Sen. Pat Roberts reflects on his congressional career

Published: Dec. 10, 2020 at 3:16 PM CST
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) will become the longest serving member of Congress in Kansas state history.

Thursday, the 84-year old congressman delivered his farewell address on the floor of the U.S. Senate.

Sen. Roberts was elected to the U.S House of Representatives in 1980. He was then elected to the U.S Senate in 1996.

During his tenure, he became the first person to chair both the House and the Senate agriculture committees. He was involved in the passing of eight separate farm bills.

During his speech, Roberts reflected on his political journey. He spoke fondly of his involvement in the creation of the Eisenhower Memorial in Washington D.C. He talked of meeting President Eisenhower when he was just 14-years old.

“That means a lot to me because of my background with my dad,” said Roberts.  “When Ike won the nomination on the first ballot in the 52′ convention and went on to become president.”

Looking ahead, Roberts admits there’s more work to be done, especially on the topics of agriculture and economic relief. When it comes to the next phase of coronavirus relief, Roberts says he is optimistic Congress will come to an agreement before his term comes to an end.

“I just think we have to work overtime and know there are no easy answers to this,” he said.  “I think we are making great progress.”

Even though, he says, the future may look bleak, Senator Roberts left the chamber sharing some sunflower state wisdom.

“We don’t let disasters define us,” he said. “We grab our boot straps and get to work.”

Sen.-elect Roger Marshall will take over Sen. Roberts’ seat. Marshall will be taking his oath of office in early January.

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