I’ve been in Washington for almost 40 years. I’ve seen a lot of Congresses come and go. But I can’t remember a group of lawmakers who accomplished more than the folks who just wrapped up their work.
With their help, we repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and ratified the START arms control treaty. We passed a new law to rein in the abuses on Wall Street and protect consumers. We reformed the health care system and passed the Recovery Act to get our economy growing again.
But do you know why all that happened? Because people like you rolled up your sleeves, dug deep, and decided to make a difference. We had a dedicated group of lawmakers — no doubt — but they were supported every step of the way by folks from all across this country who were ready for change. People like you.
I know how much that means to me. And I can’t even begin tell you how much it means to the President.
So here’s the deal: President Obama wants to send you a note to express how grateful we are for all you did.
Would you like to receive one?
Two years ago, we were staring into an abyss. The financial crisis was the worst this country has faced since the Great Depression.
But this Congress passed the largest set of tax cuts for the middle class since President Reagan, the largest education reform since President Johnson, the largest infrastructure investment since President Eisenhower, and the largest clean-energy bill ever.
Now — even though we still have a ways to go — the economy is growing again.
Prior to this Congress, lawmakers had talked about reforming health care for almost a century. But with the President leading the way, these folks went out, and — with you at their side — they did it. Now 32 million more Americans will have access to health coverage.
When we came into office, just about the entire country had come to realize that “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was wrong. More than 14,000 brave men and women had been discharged simply because of who they were. With your help, we struck down that law and made this country a more just place.
Every lawmaker who worked to accomplish these things will talk about their votes — and the role they played in this progress — for years. The President and I take great pride in those achievements. But each one belongs to you. You believed in them, you fought for them, and we’re darn grateful.
Thank you — for everything,