Outgoing U.S. Rep. Martha Roby delivers farewell address on House floor
U.S. Rep. Martha Roby (AL-02) this past week delivered her congressional farewell address on the floor of the House of Representatives.
The Republican from Montgomery chose not to seek reelection this year after serving five terms in Congress. Roby is widely and bipartisanly respected, especially when it comes to advocacy related to defense, veterans, agricultural and pro-life issues. She was also featured during several prominent committee hearings in recent years, including while on the chamber’s Committee on the Judiciary and the Select Committee on Benghazi.
Her ability to work across the aisle and personal popularity within the House was underscored as she walked up to the lectern to deliver her final floor address, as she was warmly introduced by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD).
Roby’s speech began with the emotion of the moment evident in her voice and lasted approximately seven minutes.
Watch the entire address here or below:
Roby’s full remarks as prepared, as follows:
Mr. Speaker, I rise before you and my colleagues here today to speak for my final time on the House floor.
Seventeen years ago, my husband, Riley, and I prayerfully decided I would put my name on the ballot for the first time. Never could we have imagined the original decision to run for the Montgomery City Council would lead us to serve five terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. We are so grateful that God allowed us to serve our country in this way, and we give all honor and glory to Him.
I count it a great privilege to have served the people of Alabama’s Second Congressional District over the past decade, and I cannot adequately express how deeply thankful I am for the confidence my constituents have placed in me over the years.
Each of you sitting here before me knows the responsibility that comes along with being a Member of Congress. Yes, we are required to vote and to be the conscience of those we represent, but serving our constituents back home truly changes lives and our communities for the better.
As I look back on the wonderful things Team Roby was able to accomplish, along with the help of my colleagues in the Alabama delegation, I realize that our most significant duty is to help those who need us.
Whether it is requesting assistance with the VA or another federal agency, assisting with clean up following a large-scale weather event, voicing an opinion, or booking tours of the U.S. Capitol, my doors have always remained open to each person I represent.
I am thankful for the unique opportunities given to me by those who came before me, especially the chance to serve on several impactful committees including Appropriations, Judiciary, Agriculture, Armed Services, Education and the Workforce, and the Select Committee on Benghazi. Much work has been done in each of these revered committees to impact the lives of my constituents, and for that I am forever grateful.
I have been asked many times over the past few months what I will miss the most upon my departure, and my answer has remained the same – the relationships. The genuine friendships formed with my colleagues, my constituents, and so many others over the years and interacting with these individuals on a daily basis is what I will truly miss most.
For many, this past year was and continues to be very challenging. We have all experienced plenty of unfamiliar hardships. Not only has a global health pandemic taken center stage, but America is marked by intense division and polarization. Every time you turn on the television, you see a depiction of disunity among the American people. I imagine many Americans struggle to believe that friendship can actually exist within the halls of Congress.
It is incumbent upon us, Members of Congress, to join forces and work together to get things done for the good of the American people. When we reach across the aisle and work with the other side to arrive at a compromise for the benefit of those we serve, we are truly at our best.
I believe the American people are starving to see bipartisanship in action, especially during this time of much suffering and uncertainty. People want to know their leaders are working together for the common good and not just shouting each other down.
My greatest hope and prayer moving forward is that all Members of Congress – new and old, regardless of party identification, beliefs, or opinions – will come together and work toward a common goal to deliver real results for the American people. I have faith in this institution, and I have faith in each of you.
Now, I want to especially thank the people of the Second District. It is your faith and trust in me as your representative that helped me every step of the way. I am honored to have been given this incredibly unique opportunity, and I thank you for letting me be your voice in Congress.
Together, we have been able to deliver some incredible results for our military, veterans, agricultural community, and the unborn. While we made much progress together, the fight is not finished.
I want to thank my congressional colleagues for your kindness and friendship throughout the years. Not too far into my time in Congress, I woke up realizing the people I served with had become some of my very best friends. I am confident these relationships will continue. I will certainly miss our time spent together, having conversations about our families and encouraging one another.
I want to thank my incredible staff, all former and present members of Team Roby for your hard work on behalf of the people of Alabama and our country. I know all Members say this, but I truly believe I have the greatest staff in the world. I would never be able to execute this job without the dedication and support of my staff. They have worked tirelessly to serve the people of the Second District. We have a special saying on our team, “once Team Roby, always Team Roby.
And lastly, I want to thank my husband, Riley, and our two children, Margaret and George, my parents, the Robys, and our entire village for supporting our decision to serve our country. Your steadfast love and constant support have carried us through the easy and the hard times, and I love each of you dearly.
On behalf of Riley, Margaret, George, and myself, we sincerely thank all those who made our service to our country and the great State of Alabama possible and those who offered their services along the way.
Thank you, and for the very last time, I yield back.
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn