Alabama delegation reacts to John Boehner resignation

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John Boehner, the 13-term Ohio Congressman who led the Republican party to an impressive House majority in 2010 and again in 2012, announced he’s stepping down as Speaker of the House and will resign from Congress at the end of October.

Boehner, who has presided over the House since 2011, shocked his Republican colleagues early Friday when he announced his decision in a closed-door meeting. Boehner told the room he had only planned to serve in Congress until the end of last year, but quickly changed his plans when former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) unexpectedly lost his seat.

“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,” Boehner said in a statement. “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.”

Alabama delegation reactions to Boehner’s abrupt announcement:

U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne (AL-01):

I want to thank Speaker Boehner for his service to Congress and our nation. Now is the time for our Republican Conference to put our differences aside and unite behind a leader who not only helps push back against the Obama agenda but who also offers conservative solutions to solve problems facing the American people.

U.S. Rep. Martha Roby (AL-02):

Speaker Boehner is a truly humble man who cares deeply for this institution. Indeed, Speaker Boehner worked hard to restore honor and integrity to the ‘People’s House.’ I appreciate his service to this country and wish him well in his much-deserved retirement.

The selection of the next Speaker is a very important decision. The Speaker of the House serves not only as the leader of our Republican Conference but of the entire House of Representatives and is second in line to the Presidency. I will be looking for someone to step forward who can boldly advance our agenda of conservative solutions while effectively managing the House in an incredibly fractious environment.

That decision will take place more than a month from now within the House Republican Conference. In the meantime, we have serious budget issues to deal with, and that remains my primary focus.

U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers (AL-03):

Although I have had concerns about John Boehner’s time as Speaker, I appreciate the work he has done and acknowledge the tough position he was in. I think changing leaders mid-Congress is a terrible precedent for the institution of the House of Representatives, but I am confident we will find a very able replacement for Speaker soon. I wish Mr. Boehner the best in his retirement.

U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer (AL-06):

Speaker Boehner’s decision to step down as Speaker is an extraordinary act of leadership.  He did something that is very rare in politics, and among others who hold power: he voluntarily gave it up. In doing so, he put what was in the best interest of the people he was leading ahead of his own interests.  And it is for this that he should be remembered.

Be sure to check back for updates — Alabama Today will continue to update as reactions come in.

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