStock.com / MikeyLPT)

Countable

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