JHB provides final remarks on House floor

On Tuesday, Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler spoke on the House floor for the last time, providing a farewell to the role she filled since 2010.

It was sentimental.

Herrera Beutler began by describing the cross-country journey from Washington state to Washington D.C. she endured to attend her initial swearing in ceremony. A road trip in the middle of winter, no less.

She directed gratitude and admiration toward her family, colleagues and constituents for their involvement during her congressional tenure. Of course, Herrera Beutler also celebrated some successes, such as forming the Congressional Caucus on Maternity Care, passing her child-centric ACE Kids Act or effectively advocating for reviews on maternal mortality.

But Herrera Beutler’s four-minute speech contained an important message for the 118th Congress wedged toward its end.

“The people who elect us put their faith in us to represent them and we owe them the truth,” she read. “It — at times, in the heat of the moment — is the last thing people want to hear, especially if it doesn’t fit their narrative. But that doesn’t make it any less true. We don’t do Americans any favors if we deceive them or stand by quietly as they deceive themselves.”

Included the congresswoman’s advice was a vehement suggestion to be mindful of what matters in their official capacity: helping constituents rather than rattling insults toward the opposing party.

“(The truth) is the only thing that truly sets us free,” Herrera Beutler concluded.

Lauren Ellenbecker

Lauren Ellenbecker

Lauren Ellenbecker is a politics reporter for The Columbian.

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