WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - UPDATE: Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) spoke for the last time on the Senate Floor Wednesday, December 9 as he bid farewell to three years on Capitol Hill.
Jones spoke of working with fellow lawmakers from both sides of the aisle to get things accomplished for Americans and for Alabamians. Jones sounded emotional at the end of the speech. He received a round of applause from fellow senators.
Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) followed Jones’ 30-minute speech with his own short speech wishing Jones well.
Shelby also said he thinks we will hear more from Jones in the coming weeks and months ahead and he said, “I certainly hope so, he’s got a lot to give.”
As Capitol Hill is being prepared for a new Congress to begin, some lawmakers are on their way out. Some are stepping down, others, like Senator Doug Jones (D-AL), are leaving after losing a reelection bid. But while the senator is making his Capitol Hill exit, there is speculation he might not be going far.
A term that lasted just three years is coming to an end as Sen.-elect Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) takes his place.
“I have no regrets. This has been a great ride for me,” said Jones.
The ride began in early 2018 after beating controversial Republican candidate Roy Moore in a 2017 special election to fill a seat once held by Jeff Sessions. Republicans immediately circled that seat as one they wanted back from Democrats, and Jones fell victim to that effort on Election Day earlier this month. But he says he does not look back on his time in the Senate or on the campaign trail wishing he catered more to the conservative base in Alabama.
“To appeal to different people, to appeal to this or that, you have to compromise your principles and you compromise who you are and that’s just not the way I approached this job,” said Jones.
Jones notes his work on Capitol Hill is not quite finished. During this “lame duck” period, he is hopeful a COVID-19 relief package is passed, in addition to military funding and a broader government spending package. But come January, he passes the torch to Tuberville.
“He is his own man and he will do as he perceives his job to do it the right way. Whether or not I’ll agree with it is not really important at this point,” said Jones.
The next chapter for Jones is an open question. As a former U.S. Attorney, who prosecuted the high-profile 16th Street Baptist Church bombing case in Alabama, Jones has been mentioned as a potential fit to become the next U.S. Attorney General in the Biden administration. Jones is keeping his cards close to his chest on the rumor.
“I’ve known (President-elect) Joe Biden for 40 years. I want to see him succeed,” said Jones. “If I can help in any way to help him succeed then we’ll look at that.”
Jones would not say whether he would accept any position offered to him from the Biden administration. His final day in the U.S. Senate is slated for the first week in January.