- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 13, 2001

Excerpts from House Majority Leader Dick Armey's speech yesterday announcing he would not seek re-election:

Mr. Speaker, at the end of this Congress I will have served 18 years in the United States House of Representatives. I thank the good people of the 26th Congressional District of Texas who, nine times, elected me to represent them in this body.
How very privileged I am to have been given the trust, responsibility, and opportunity to serve the values I share with those good people faith, freedom, safety, security and peace in that order. Mr. Speaker, I have come to love this place. It is the most marvelous democratic institution in the history of the world.
It is more than a place. It is "We, The People" working, each in our own way, "to secure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity."
And in my time here we have managed to secure many blessings of liberty.
We have been instruments of the American people during a special period when America led the world in a "freedom revolution." As a lesson in how freedom works, we whipped stagflation and set a course of economic prosperity and growth unparalleled in the history of the world.
Mr. Speaker, during my 17 years in this body, America halted the march of communism in our hemisphere. We inspired the demise of its tyranny in Eastern Europe. The Cold War ended on our terms. The Soviet Union collapsed. The Berlin Wall fell. We won the Gulf war. And, as we speak, we are removing the scourge of terrorism from the globe. Peace through strength and supply-side economics changed the world for the better.
Because the American people champion liberty, more people in the world live free today than at any time in history. Yet, there is more to be done and it is America who will lead the way.
Once again we see new marvels, deriving from American creativity and hard work. Today we see a renewal of faith in God that lifts our hearts in America. There is a renewal of patriotism that vindicates the faith of our fathers and the sacrifices of our heroes. America is a good nation where blessings endure and difficulties pass.
Mr. Speaker, I am sad to say what we all know too well: That too often, our service to our nation is a disservice to our family. To our spouses, our years of service seem an unbroken string of broken promises and disappointments. Our husbands and wives are too often excluded from what we do. They live a life of hardship rarely supposed and even less understood. It's as if they are single parents.
But, here is the good news: Throughout all the difficulties that only we who serve here can understand, I have kept the love of a good woman. And I have kept my love for her just as it was on the day we were wed. Just as she has always been, my darling wife Susan is here with me today from our home in Texas, and I want to thank her for her years of sacrifice.
Mr. Speaker, my first lesson in politics was "good policy makes good politics." I believe that and I believe this Republican majority makes good policy. That is why the American people elected us to the majority. That is why I know they will do so again for the next Congress. I have no doubt about it.
To my Republican colleagues, we should be proud of what we have done in our young majority. Twice now we have lowered the tax burden on America's working families and put them more in charge of their hard-earned dollars.
We reformed a failed welfare system in a way that has saved families. We honored the American people's prosperity by our spending restraint. And we turned government deficits into hard won surpluses, which we must now hold.

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