Here is the text of Rep. Ellen Tauscher’s final comments on the floor of the House of Representatives this morning. (I used PDF conversion software so forgive me in advance if I failed to catch all the scanning mistakes.)
(By unanimous consent, Mrs. Tauscher was allowed to speak out of order)
Confirmation of Congresswoman Tauscher by U.S. Senate as Under Secretary of State
Mrs. TAUSCHER.: Mr. Chairman and my colleagues, I rise to announce that I have been confirmed by the United States Senate as Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security. I have informed my friend, the Speaker of the House, and the Governor of California that I will be resigning my seat at the end of votes today.
Madam Speaker, Mr. Chairman, I am deeply grateful for the trust that both President Obama and Secretary Clinton have placed in me. I am equally grateful and humbled by the honor and privilege to have represented California’s 10th Congressional District for the last 13 years in the House of Representatives. It has been the deepest and greatest professional experience of my life, and I am deeply, deeply grateful for the opportunity and the trust that my constituents have placed in me.
In my seven terms in the Congress, I have tried to keep my promise of being an independent and effective moderate. I have worked hard, and I have worked with you. I look around the room; many Members I have served with for the entire time I have been here, and some of you I have flown on planes with and some of you I have taken codels with.
What I know is that we sit here and we do the people’s work, and whether we agree or not doesn’t always matter. What is most important is that we represent our constituents, that we honor the Constitution, and we keep faith with our conscience. Those are the three Cs that I have tried for these years to maintain in balance. It’s not always easy, but I have tried.
I look at all of you and I understand how difficult this world is and how troubling the lives of many Americans are now and how heavy the burden is on you. What I pledge to you, as I leave the legislative branch in this great House that I have grown to love and all of you that I love, and my constituents that I love, what I promise you in my new capacity is to work with you to achieve what we all know is important, to make sure that we have the safety and the security of the American people always on the forefront of our minds.
I have been blessed to have, I think, some of the best staff in the world. I have always told people I represent the smartest people in the world. I have the two national nuclear labs in Livermore, California, and I have Travis Air Force Base and 600-some-odd thousand constituents who apparently, now, 100 percent of them have voted for me every time. There’s nothing like leaving to become popular.
But I just want to thank, the staff who have worked with me both on the subcommittee and my personal staff and my district staff that have been just absolutely fabulous.
I want to thank my friends in the House, my friends that started as friends and became family and who have sustained me and with whom I have learned so much.
I want to thank the Speaker for her indefatigable energy. I want to thank Steny Hoyer. I want to thank my partner in my county, George Miller. I want to thank Ike Skelton and Jim Oberstar, my chairmen, for being so generous and for helping me learn.
I want to thank, again, my constituents for the honor. I especially want to thank my family, my parents and my sisters and brothers and my friends who have been patient and understanding when I couldn’t be at birthday parties and volleyball games.
I want to thank my daughter, who was raised in the House. She came here as a 5-1/2-year-old. She is now going to college, and I am so thrilled that she is emancipated and happy and healthy and a smart young woman. And you should be as proud of her as I am, because you helped raise her.
And I want to thank, especially, my fiance, Jim Cieslak, who I will marry tomorrow. Thank you. It’s hard to be a blushing bride at my age, but l will do my best.
Let me just close and say that no matter where I am serving in government, I will always remember those that sent me here, and I will always be grateful for your trust and support.
I just want to take a second and say that I have been honored to represent the Speaker on the podium, and there’s nothing like having the view from up there. Because the view from up there is of all of you, and that’s the best view I have had, I think, in my life. I will take that in my heart as I go to the state Department.
I want to thank all the people behind the scenes who work so hard to make sure that we do the job that we do. I am not saying goodbye, I am just saying farewell for the time being. I expect I will work with you all very well, but know that this has been the best experience of my life.
God bless you. God bless America.