In his Maiden Speech, Tuberville thanks people of Alabama, places an emphasis on education, lays out path forward
WASHINGTON —U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) today delivered his Maiden Speech on the floor of the United States Senate. In his remarks, Senator Tuberville thanks to the people of Alabama, speaks to his background as an educator and mentor, and looks forward to service as Senator for Alabamians. Excerpts from his remarks can be found below and the full speech can be viewed here.
On Appreciation for Alabama:
“I want to take a moment to thank the people of Alabama. For the last two years, I have travelled the state. From Mobile to Muscle Shoals. From the Wiregrass to Lake Guntersville. And a whole lot of places in between. I talked to folks from all walks of life. Mostly, I listened, which is something we can all do better.”
“In the end, I asked the people of Alabama to trust me with the responsibility of representing them here in Washington. And they did. It’s humbling. It’s an opportunity to serve my country that I respect, cherish, and will always honor. My staff and I will work hard every day to live up to that trust.”
On His Background as an Educator and Mentor:
“I’ve been an educator, a coach, and a mentor to young people for 40 years. I recruited 18- and 19-year-olds from all over the country and all walks of life. I saw how they lived. I was a father-figure to hundreds of young men who had one or no parents. I coached young people from all backgrounds – rich, poor, and everybody in between. I mentored young people of all races, religions, and economic backgrounds. And, as someone who has had a chance to travel across the country, and this globe, for my career – I’ve seen how other people live.
“One thing I’ve learned, is that education is the key to freedom. Freedom to live the life you want. I’ve seen firsthand how education can give you a leg up and a way out. It’s a way to achieve the American Dream. When we empower our young people with a quality education, we give them the gift of an opportunity — the greatest gift our country can give our citizens. And what I’ve found as a Coach is that when people are given an opportunity to better themselves, they usually take it.”
On the Importance of Education to our Country’s Future:
“I found that we are failing our young people by not providing the quality education they deserve. It is not about money. It is about people. It is about what we value and what we each. Improving education in this country should be one of, if not the, top priorities we have. That is why I am proud to be a new member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee.
“On the HELP committee, we need to work together – as a team – to do three things: first, we need to recognize that parents and teachers know how to best educate our young people in their community because we’re all different… We do not need a one-size-fits all education curriculum. What works in San Francisco will not necessarily work in Scottsboro, Alabama.
“Second, we should recognize that education takes many forms. Not every student in America needs to go to a four-year college or university.
To ensure our country remains competitive in the 21st century, we need to promote STEM education to those students who have an interest in math and science. But, to remain strong, this country also needs welders, plumbers, nurses, equipment operators, electricians, and craftsmen. These jobs have excellent pay and great futures.
“If the Democrats want to pass a massive infrastructure bill, they need to first ask: ‘who’s going to build it?’ That’s why I’ll be looking for any opportunity to support career technical programs that prepare a skilled workforce.
“And number three: we’ve got to start teaching our young people moral values again. That starts with putting God and prayer back in schools.”
“Education and athletics teaches you how to compete – how to have grit, determination, and to work together as a team. Now, you can learn everything you want from books – but if you don’t learn how to persevere and compete, it’s hard to succeed.”
“This country only owes you one thing – and that’s an opportunity. But, what’s great about this country is that it also gives you the opportunity to fail. And that may sound a little funny coming from a football coach who has spent his entire career trying to win. But here – in this country – if you fail, this country will give you a chance to get off your feet and try to succeed again.”
“I look forward to getting down to work, and returning education to one of our top priorities.”
Senator Tommy Tuberville represents Alabama in United States Senate and is a member of the Senate Armed Services, Agriculture, Veterans’ Affairs, and HELP Committees.