- - Friday, September 25, 2015

The shock resignation of House Speaker provoked a range of reactions on Capitol Hill and around the political world. A sampling:

“The first job of any Speaker is to protect this institution that we all love. It was my plan to only serve as Speaker until the end of last year, but I stayed on to provide continuity to the Republican Conference and the House. It is my view, however, that prolonged leadership turmoil would do irreparable damage to the institution. To that end, I will resign the Speakership and my seat in Congress on October 30.”

— House Speaker John Boehner, in his resignation statement

“The Speaker’s resignation is a stark indication of the disarray of the House Republicans, a demonstration of their obsession with shutting down the government at the expense of women’s health and a sign of the failure of the House Republicans to be willing to engage in dialogue for the good of the American people.”

— House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat

“I like John Boehner and I am sorry it is happening. I hope it is a lesson to us and the Republican Party. … Let’s sit down with the wings of the party and understand who the adversary is. We are all Republicans. Lets stop fighting with each other.”

— Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican

“I am eternally grateful for the steady, principled leadership Speaker Boehner has provided the House, and for the friendship and mentorship he’s given me. There is no Speaker in history who has done more to defend innocent human life, to combat a lawless executive branch, and to advance a conservative governing vision for our country. His humility, patriotism, and commitment to our values will be deeply missed.”

— House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, Louisiana Republican

“Speaker John Boehner is a decent, principled conservative man who tried to do the right thing under almost impossible circumstances. He will be missed by Republicans and Democrats alike. Let us hope the Republican majority, which Speaker Boehner played a large role in creating, learns the right lesson from his resignation: to work with Democrats in a constructive way, rather than let a handful of extreme right-wingers dictate his party’s policy.”

— Senator Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat

“This was an act of pure selflessness. John’s decades of service have helped move our country forward, and I deeply value his friendship. We will miss John, and I am confident our conference will elect leaders who are capable of meeting the challenges our nation faces.”

— House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Republican

“I wasn’t always happy with what Speaker Boehner told me, but he never, ever misled me. He never told me something that wasn’t true. By ousting a good man like Speaker Boehner — someone who understood the art of compromise — the party of Eisenhower and Reagan is no more.”

— Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat

“Grace under pressure. Country and institution before self. These are the first things that come to mind when I think of John Boehner. He is an ally. He is a friend. And he took over as Republican Leader at a difficult time for his party. When some said Republicans could never recover, he never gave up. When some gave in to defeatism, he kept up the fight. Because he did, Speaker Boehner was able to transform a broken and dispirited Republican minority into the largest Republican majority since the 1920s. That’s a legacy few can match.”

— Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican

“Americans deserve a Congress that fights for opportunity for all and favoritism to none,” said Michael A. Needham, the chief executive of Heritage Action, a policy arm of the conservative Heritage Foundation. “Too often, Speaker Boehner has stood in the way. Today’s announcement is a sign that the voice of the American people is breaking through in Washington.”

— Michael A. Needham, chief executive of Heritage Action, a policy arm of the Heritage Foundation

“Speaker John Boehner has been a dedicated ally in the fight to protect the most vulnerable members of our society. Throughout his career in the U.S. House, and most especially his tenure as speaker, he has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the cause of life.”

— Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life

“At the beginning of the year, conservatives were mocked for trying to oust Boehner from the speakership. Now we see that punishing principled members didn’t work. This brings a new era of members being responsive to their constituents and upholding their promises.”

— Adam Brandon, CEO of the FreedomWorks, a leading tea party organization

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