WASHINGTON (WTVF/AP) — Retiring U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R -- Tenn.) gave his farewell address from the Senate floor Wednesday morning, urging for a "change of behavior" and asked his colleagues to stop blocking each other's amendments.
Alexander is retiring after more than 40 years in public service. In his farewell address to the Senate, Alexander said: “It’s hard to get here, it’s hard to stay here, and while we’re here we might as well try to accomplish something good for the country."
He advised his colleagues to seek broadly backed, durable solutions to the nation’s problems rather than succumb to easy partisanship. The three-term Republican had his most noteworthy success on education and health policy over the 18-year tenure, becoming a beloved bipartisan figure in an increasingly polarized, dysfunctional Senate.
Alexander's career began in 1978 when he famously walked more than 1,000 miles across Tennessee to make his case to be governor. He served two terms, and later took the helm at the University of Tennessee. He also served as President George H.W. Bush’s Secretary of Education.
Alexander has been in the Senate since 2002.