Thank You for the Honor of Serving 18 Years in Congressby Former Representative Carolyn McCarthy
Posted on 2014-12-11
of new york
in the house of representatives
Thursday, December 11, 2014
Mrs. McCARTHY of New York. Mr. Speaker, since 1997, I have had the
privilege to serve New York's 4th congressional district in the U.S.
House of Representatives. Earlier this year, I announced that I would
not be seeking reelection; in January of 2015, I will step down from
the post that has brought me so much professional and personal
happiness and enabled me to serve the District to the best of my
Who can say that life follows the script we imagine for ourselves when we are young? I was a nurse from Mineola living the life I wanted. But fate intervened: I went to Washington as an advocate against the scourge of gun violence, and I fought for legislation including the 2007 National Instant Background Check System Improvements Act (NICS). I worked tirelessly during this chapter of my life, but I remained in so many ways, a nurse from Mineola. I never forgot where I came from or the people I grew up with. I have treasured those relationships. I became a Representative to better their lives through legislation. As I look back now, I know that together we have done this and laid the groundwork for a brighter future.
Through my work with gun violence legislation, I acquired a reputation as a ``one-issue'' candidate. But, as I like to say, what woman has just one issue? I've authored three pieces of legislation written into law: The Civil Rights History Project Act of 2009, which helped preserve historical artifacts from the Civil Rights era; the Serve America Act of 2009, which greatly expanded vital service programs such as AmeriCorps; and the aforementioned NICS act. In addition, I've worked on various legislative efforts, including acts that bolstered our science and math education. Working on the Dodd- Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, I championed the creation of an entity within the Consumer Financial Bureau that focused on financial empowerment by giving consumers the tools to be financially literate. While I went to Washington as a crusader against gun violence, I grew over the years into a candidate for all issues.
Most elected officials accomplish what they do thanks to the people who supported them along the journey. I am no different, and I am forever grateful. My staff and I worked to provide programs and enact legislation that benefited Long Island. We led the Small Business Relief Forum in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, held numerous job fairs to help Long Islanders manage the difficult economy, and ran blood drives and Medicare prescription drug seminars. We've closed over 30,000 constituent cases--ranging from social security and IRS issues, to veterans affairs and USCIS concerns. In these initiatives, the chief goal was always the same: better the lives of the 4th Congressional District.
No one reaches this point in life without accumulating a long list of people to thank. I am indebted to the entire 4th District for allowing me to represent them in Congress, and to my [[Page E1835]] staff, volunteers and supporters who have been by my side on this journey. I owe a thank you to my colleagues in the House of Representatives; their compassion for the job has continuously inspired me. And, of course, I am forever grateful for the support of my family, particularly my son Kevin, whose attitude and toughness is a towering display of bravery.
As I enter my last few weeks in office, I feel confident that all we've accomplished has prepared us for what is ahead. However, while my role as a U.S. Representative is ending, my job is not yet done. Although I no longer have a voice in Congress, I will always have a voice for the community. To everyone who has supported me, I'd like to say thank you. But I am not saying goodbye. I remain, as a wonderful chapter of my life comes to an end, very excited to see where we will go together next.