The first time I came to work in the United States Senate was not as a United States Senator but as an intern.
A college sophomore, I believed the Senate was a place to turn activism into action. I went to work as a summer intern for my homestate Senator, California’s Alan Cranston, in the very same office I returned to more than 30 years later.
Serving as your Senator has been an honor.
The past four years have tested us as a nation. Even before I was sworn in we knew that foreign adversaries had interfered in the 2016 election. Soon thereafter, families were being separated at the border, and our work to combat climate change was being dismantled. Since then, three Supreme Court nominees have come before the Senate Judiciary committee on which I have sat. Wildfires have ravaged our state, racial injustice continues to plague our nation, and COVID-19 plagues the world.
This month, we witnessed something I thought I would never see in the United States: A mob breached the U.S. Capitol, trying to thwart the certification of the 2020 election results. The violence made clear that we have two systems of justice—one that failed to restrain the rioters on January 6 and another that released tear gas on non-violent demonstrators last summer.
These have not been easy times by any stretch.
I am proud that, through it all, my office has maintained its focus, working tirelessly for the people of California.
From helping seniors navigate the Medicare system to helping veterans get the benefits they are owed, from securing funding for families to rebuild after the wildfires to working to get small businesses what they need to stay afloat—my team heard you, we saw you, and we fought for you. Thank you, California, for that privilege. Know that Alex Padilla will carry on this work.
And this is not goodbye.
Today, as I resign from the Senate, I am preparing to take an oath that would have me preside over it.
Since our nation’s founding, only 268 tie-breaking votes have been cast by a Vice President. I intend to work tirelessly as your Vice President, including, if necessary, fulfilling this Constitutional duty. At the same time, it is my hope that rather than come to the point of a tie, the Senate will instead find common ground and do the work of the American people.