Retiring Rep. Kennedy Says Greed Hinders Aid to Needy

December 9, 2020

WASHINGTON — Retiring Rep. Joe Kennedy III used his farewell speech from Congress on Wednesday to deride the "great lie of our times" that the government lacks the resources and will to help people in need. He said the real problem is greed, not scarcity. 

Speaking for five minutes on the House floor, Kennedy, D-Mass., called his four terms in Congress an honor and said he was departing "proud and hopeful."

But the only remaining member in Congress of the vaunted Kennedy political dynasty also said the U.S. was "a complicated and messy country." He said it had "violated our founding promises before the ink was dry," citing slavery and rights that initially applied largely to "rich, white and Protestant men."

Kennedy, 40, said the country was gradually making progress, saying, "Our arc isn't clean, but it is clear." 

But without mentioning names or political parties, he called that progress "the counterweight to the great lie of our times: that the American pie is finite. That for my family to survive, yours must suffer. That the richest nation on Earth is somehow plagued by scarcity – rather than greed."

He added, "Loosening that lie's grip on our country is the work of our generation. For the people who feel unseen, unheard and unpresented. For those most in need of assistance and protection, justice and opportunity, who have been told by their government that there is just no room or money or time or will. And that injustice is a reality etched in stone, rather than a deliberate choice by those in power, about who is worthy and who is not."

Kennedy's remarks came three months after many progressives in his party opposed him in a Democratic primary in which he unsuccessfully challenged long-time liberal Sen. Ed Markey, 74. For decades, lawmakers from Kennedy's family have been associated with some of the most progressive causes of their day. 

The departing lawmaker did not say what he will do after leaving Congress.

Kennedy is the grandson of the late Sen. Robert Kennedy, D-N.Y., who was assassinated in 1968. A member of that Kennedy family has been in Congress with little interruption since Robert Kennedy's brother, the future President John F. Kennedy, entered the House from Massachusetts in 1947.

Current Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., is not related to that family


WASHINGTON — In a rebuff to former President Donald Trump, the Supreme Court is allowing the release of presidential documents sought by the congressional committee investigating the Jan 6 insurrection.

Top Stories


NEW YORK - Some 21 years after it was destroyed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States that brought down the Twin Towers in New York City, the new St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church rising in its place is among the most eagerly awaited architectural openings of 2022.


STATEN ISLAND, NY – For yet another year, the community of Holy Trinity-St Nicholas in Staten Island honored couples celebrating 50+ years of marriage with a modest ceremony held at the church immediately following the Divine Liturgy on January 16.


NEW YORK – New research into Greek artifacts looted by the Nazis was highlighted in the New York Times on January 18 as “the topic of the Nazi role in antiquities looting is increasingly drawing attention, in part through the work of scholars who are peeling back the mysteries of what happened to the objects that were excavated or seized eight decades ago.


SNF’s Health Initiative Will Support Child and Adolescent Mental Health

ATHENS - When we think about childhood injuries, we usually think of scratches, a few stitches, maybe even a broken bone.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.