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Kevin McCarthy Bids Farewell On His Last Day Of Session In House: ‘I Would Do It All Again’

via NBC News

Kevin McCarthy, former Speaker of the House, bid farewell to colleagues and constituents on his last day in the House of Representatives.

Despite being ousted from the speakership, he expressed pride in his service and advised colleagues not to fear standing by their beliefs.

Reflecting on his tenure, he highlighted Republican gains in diverse states and the party’s evolution.

“To my colleagues from California, I’m so very, very proud of you,” McCarthy said.

“And to my friends for coming: I appreciate the kind words. To the constituents: Thank you. Thank you for ever giving me this opportunity to serve you.”

“To America: I loved every single day. Less than 13,000 people have ever been given the privilege and the honor to serve in this body.”

“But one thing I think we must quite understand and if there’s advice I can give: Do not be fearful if you believe your philosophy brings people more freedom.”

“Do not be fearful that you could lose your job over it,” McCarthy said.

“I knew the day we decided to make sure to choose to pay our troops while war was breaking out instead of shutting down was the right decision,” he added.

“I also knew a few would make a motion; somehow, they disagreed with that decision. Do it anyways. I would do it all again.”

“I thought at that moment I could be the leader of the declining party, or I can focus on what I know brought me to this party: conceived in liberty, the dedicated proposition that we’re all equal, and I would take that message to places people didn’t think they would vote for a Republican,” McCarthy said.

“I’m proud to say in those election cycles we picked up five more seats in California – that’s larger than our overall majority. Five more in New York, in Oregon, in Arizona,” he added.

McCarthy said the Republican party “doesn’t look like it did five years ago.”

“We were winning in places you haven’t seen before,” he said, emphasizing that “the future is much brighter.”

Colleagues praised his efforts to diversify the party and his dedication to their success.

“Kevin has had my back since I first decided to run for Congress and encouraged me every single step of the way,” Rep. Young Kim (R-CA) said.

“He has worked tirelessly to make our party look more like America, and the gains we have made in the last five years are a testimony to that.”

“Kevin has been committed to ensuring people like me and each of us in our conference have what it takes to be effective members for our districts. He’s the reason we have a House majority today,” she added.

“Kevin McCarthy’s relentless perseverance, keen insights, and unmatched knowledge of the personalities of the House were amazing to witness first-hand,” Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) said.

“What I got to see was the legislative equivalent of an elite-power athlete expertly working people, process, policy to get the best outcome out of this chamber,” he added.

McCarthy emphasized his continued commitment to public service despite leaving office.

“Those across this nation should join together to become those citizen legislators,” McCarthy said.

“We cannot let this body fail to do the jobs that are so most basic that we should do every day, and we should never allow this body to stop from doing what is right.”

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