December 2, 2010 – (RealEstateRama) — Madame Speaker, I rise today to thank all of my colleagues here in the House, and especially my constituents at home in South Florida.
The opportunity to serve in this body has been the privilege of a lifetime.
I truly feel honored to have been entrusted with the responsibility of fighting for families, businesses, seniors and veterans in my community every single day.
And fight we did.
Together, we took on skyrocketing homeowners’ insurance costs and wrote a common-sense solution that makes sure insurance works like it is supposed to. It wasn’t easy, but we brought together every single member of the Florida delegation, Republican and Democrat alike, as well as allies from all around the country, and passed the Homeowners’ Defense Act in a bipartisan way. And I am very proud of that.
We also fought to deliver on a campaign promise to close the Medicare Part D donut hole. Our seniors should never have to make the choice between food and medicine, and because we brought down the cost of prescription drugs, many in our community will no longer have to.
We stood up for our nation’s veterans, because I believe it is our responsibility to fight for those who have fought for us. We passed the biggest increase in the VA budget in history to help make sure our service members have access to everything they need, and we turned local ideas from our Palm Beach and Broward county Veterans’ Advisory Boards into the law of the land.
But we didn’t stop there. We took on the national security threat of a rogue Iran, writing and passing the toughest sanctions in history because we cannot allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons – not on our watch, and not on our dime. We tackled health care and equal pay for women. We expanded Pell Grants so every kid has a chance to go to college. We passed an innovative and forward-looking energy plan, to end our dangerous dependence on foreign oil.
But most of all, we worked together and did our best for our community. Some might disagree with our policies, but I think it is clear that each of us loves this country, and stood up for what we believe in the best way we know how.
Madame Speaker, my colleagues, and South Floridians who are watching today, I want to say thank you, from the bottom of my heart.
Choosing public service isn’t always easy – there are bad headlines and tough attacks, and long weeks away from your family. And our families do sacrifice the most. But it is worth every single sacrifice for the opportunity to make this country better for our children and grandchildren than it was for us. That is the American dream, and that is what I get up fighting for every single day.
When I first came to this historic U.S. Capitol building, a very wise colleague told me something that stuck with me to this day. “Look up at the Capitol dome,” he said one night, after we had been working late. I looked up, and saw the magnificent white dome, lit up against the sky. I thought about how great figures in American history had worked inside this very building, about the debates and arguments and extraordinary progress these walls had seen. Then my colleague said, “if that doesn’t inspire you, nothing ever will.”
And he was right. The opportunity to serve my community in these hallowed halls does inspire me, and I hope it also inspires the next generation of leaders in this country to give themselves to public service. We will all be better off for it.