RAW: House Speaker John Boehner briefs media on details of his s - WDRB 41 Louisville News

RAW: House Speaker John Boehner briefs media on details of his surprise decision to resign

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- In a stunning move, House Speaker John Boehner informed Republicans that he would step down at the end of October.

Rep. John Mica said Friday that Boehner "just does not want to become the issue. Some people have tried to make him the issue both in Congress and outside."

Boehner took over the speakership in January 2011.

Late Thursday morning, U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell issued a statement on Boehner's decision. The text of that statement:

"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.

He flew across the country more times than he can count to support members of his conference, and to recruit new members to the cause. As leader of a new majority, he turned the tide in Congress and brought conservative reform in many areas. He worked tirelessly to provide hope to those who dreamed of a better life and to middle-class families who struggled under the weight of this Administration. 

John knows what it's like to struggle and to dream of something better. He's lived it.

That a young man from Reading, Ohio wielding a bar towel could one day wield the gavel of the U.S. House of Representatives -- it reminds us of the continuing promise of this country.

I know yesterday was an incredibly important event for the Speaker. It was his aim to bring the same spirit of grace that has always guided his life, to others. You only had to look out onto the Capitol lawn to see what he achieved. And that he chose this moment to make this decision, means he will be leaving us in a similar spirit.

I know we’ll all have more to say in the weeks to come. But for now, thank you, my friend."

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