5 Congress Members' Farewell Speeches, Including Michele Bachmann Comparing Congress to Moses
As we bid adieu to 2014, let's not forget that many Congress members are saying goodbye to their seats in Congress as they spend their last month before their successors take over in January. In the first half of December, a handful of Capitol Hill politicians have already took to the floors of both the Senate and House of Representatives to their public farewells that Moses, an "I love you" hand sign, and an embarrassing slip of the tongue. Oops.
Unfortunately, while politicians are not exactly known for their intellectual — or even thought out — opinions, it does provide those among us who are frustrated with Capitol Hill for their seeming ineffectiveness at lawmaking with something lighter to talk about. I mean, this Congress, the U.S.' 113th, was on track to winning "Most Unproductive Congress in American History" back in May, so no surprises if they kicked back and relaxed on their plush, leather chairs for the rest of the year.
After a short recess, the 114th Congress will convene on January 2015, with the GOP holding a majority in both chambers, effectively pitting a Republican Congress against a Democratic president. And while I am sure what's in store for the next two years will surely provide Saturday Night Live with more material, here's a look at some of the finals words on the chambers of the lawmakers who will no longer be a part of this fine institution.
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minnesota)
Bachmann, who did not seek re-election for her seat, compared Congress to Moses in a perplexing farewell speech.
As I look about this chamber, we are ringed with the silhouettes of lawgivers throughout history. And yet only one lawgiver has the distinction of not having a silhouette, but having the full face be revealed by the artist. That lawgiver is Moses. Moses is directly above the double doors that lead to the centermost part of this chamber. And in the face of Moses, his eyes look straight upon not only our nation’s motto, "In God We Trust," but Moses’ face looks full on into the face of the Speaker of the House.
Because you see, Mr. Speaker, Moses is given for the full honor of the greatest lawgiver in this chamber, because he was chosen by the God that we trust to be entrusted with the basis of all law.
Although I'm not too sure where she was really going with that, I wouldn't delve too deep into it if I were you.
Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa)
Retiring after 40 long years in Congress, Harkin is making way for his successor, Republican Joni Ernst. In his 32-minute-long farewell speech, the veteran lawmaker outlined his final wishes for Congress: closing the wealth gap, saving the environment, providing employment assistance to people with disabilities, and pass the UN treaty for people with disabilities.
Harkin also indicated the sign language for the words "I love you" as he told of his affection for the people he worked with.
Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska)
Begich was one among many of the Senators who lost their seats to a Republican opponent. In January, Dan Sullivan is set to take over his seat. In what ABC News called the "most emotional Senate farewell speech this year," Begich broke down as he thanked his wife, Deborah Bonito, for her support, and dabbed at his tears with a handkerchief.
Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-Louisiana)
After losing in the runoff-election to her Republican opponent Bill Cassidy, the last Southern Democratic Senator delivered an emotional goodbye from the floor, promising to keep up efforts on cleaning up the Gulf Coast. Landrieu said:
It is something worth fighting for. We would not be a country without the Mississippi Delta.
Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Arkansas)
Betsy Woodruff at The Slate criticized Pryor for a farewell address that she wrote was akin to a "campaign stump speech." Pryor was responsible for the attack ad that implied his opponent, Tom Cotton — to whom he lost his seat — was responsible for the Ebola outbreak.
In his speech, Pryor also accidentally called his staff "awful," before quickly correcting it to "awesome."
Images: CNN Politics/Screenshot (2)