Ella Terry and Miss Pat Retirement Tribute

Floor Speech

Date: Dec. 13, 2022
Location: Washington, DC


Ms. PELOSI. Mr. Speaker, it is with great joy and great pride that I rise to celebrate two longtime members of our congressional community-- indeed our family--as they prepare for retirement: Ella Terry and Patricia Smith, better known as Miss Pat.

On behalf of the United States House of Representatives, it is my privilege to extend our deepest thanks and appreciation for their decades of service. With extraordinary devotion and a deep-seated love for this institution, each has served the Congress longer than most Members. That is reason to applaud.

Ahead of their well-earned retirements, let us wish them both well. It is sad to see them go, but we are grateful for their many, many years of service they have given us.

On our side of the aisle, we all know that Ella Terry has worked in the House Democratic cloakroom since the dawn of the millennium in January of 2000, after working for more than a decade in the Capitol Coffee Shop. She knows our preferences.

Altogether, she has dutifully served on Capitol Hill for 34 years. She has a warm, caring, steadfast presence, a sunny smile, no matter how arduous things may be going on the floor or the cloakroom.

With Ella, no one is a stranger, everyone is a friend. She is a bedrock member of our family here in the House.

When Congresswoman Gabby Giffords first returned to the floor after the heinous attack on her life, Ella embraced Gabby and told her through tears: I am so proud of you. Gabby was so proud of you, too.

The late Congressman Elijah Cummings once told his colleagues: Ms. Ella is my personal adviser. And since he was personal adviser to the rest of us, we are all in your debt for your advice to him.

Thank you to Ella's daughter, Tawanna, who is here, and granddaughter, Christina, thank you for being with us; and to your entire family for sharing her with us for so many years.

Across the aisle, Miss Pat has brought that same unwavering dedication to her service in the House Republican cloakroom.

For nearly five decades, Miss Pat has been a cherished colleague in the Capitol; first in the House dining room and in the Longworth House Office Building, and then for 36 years just off the floor of the House.

A remarkable friend to all those privileged enough to work alongside her, she has been a daily blessing to this Chamber.

The House is also grateful to Miss Pat's loving family, especially her two daughters, Nikoshia and Bianca, and her beloved granddaughter, Lauren.

The House of Representatives is a brighter, more joyful place in which we serve, thanks to Ella and Miss Pat. These patriots reflect the highest ideals of public service; a joyful commitment to others, a profound love for our country, and a lifelong reverence for the Congress.

Their service, their kindness, and their friendship will be long- remembered by the countless Members and staff they have served over the years.

Let us join in thanking Ella and thanking Miss Pat, and best wishes for new adventures that lie ahead for you. Congratulations.

Mr. Speaker, it is my honor to yield to the distinguished gentleman from California (Mr. McCarthy), the Republican leader.


Ms. PELOSI. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield back the balance of my time as we end our tribute to two great Americans, members of our families, Miss Pat and Ella Terry. Thank you all so much.