U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján
From the Office of U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), the U.S. House Assistant Speaker, delivered his farewell address on the House floor.
In his final speech in the lower chamber, Luján thanked his family, colleagues, and constituents for their support and highlighted key victories that he secured for New Mexico’s Third Congressional District.
Luján was elected to the U.S. Senate in November 2020 and is set to be sworn in Jan. 3, 2021.
Since being elected to the House in 2008, Luján has championed efforts to create good-paying jobs in New Mexico, expand quality health care and protect patients with pre-existing conditions, preserve our natural resources and sacred sites, build a clean energy economy, and uplift working families. He currently serves as the Assistant Speaker and is the highest-ranking Hispanic in Congress.
Luján’s remarks, as prepared for delivery, are included below:
I’m honored to rise for the last time on the floor of the House of Representatives.
Growing up on a small farm in New Mexico, I never imagined that I would walk these hallowed halls and speak from this chamber.
Of course, I did not get here alone. I stand on the shoulders of giants like Dennis Chavez, Manual Luján, and many others who blazed a trail for me and other Hispanic Americans to serve our communities proudly in this, the People’s House.
I also owe my public service to heroes a little closer to home: my mother Carmen, a retired public-school employee, and my late father Ben, a union ironworker who became Speaker of the New Mexico House of Representatives.
They taught me that no job is too big or too small and that we must be guided by our compassion for others. It was their passion for serving others that propelled me to seek public office.
Thanks, Mom and Dad.
I also want to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Hoyer, and Whip Clyburn and countless other members for their guidance and mentorship during my career in the House and during the last two years that I’ve served as the Assistant Speaker.
Thank you to my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for your friendship and support.
And thank you to the freshman members who I have had the honor of working with mentoring during the 116th Congress. During a difficult time in our nation’s history, your commitment to your constituents and the nation has inspired me every day.
Thank you to my staff, who work long hours and weekends to serve the people of New Mexico. Their support has enabled me to make progress on the issues that matter most to New Mexicans.
And finally, thank you to the people of New Mexico’s Third Congressional District. It’s been such an honor to represent you in the House, and I’ll never stop working to make a positive difference.
I’m proud of what we were able to accomplish for New Mexico’s Third District:
- Defending the Affordable Care Act, which expanded health coverage to 270,000 New Mexicans;
- Reaching across the aisle to pass bills into law combating the opioid epidemic that has ravaged families and communities;
- Working with my Republican colleagues to make robust investments in our world-class National Labs;
- Creating good-paying jobs for New Mexicans by passing measures to bolster our state’s growing outdoor economy and to improve broadband deployment in our rural communities;
- Passing legislation to preserve and protect Native languages for future generations;
- Ensuring New Mexico’s land grants and acequias are treated with dignity and respect, and can continue to thrive;
- And assisting thousands of New Mexicans in navigating our federal agencies – helping veterans and seniors secure their hard-earned benefits, taxpayers navigate the IRS, and new citizens through the naturalization process.
I will be submitting into the record a list of 29 bills that I led and 10 that I co-led that became law while I’ve served in the House.
Come January, the Third District will have a new representative in Teresa Leger Fernandez. I know she will be a champion for working families, for New Mexico.
I look forward to continuing to work with her and the rest of my friends in the New Mexico delegation from the other side of the Capitol.
I’m truly humbled that the people of New Mexico have sent me to be their voice in the United States Senate. To be perfectly honest, it hasn’t sunk in yet.
But I’ll miss the People’s House. It’s been the privilege of my lifetime to serve here along with all of you. Let’s continue to heed the call of the American people and make a positive difference every day that we can.