Retiring Sen. Jim Bunning — who spent more than 20 years in Congress — gave an emotional goodbye to the upper chamber, but not before criticizing Democrats as "stubborn."
The Kentucky Republican swung at Democrats for pursuing the massive healthcare overhaul and the financial regulatory reform package, which he said were "disappointments" that will cause more problems than they will solve.
Bunning, a staunch conservative, blamed the Democrats' "stubborn refusal to compromise" for the outcome of the healthcare law and said the Wall Street reform effort "almost certainly sows the seeds for the next banking and financial crisis."
He also took aim at the Federal Reserve, which he has for years criticized for possessing too much power. He urged Congress to crack down on the Federal Reserve before it "permanently damages our economy and the financial system," but he expressed happiness that "public awareness of what the Fed is doing is increasing [and] public opinion of the Fed is falling."
Bunning's successor, Rand Paul (R), is also a staunch critic of the Fed.
Even though he took several political jabs in his speech, Bunning, who gained a reputation as a surly lone wolf, choked up when speaking about his wife Mary Catherine, whom he described as "my better half," and their nine children.
"I'm gratified, despite the ups and downs, to have the opportunity to serve our country and the commonwealth of Kentucky," he said.
Bunning did not miss a chance to mention his previous career as a Hall of Fame Major League Baseball pitcher, saying he gained much of his life experience when working during the offseason.
"That's back when baseball players did not make millions of dollars per year and had to [get jobs to earn money]," he said.