POLITICO Screengrab Full text: Al Franken’s resignation speech on the Senate floor
WASHINGTON, D.C. [12/07/17]-Today, U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) gave the following speech as prepared for delivery on the Senate ground. You can even download a video of the speech below.
Two months ago, We felt that people had entered a crucial moment in the history of the country. We had been finally beginning to listen to women about the ways that men’s actions affect them. That point in time was long overdue. I was thrilled for that conversation, and hopeful that it could result in real modification that made lifestyle better for females all over the country and atlanta divorce attorneys part of our society.
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Then, the conversation turned to me. During the last couple of weeks, several women attended forward to talk about how exactly they felt my actions had influenced them. I was shocked. I was upset. But in responding to their statements, I also wished to be respectful of that broader conversation, because all females deserve to be been told, and their activities taken seriously.
I think that was the right move to make. I also think it provided some people the false impression that I was admitting to doing things that, in fact, I haven’t done. A few of the allegations against me are simply just not true. Others, I recall very differently.
I said at the outset that the Ethics Committee was the right venue for these allegations to come to be heard, and investigated, and evaluated on the merits. That I was ready to cooperate fully. And that I was assured in the outcome.
You know, a crucial section of the conversation we’ve been getting the last couple of months has been about how exactly men abuse their power and privilege to hurt women.
I am proud that, within my time in the Senate, I’ve used my capacity to be a champion for females – and that I’ve earned a reputation simply because someone who respects the ladies I work alongside every day. I know there’s been a very different photo of me painted during the last few weeks. But I know who I really am.
Serving in the United States Senate offers been the fantastic honor of my life. I understand in my own heart that nothing I’ve done as a Senator – nothing – has brought dishonor on this organization. And I am assured that the Ethics Committee would agree with the fact.
Nevertheless, today We am announcing that, in the coming weeks, I will be resigning as a member of the United States Senate.
I, of all people, am aware that there surely is some irony in the fact that We am leaving even while a guy who has bragged about tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office, and a guy who offers repeatedly preyed on young girls campaigns for the Senate with the entire support of his get together.
But this decision is not about me. It’s about the people of Minnesota. And it’s become distinct that I can’t both pursue the Ethics Committee procedure and, simultaneously, remain a powerful Senator for them.
I want to be clear. I might be resigning my seat, but I am not quitting my voice. I will continue to stand up for the issues I really believe in as a citizen, and as an activist.
But Minnesotans deserve a Senator who may concentrate with all her strength on addressing the problems they face every day.
There is a big part of me that will always regret having to walk away from this job with consequently substantially work left to be done. But I’ve faith that the task will continue, because I’ve faith in the people who have helped me carry out it.
I’ve faith in the dedicated, funny, selfless young men and females on my personnel. They have so much more to donate to our region. And I hope that, as disappointed as they may look and feel today, everyone who offers ever worked for me personally knows how much I admire and respect them.
We have faith in my own colleagues, especially my senior Senator, Amy Klobuchar. I would not have had the opportunity to get this done job without her direction and wisdom. And I’ve faith – or, at least, hope – that customers of this Senate will find the political courage essential to keep asking the tough questions, carry this administration accountable, and stand up for the truth.
I’ve faith in the activists who organized to help me gain my first marketing campaign and who have kept on organizing to help fight for the people who needed us: youngsters facing bullying, seniors worried about the selling price of prescription medications, Native Americans who’ve been overlooked for far too long, working people who have been acquiring it on the chin for a technology – everyone in the middle class and everyone aspiring to become listed on it.
I’ve faith in the proud legacy of progressive advocacy that I’ve had the privilege to be a part of. I believe I’ve likely repeated these phrases ten thousand times over the years, Paul Wellstone’s well known quote: “The near future belongs to those who are passionate and function hard.” It is still true. It’ll always be true.
And, most of all, I’ve faith found in Minnesota. A big part of this job is going around the express and hearing what people have to have from Washington. But, more often than not, when I’m house, I’m impressed by how much Minnesota has to offer the complete country and the complete world. The people I’ve acquired the honor of representing happen to be brilliant, and imaginative, and hard-doing work. And whoever holds this seat up coming will inherit the challenge I’ve enjoyed for the last eight and a half years: being as effective as the people you serve.
This has been a tough few weeks for me personally. But I am a very, very lucky man. I’ve a beautiful, healthy friends and family that I love, and that loves me quite definitely. I am going to be just fine.
I’d just want to get rid of with one very last thing.
I did so not grow up wanting to be a politician. I found this relatively later in lifestyle. I had to learn a lot on the fly. It wasn’t easy. And it wasn’t often fun.
I’m not just discussing today. This is usually a difficult thing to do with your lifestyle. There are a great number of long hours and later nights and hard lessons, and there is no guarantee that your entire function and sacrifice will ever before pay back. I won my first election by 312 votes – it could have easily eliminated the other way. And even when you win, progress is far from inevitable. Paul Wellstone spent his whole life working for mental health parity, and it didn’t pass into legislation until six years after he passed away.
This year, a lot of people who didn’t grow up imagining they’d ever try politics have done just that. They’ve attended their first protest march, or made their first call to a member of Congress, or maybe even used the leap and put their name on a ballot for the very first time.
It might be such a rush, to look around at a area full of people ready to fight alongside you, to feel that energy, to assume that better issues are possible. But you, as well, will experience setbacks and defeats and disappointments. You will see times when you will question whether it’s worthwhile.
What I’d like you to learn is that, right now, even on the worst day of my political lifestyle, Personally i think like it’s all been worthwhile. “Politics,” Paul Wellstone told us, “is about the improvement of people’s lives.” I know that the task I’ve been able to do has increased people’s lives. I would do it all once more in a heartbeat.
For a decade now, every time I would get tired, or discouraged, or frustrated, I would think about the people I was doing this for, and it could get me back up on my feet. I know the same will become true for everybody who decides to pursue a politics that’s about bettering people’s lives. And I hope you understand that I will be right there fighting alongside you, every stage of the way.
With that, M. President, I yield the floor.
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