Rep. Cisneros delivers farewell address to Congress

Representative Gilbert R. Cisneros, Jr. (CA-39) delivered his farewell address to Congress and reflected on the progress made and his achievements while serving California’s 39th District.

Text of Rep. Cisneros’ farewell address can be found below:

“Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Today, I stand here humbled and honored to have had the opportunity to serve the people of California’s 39th District in the 116th Congress. When I was 18, I wanted to serve my country, so I joined the United States Navy, and that’s what I have done for most of my adult life. I have served to help both my country and others.

“As the Representative of the 39th District, I’m proud of the high level of engagement, accessibility, and visibility I’ve had with my constituents. I was able to bring back over $367 million to the district for our schools, job creation programs, fire departments, resources to combat homelessness, and COVID-19 relief. Our district office recovered over $550,000 for constituents through casework and helped 419 constituents resolve their federal issues, from Social Security to Medicare benefits to immigration casework and Veterans’ Affairs healthcare. We’ve responded to over 119,000 constituent letters and participated in over 250 Community events. I hosted 30 town halls over the past two years. At the start of this pandemic, my team swiftly changed their operations to respond to every concern or question that came through—working tirelessly, day and night, to help the 39th District get through this pandemic. Their commitment and dedication to help public service knows no limit. We raised the bar significantly and set the standard of what representation should look like for the 39th District. We delivered, because anything less would have been unacceptable.

“From California to Washington, D.C., I listened to constituents, worked across the aisle, and turned problems into legislative action. I voted to protect the Affordable Care Act, preserve protections for pre-existing conditions, and lower the price of prescription drug costs. I also helped secure House passage of H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks bill, to bring us closer to ending this gun violence epidemic and keeping our communities safe. And for the first time in over 25 years, the CDC received funding to research gun safety—a significant step for our country. As a Navy Veteran and member of the Veterans Affairs’ Committee, I’ve worked across party lines to improve access to benefits for our veterans. We got the Blue Water Navy Veteran bill passed—signed into law to help our veterans, like my father who was exposed to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. Just recently, my bipartisan bill to prevent veteran suicide and substance use problems was signed into law within a larger, landmark veterans mental healthcare bill. I’m proud of the work I was able to do on the Armed Services Committee to protect our servicemembers and their families. I’m proud of the work I have done to diversify our officer corps, protect military children from child abuse, and fight sexual harassment and assault in our military. In the House, we also passed legislation to protect our DREAMers, lift the SALT cap, support small businesses, and strengthen voting rights—which is what the American people want. But the work must continue to help those things become law.

“There is so much more that needs to be done. It’s become abundantly clear that partisan gridlock is preventing Congress and the federal government from doing its job. What I am most proud of is when this House came together to get things done for the American people. We came together to pass great bipartisan legislation, like the Blue Water Navy bill. At the beginning of this pandemic, we came together as a House, a Congress, and as a government to pass legislation that was beneficial to the American people and businesses. That type of collaboration is what the American people want to see, and it’s what they should expect. We’re still in the middle of this pandemic, and families, workers, and businesses are being left behind, and this legislative body must come together again to prevent that from happening. In the end, we must remember and never forget that we are here to serve the American people.

“And as I conclude, I just want to take this opportunity to say thank you. No one ever does anything alone, so I want to thank my wife, Jacki, and thank my boys, Alexander and Christopher, for their love and support. I want to thank my staff in D.C. and in the district. I can’t tell you how many times I was told by so many people how responsive and wonderful you all were to work with. And from the bottom of my heart, I want to thank the people of the 39th District for allowing me to serve as your Representative.

“Those that know me know that I am a big baseball fan and a big Dodger fan. One of my favorite baseball players, the legendary Jackie Robinson, once said “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.” I do not know what the future holds for me, but I can assure you this: I will continue to work to have a positive impact on other lives for both my community and my country. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, with that, I yield back.”

This article was released by the Office of Senator Gilbert R. Cisneros, Jr.