Outgoing Rep. Joe KennedyJoseph (Joe) Patrick KennedySupreme Court confounding its partisan critics Warren says she'll run for reelection to Senate Five centrist Democrats oppose Pelosi for Speaker in tight vote MORE III (D-Mass.) shared a farewell speech from the House floor on Wednesday before preparing to leave the position he called an "honor of a lifetime."
Kennedy, a presence in the House since 2013, opted to embark on a Senate run this year instead of running for re-election. He relinquished his seat in Congress in his bid for Senate, which ultimately ended in a primary defeat by incumbent Sen. Ed MarkeyEd MarkeyOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Senate Democrats ding Biden energy proposal Six Democrats blast Energy Department's uranium reserve pitch Facebook draws lawmaker scrutiny over Instagram's impact on teens MORE (D-Mass.).
The four-term congressman's departure means the end of a long run for a political dynasty -- a Kennedy has been in Congress almost consistently since 1946, the New York Times reports.
.@RepJoeKennedy: "We are in this mess together, whether we like it or not... I hope that a new generation of Americans will rise knowing that the people's House stands tall for them." pic.twitter.com/WU25PktT9p— The Hill (@thehill) December 9, 2020
During his final address to Congress, Kennedy said he's exiting feeling "proud and hopeful" of his country.
Although the United States has made progress, "Our arc isn’t clean, but it is clear," when it comes to wrongdoings of the past, he said.
"We are a complicated and messy country," Kennedy said, adding that historically Americans have valued rich, white men. Each generation, he said, has had to tackle that narrative and work to heal the wounds of the past.
"We are in this mess together, whether we like it or not."
In his final words, Kennedy called for unity, inclusion and acceptance, among lawmakers and their constituents alike.
"Our future is big and bright, but it will take everything and everyone to achieve it. I hope that a new generation of Americans will rise knowing that the people's House stands tall for them."