Sen. Lott (R-Miss.) Announces He Will Resign By the Year's End

CQ Transcripts Wire
Monday, November 26, 2007; 1:16 PM

SENATE MINORITY WHIP TRENT LOTT: Tricia and I have had wonderful experiences. It's been such a pleasure to serve the good people in this state and to work on things that are important to our country and even issues that involve the world.

And for a boy from Pascagoula, Mississippi, it's been quite a wild ride, but a very enjoyable one, and one that I'm proud of.

I want to also say to my colleagues in the House and the Senate that I thank them, too, for allowing me to serve in leadership positions in the House and the Senate and being able to work on issues that are important to all of us.

I still feel very strongly about the role of the federal government and having a strong national defense. I still feel very strongly about fiscal responsibility, trying to find some way to control spending.

We've not always done a great job of that, of late, but I still think that that's one of the key responsibilities of members of Congress, House and Senate.

I've been very committed, as you know, to jobs creation and all that goes into being able to create more and better jobs in Mississippi, including better education. And I focused in that area -- in the higher education area -- where the federal government really can be helpful and does have a role.

And, of course, improved infrastructure: One of the things that struck me when I started back in the '70s as a congressman, and then as I went though North Mississippi in the '80s and '90s as a senator, was the poor quality of our infrastructure -- our industrial sites, our roads, our airports, our ports and harbors. And I really felt that we needed to do more in that area, and I focused on it.

I think we made a lot of progress in those areas, and I'll keep working on that till the last day I serve in the Senate. And the last day I'm alive because I am just so committed to this state and the people of this state and to having a better quality of life for all of our people.

But Trish and I have decided it's time for us to do something else. We went to First Baptist Church recently in Jackson. I must say, we were up there and we went to First Baptist Jackson and the pastor there, Stan Buckley, just happened to preach on Ecclesiastes 3:1.

"There's a time for everything and everything -- a special time for everything under heaven": I believe that's the paraphrase, but he just seemed to be speaking to me and to us.

We've had this great experience for these 35 years, but we do think that there is time left for us to maybe do something else. We had 30 members of our family for Thanksgiving dinner, children, grandchildren, cousins, and aunts and uncles, and I just realized once again, you know, I've missed a lot of those opportunities to spend extra time with family. We'd like to have a little more time to do that, too.

So I am announcing today that I will be retiring from the Senate by the end of the year. It's not effective today. I want to collaborate and consult with our governor, state officials, and with federal officials, and I want to continue to serve in my position as whip in the Senate right to the end of the session and try to be helpful there as much as I can.

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