Farewell Remarksby Former Representative Mike McIntyre
Posted on 2014-12-11
of north carolina
in the house of representatives
Thursday, December 11, 2014
Mr. McINTYRE. Mr. Speaker, what a blessing it has been to serve in
the United States Congress! Indeed, it has been a dream come true--an
opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of the people
back home and the communities in which we live, work, worship, retire,
Over the course of 18 years in Congress, we have been blessed to have accomplished a great deal together with the citizens of the Seventh Congressional District.
This job could not have been done without the people, purpose, and partnerships that have been integral to our work.
Indeed, none of this would have been possible without the strong support of my family--my wonderfully amazing, astute and astounding wife Dee, without whose wisdom, counsel, inspiration, analysis, steadfast partnership, and love I would have never been able to run-- much less survived--in public service; and my two sons, Joshua and Stephen, whose imagination, intelligence, and insight, as well as their proclivity for the pragmatic, practical, and positive aspects of politics and public service (not to mention patience with having to eat a lot of barbecue and chicken bog!) always kept our serious perspective for the future balanced with laughter and common sense.
And I would like to extend a personal token of my appreciation to my wonderful staff throughout these years. These individuals have graciously given their very best in the service of their country and our district, and I am grateful for their work and their friendship. Indeed, through teamwork and loyalty, they have demonstrated what it truly means to answer the high calling of public service.
I owe a special thanks to my colleagues here in Congress who have worked diligently with us, reaching across the aisle to find real solutions to our nation's greatest challenges and to help our great state to prosper.
It has been a blessing to serve alongside these men and women who have devoted their lives to public service.
Thank you especially to my friends in the Congressional Prayer Caucus and in the Congressional Prayer Breakfast for the friendships that have transcended party labels and focused on answering the call that the good Lord has laid upon our hearts to help the people back home and across the nation.
Second, it has been the purpose which has guided our actions: My favorite Old Testament verse is from the Book of Proverbs (29:18 a): ``Where there is no vision, the people perish.'' During my 18 years here, we have sought to pursue a vision that offers hope to others and a bright future for our next generation.
It was in June of 1973, as rising high school senior, that I attended a student leadership seminar, the Washington Workshops Congressional Seminar.
I had just visited my then-freshman Congressman, Charlie Rose, and I meandered over to the Senate side to find the senior Senator for North Carolina, a white-haired gentleman who quoted Scripture as an old country lawyer, Sam Ervin, Jr.
He was conducting something called the ``Watergate hearings.'' All three national TV networks were there.
I waited in line and stood in the back of the hearing room on the day that John Dean began his testimony, which was the beginning of the end of the Nixon White House--a day I'll never forget.
I went home for my senior year of high school and came back to DC the next summer, 1974, as an intern for my Congressman. That was the summer that Nixon resigned.
I decided to major in political science as I headed off to the University of North Carolina that August, thinking that, ``maybe someday I'll get to come back to this place.'' And 22 years later, that dream came true.
``How could you be interested in politics?'' everyone asked. ``It's so dirty, so corrupt,'' they said.
I gave them the same answer then that I gave people when I first ran 18 years ago, that I still give today: ``If all the people with the right motives stay out of politics, then who's left to run our government?'' ``If we who are serious about our faith and our vision don't become involved, then by definition, there is going to be a void.'' We should remember that so many times the world says, ``you must be successful,'' but the key to success is first being faithful.
We must be faithful to our calling--answering the call that God has laid upon our hearts.
``He who is faithful in little will be faithful in much.'' [[Page E1821]] If we are faithful in the opportunities we have, then God will grant success in His timing; after all, isn't that what really counts--how we are using our time during the time we have on this earth? Third, it has been the partnerships: In eastern North Carolina, we have demonstrated that public service is a partnership between constituents and the representative they entrust to speak on their behalf.
For us, this steadfast partnership has been forged by putting policy over politics, issues over ideology, dialogue over dollars, and cooperation over campaigning.
This partnership has transcended politics and allowed us to accomplish monumental tasks, such as quadrupling the number of veterans' clinics in our area, passing the tobacco buyout, expanding our military bases, establishing an economic commission to promote jobs and fight poverty--and ensuring that the North Carolina coast will continue to be an economic engine and environmental treasure.
We also have built new fire and police stations, town halls, and workforce development centers; opened new farmers' markets and senior centers; improved airports and the Wilmington Port; and expanded educational and recreational opportunities for our children and youth.
We have helped thousands of constituents from all walks of life in ways that have significantly impacted their lives. None of this could have been accomplished without the strong commitment of my family, the hard work of my staff, and--especially--the willingness of people throughout our region to put partisanship aside and work together to get things done for the betterment of eastern North Carolina.
Indeed, I am grateful to all of the Democrats, Republicans, and Independents with whom we have successfully worked through nine general elections over 18 years.
People, purpose, partnerships: if we all remember these three ingredients and remain faithful to our calling, then we will have the recipe for success.
I close with the words of Adlai Stevenson, former UN Ambassador and Presidential candidate whom I quoted on the night of my first election in 1996, and which are a reminder of what has been a solemn and exciting duty: ``Trust the people, trust their good sense, their decency . . . their faith. Trust them with the facts. Trust them with the great decisions. And fix as our guiding star the passion to create a society . . . where no American is held down by race or color, by worldly condition or social status, from gaining what his character earns him as an American citizen, as a human being and as a child of God.'' May God grant us the wisdom and the will to find the way to be moving always to an even better and brighter day. And by His grace, we will! ____________________