Georgia Senator Kelly Loeffler made her farewell speech in the Senate on Tuesday.
In her statement, the outgoing senator spoke of her time serving the State of Georgia, her appreciation for Governor Kemp, and her respect for the Georgia senators who preceded her.
“Mr. President, it has been an honor of my life to serve Georgia in the United States Senate.
“There has never been a day without walking the corridors of the Capitol that I was not impressed by the size of this job, this place, and my duty. And I want to thank my colleagues, especially those who welcomed me from the start and worked with me – even across the aisle to do the work for our country in the following year.
“I want to thank the people of Georgia who showed me the best of our great state. My goal as a senator was clear: to work every day to improve the lives of Georgians and make our state the best state to live, work, worship and raise a family. I never stopped working to achieve this goal and was energized and humiliated by the opportunity to serve each day.
“Between the weeks in Washington, I crossed our large state without a break. From the southeast coast of Georgia in Camden County to northwestern Mountain Georgia in Catoosa County, my time with Georgians is my fondest memory. One of my earliest visits was to Homerville, Georgia – 2,400 residents. I carried the Homerville people with me every day as I neared my job.
“Growing up on our family farm, where the nearest small town was 600, my civil service calling was in large part a result of my desire to be an oversized voice for those who had no voice in Washington.
“Meeting Georgians every day has inspired me to bring results to every corner of our great state.
With this in mind, I would like to thank Governor Kemp for appointing me and entrusting me with the important task of being a voice for our state and a servant of our citizens. And I was proud to work with my friend and colleague Senator David Perdue.
“I want to acknowledge Senator Johnny Isakson and Senator Saxby Chambliss for their shining examples of what it means to be a senator, and above all a civil servant.
“I also want to acknowledge and thank my amazing husband Jeff, whose love and support have encouraged me … and thanking my family for teaching values like faith, family, and hard work. You all have my deepest love and gratitude.
“It is just as important that I want to recognize my talented and hardworking employees. Together, our work here – and in Georgia – has made a huge difference for our state.
“Let me tell you only part of this work, because in an important year in the Senate I am proud of everything we have achieved together. We delivered more than $ 47 billion in relief supplies to families, employers, farmers, hospitals and schools in Georgia during the pandemic. As a freshman Senator, I introduced and passed 6 laws.
“We secured funding for rural hospitals, improved access to telemedicine and accelerated the delivery of medical equipment.
“I campaigned for this, and we passed laws that increase funding to help homeless veterans get back on their feet.
“And I took pride in promoting agriculture – our state’s leading industry – as well as our military and law enforcement agencies, small businesses, and school choice. I stood up for the Innocent Life, the second amendment and all of our constitutional rights.
“I was able to use my business experience to develop four far-reaching plans to promote economic security, protect our nation, modernize our health care system, and increase opportunities in minority communities.
“In 2020 alone, our office helped more than 5,200 Georgians handle cases, including nearly 1,000 Georgia veterans and soldiers and women on active duty who manage their VA services and VA medical centers.
“I am incredibly proud of everything we have achieved together for our state and our country. There is still more to be done. I was hoping to get my legislation passed – to return to the US from China – to manufacture our critical medical products, including prescription drugs and over-the-counter drugs. And I would like to wish my successor all the best in his work in the service of Georgia.
“In most farewell speeches, colleagues are asked to put the country before the party or to repair what is broken here in the Senate. My message is a little different.
“With all the events of the past few weeks, I would like to urge my colleagues to remember why we are here. whom you serve; and to remember the size of the American experiment – and the fragility of our freedom.
“I spent 30 years in the private sector pursuing the American dream. I’ve worked on our family’s farm, been a waitress, and lived from paycheck to paycheck. I’ve moved around the country working hard to overcome setbacks and build a prestigious career in business.
“I came to Georgia two decades ago looking for a job and created jobs to turn a small startup into a Fortune 500 company.
“And like many Georgians, part of that work is giving back in our communities and helping others make their dreams come true. I’ve done this in business, in philanthropy, in sports, and now in public service.
“This is the American dream. It gives everyone – regardless of their background – the freedom to make the most of their life, pursue their passions, build their families and careers, and thrive in the world’s greatest country.
“Protecting this dream for all Americans should be our common cause, regardless of political party.
“Having served last year, it has become clear that we need more underdogs. More business people and fewer – with all due respect – fewer politicians.
“Americans have high expectations of us – they want leadership, they want results – and right now they want their lives back. They are looking for us to restore America and protect their dreams, not to take advantage of a crisis and expand the government.
“And they certainly don’t want their way of life to be overwhelmed by radical changes and costly measures that drive them out of work, limit their children’s educational opportunities, and threaten their right to free worship and speech.
“While the left pretends to want unity, they are also saying that they cannot tolerate it without accountability. In essence, there can be no unity without conforming to their views.
“Disagree and you will be canceled – not just your social media account, but your job, family, educational opportunities – even your God-given rights. Only those who pass their ideological purity test can claim moral superiority and keep their vote.
“I’ve seen this firsthand many times over the past year.
“Yes, I’ve been a proud advocate of conservative values, but I’ve always put Georgia first, before politics.
“As the pandemic spread, I worked around the clock to bring relief across Georgia. However, the mainstream media – including my own local newspaper – flooded their pages – not with serious coverage of my relief efforts – but with completely false stories of stock deals made up by a left-wing blog.
“When this political attack was thoroughly exposed, this fact was largely omitted from subsequent media coverage to suit its narrative.
“The truth is, the mainstream media and big tech are increasingly concerned only with advancing their own political ideology – and only protecting the language that fits those specific narratives.
“The double standards, contempt and contempt that elites in institutions of influence have towards conservatives is increasingly being revealed. This must not be continued for our discourse.
“As a starting point, we must hold those who restrict our freedom of speech to account for the loss of our civil discourse in our country.
“The American people are alarmed by efforts to censor conservative voices. We are experiencing a constitutional crisis that threatens to undermine the First Amendment and silence the people in our country.
“As a Republican – a conservative American who still believes in the Constitution and the basic principles on which our country was founded – I haven’t been intimidated by the culture of demolition and its dangerous narratives. However, not every American feels free to speak up. Your votes are lost.
“That’s why this Senate is so important. For 230 years, the U.S. Senate has been the focal point for expressing dissent and has celebrated debating issues facing our nation. You have to be the voice for those who cannot use theirs. The time is now – the urgency weighs on our country.
“If we are serious about the association, this must be done out of respect for our diversity – not in spite of everything. Diversity of beliefs is not monolithic.
In 1964, a future President Ronald Reagan spoke to fellow American citizens and said, ‘You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve this last human hope on earth for our children, or we will condemn them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness. ‘
“Those wise words echoed today. These words are timeless.
“I urge you to address the grave threats to our First Amendment rights to my colleagues in the Senate in order to restore the confidence of all Americans in our democracy and to help restore peace to our nation.
“This is the only way to ensure that America – the ‘Shining City on the Hill’ of the world – a republic admired for centuries – will last for future generations.
“I encourage each of you to uphold our unique American values - and to keep the American dream. And I will continue to stand up for the values of our party, no matter what position I am in. America depends on it. Americans count on us to be their voice.
“For a shy peasant girl who graduated from college first in her family and who never imagined that one day I would serve as the United States Senator from the great state of Georgia, thank you all – it was my deepest honor .
“May God bless you and may God bless America.
“I give the floor.”