Republican Kevin McCarthy's House Speaker Acceptance Speech

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You know, my father always told me.It's not how you start, it's how you finish. And now we need to finish strong for the American people. You know of the son of a fireman? And a grandchild of immigrants can rise to the highest position.

And the most important legislative body in our country. And if my colleague Hakeem Jeffries. With his life story can rise to lead his party. Then opportunity and democracy still thrive in America. To leader Jeffries.

There will be times we agree. And many times we will differ. I promise our debates will be passionate. But they will never be personal. That's my commitment to you.

And now the hard work begins. What we do here today? Next week, next month, next year. Will set the tone for everything that follows tonight. I want to talk directly.

To the American people. As Speaker of the House, my ultimate responsibility. Is not to my party. My conference. Or even our Congress, my responsibility.

Our responsibility is to our country. Two months ago. You voted for a new direction for our country. You embraced our commitment to America. And now we're going to keep our commitment to you.

It's a commitment for an economy that's strong. Where you could fill up. Your tank of gas and feed your family where paychecks grow and not shrink. It's a commitment for a nation that's safe where communities are protected. Law enforcement is respected and criminals are prosecuted.

A commitment for the future that's built on freedom. Where children come first and are taught to dream big. Because in America. Dreams can still come true. A commitment for a government that is held accountable.

Where Americans get the answers they want, need, and deserve. Our system is built on checks and balances. It's time for us to be a check and provide some balance to the president's policies. There is nothing more important than making it possible for American families to live and enjoy the lives they deserve. That is why we commit to stop wasteful Washington spending, to lower the price of groceries, gas, cars, housing. And stop the rising national debt. We pledge to cut the regulatory burden.

Lower energy costs for families. And create good paying jobs for workers by unleashing reliable, abundant American made energy. I know the night is late. But when we come back, our very first bill. Really appeal the funding for 87,000 new I.

You see? We believe government should be to help you, not go after you. We're gonna pass bills to fix the nation's earns challenges from wide open southern borders. To American last energy policies to woke indoctrination in our schools. Will also address America's long-term challenges, the debt.

And the rise of the Chinese Communist Party. Congress must speak with one voice on both of these issues. This is why we will end wasteful Washington spending. From now on. If a federal bureaucrat wants to spend it.

They will come before us. To defend it. As for the Chinese Communist Party? We will create a bipartisan Select Committee on China. To investigate how to bring back the hundreds of thousands of jobs that went to China.

And then we will win this economic competition. Now, Speaking of committees. We will hold the swamp accountable from the withdrawal of Afghanistan. To the origins of COVID and to the weaponization of the FBI. Let me be very clear.

We will use the power of the purse and the power of the subpoena to get the job done. This is something we should all agree upon. We will stand up and speak out. For the backbone of our economy. The hard working taxpayer.

It's night time here in Washington, but in some ways it's also like a new beginning. A fresh start, my friends. This chamber. Is now fully open for all Americans to visit. I want to give all Americans a personal invitation. You are welcome.

To see this body at work. No longer will the doors be closed. But the debates will be open for you to witness what happens in the People's House. From the committee rooms to this floor, we commit to pursue. The truth passionately. And embrace debate.

No more 1 sided inquiries. Competing ideas? Will be put to the test in public. So that the best ideas win. But we also pledge to bring Congress to the people.

Because answers have not. And will not always be found in Washington. That's why one of our very first hearings. Will be held on the southern border. No more ignoring a crisis of safety and sovereignty.

We must secure our border. We must get America back on track. Now on a personal note. To my family. Here and at home.

To Judy, Megan, Connor, Emily. My brother, mark. Monica. Zach. And yes, my mom, Burt. I am where I am. Because you are who you are.

You can stay. Not also like to thank my constituents. In California Central Valley. Yes, and especially in my hometown of Bakersfield. I don't know if you're familiar with music.

But as Buck Owens sings. How many of you? That sit and judge me have ever walked the streets of Bakersfield. Well, I've walked those streets my entire life. I know it's people. They're hardworking and relentless optimistic about our future.

And I'm very honored. To have the opportunity to represent them. I am a son of a firefighter. I saw first hand. What it means to have hard work? Leadership.

And service to others. Can change people's lives, and that is exactly why we are here today. To serve you, the people. We come here with the support of our families and the faith of our neighbors. To be their voice in Washington.

For all the wives and husbands, children and parents. Who are watching a loved one to be sworn in. I knew it took a couple extra days. I'll be honest, it's not how I had it planned. I want you to remember this moment.

Take it in. Your loved ones are about to make history. My colleagues and I thank you for your understanding. And your sacrifice? And we will work every day to make you proud.

My most favorite spot in this building. Is not in this Chamber. It's in the chamber they met before in Statuary Hall. It's my favorite place to take people on a tour. You see, it's where Abraham Lincoln served.

Just a one term congressman sat in the back. I like to go to that spot and I like to stand where he stood. I like to do it at night when people aren't around. I like to look over and look at the clock. Because that's the same clock and same view that Abraham Lincoln saw.

I've watched Lincoln serve and the greatest challenge to our constitution, the Civil War. I watched him take peoples who were rivals. And put them together. I watched in a time that he did not know if a nation could sustain itself. But he dreamt of a future and built a railroad across the nation. I want us to all take a moment, one time that you were here.

I want you to stand there. I want you to look. And I want you to thank. If America could do it then. We can do it now one more time. You know, Abraham Lincoln gave his life and service to this country.

What is most important observations about America applies today. As much as it did 160 years ago. He said we are striving. To maintain the government and institutions of our fathers. And to transmit them to our children.

And our children's. Children's forever. My fellow Americans, that is still our mission today. This moment calls for restoring trust within our country. And with each other. In that spirit.

I will work with anyone and everyone. Who shares our passion? To deliver a better future for the nation. I hope you'll join me. As a Congress.

We can only operate. If we cooperate. My door will be open. I'd like you to come by. I want you to see, as you walk down the hall, a large portrait of Lincoln.

Want you to go into that conference room? I want you to see another portrait. My Members know of this. It's of Washington crossing the Delaware. You all know the story. It happened on Christmas 1776.

There was no iPhone to take a picture. People wonder when it was painted. It wasn't painted by someone who was there. It was painted in 1850 and 1851. He was an immigrant who lived in America, Emmanuel Lenz.

You know why he painted it? Because he knew America was more than a country. America was an idea. He went home to Germany. And he wanted Germany to have a revolution based upon the values and freedoms. That we defend every day.

His talent was art. So he believed if he painted this painting, he could inspire his countrymen to rise up. For the idea of freedom. While many historians will tell you he didn't get it correct. They'll tell you Washington crossed on a Durham boat.

But he paints it. With Washington in a rowboat. You see 13 people, but only twelve faces. You see Washington standing up in a rowboat in the middle of winter, wearing a ceremonial uniform with his hand on his chest. He looks so stoic. You would look at that man, you'd say. I follow him anywhere you probably believe.

That he never lost the battle. But history would tell us at that moment, at that time, he had only lost. We had never won. You see, that was the night of our first victory as a nation. When we surprised the Hessians. But when you look at that painting.

Don't look at Washington. I want you to look at who's in the boat. You see? The second rower in the beret? He's Scottish. The person directly across from him, the green rowing in the exact same cadence.

It's an African American. You come down right to the middle in the red. The person who's rowing the strongest is a woman. And in the very back is a Native American. I don't know from a historic fact if they were in the boat that night. But to this young immigrant who had lived in America, that's who he believed would be in the boat.

The second to last person is a farmer. He could be from Bakersfield, not sure. His hand goes across his face. People debate this part. But what I see?

There's a hand of the 13th person nobody sees. You see, what I believe Emmanuel is saying is. Here we are. Battling. For the creation of the idea of freedom.

That every individual is equal, not a perfect nation, but striving to be a more perfect union, having lost every battle against the greatest challenge with the strongest nation. Having lost them all, but willing to do it on our holiest of nights. With a hand reached out and asking if you would join us. That's as true today as it was then. If we let everybody in the boat.

If we rode in the same cadence together, there is no obstacle this body can overcome for this nation. It is time for us to be the voice. And worthy of their vote. Let me close with this. I may not know all of you. Some of you are new.

But I hope one thing is clear after this week. I never give up. And I make this promise. I'll never give up for you, the American people. And I will never give up on keeping our commitment to America.

Our nation is worth fighting for. Our rights are worth fighting for. Our dreams are worth fighting for. Our future is worth fighting for. Therefore. With love for this country. And charity for each other. Let us now take our oath.

And be worthy of the office on which we are about to enter. God bless everybody in this Chamber, and God Bless America.

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