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Oklahoma lawmakers react to speaker's resignation

Oklahoma lawmakers reacted Friday to the surprise resignation of U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.

Rep. Tom Cole, R-Moore: “It has been a great personal privilege to serve with Speaker John Boehner.

“I’ve had the honor of knowing the Speaker since he was a young freshman Congressman, and I’ve watched his career with admiration and appreciation throughout his time of service. After the 2008 election, most assumed that Republicans would remain in the minority for decades to come. It was because of John Boehner’s determination and leadership that Republicans recaptured the majority in 2010 and retained it in 2012 even as President Obama was re-elected.

“For the first four years of his speakership, he was both the tip of the spear and goalie in dealing with the Obama Administration. Despite having to confront a Democratic president and Senate during most of his tenure, he achieved several truly historic conservative victories. Among those for which all Americans should thank him are the rapid decline of the deficit, making almost all of the Bush tax cuts permanent and securing meaningful entitlement reforms that strengthened Medicare and Medicaid. One wonders what he might have done if given the opportunity to work with a Republican president and Senate throughout his entire tenure.

“In what is often a thankless job, made even more difficult in divided government, the Speaker has served with dignity and effectiveness. I regard John Boehner as a great Speaker, a dedicated public servant, a man of great personal integrity and a cherished friend. He leaves a truly remarkable legacy. I wish him, his family and his loyal staff all the best.”

Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Cheyenne: "While some may have disagreed on his tactics, Speaker Boehner worked tirelessly to promote conservative values and find ways to make our party’s vision a reality. I am grateful for his service to our country and wish John and his family all the best. A new Speaker means new faces in leadership and a greater need to ensure the Oklahoma perspective is reflected in how Washington operates. I look forward to working alongside our next conservative Speaker to continue the fight against President Obama’s executive overreach and set the stage for our next president in 2017.” 

Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa: “I was serving in the U.S. House when John Boehner was first elected, and I consider him a friend. We knew then that he would be a leader in our party. While he took positions that were not always popular, John led with conviction and was a true public servant. John will be remembered for his commitment in bringing about a new era for Republicans in the House. I wish him and his family my best.” 

Sen. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma City: “I’ve always appreciated Speaker Boehner's sincere love for his family, his country and his party. It is admirable that he demonstrated a willingness to work on important issues, such as government transparency, energy, regulatory reform, defense, transportation and education. Leadership in Congress is a challenge for anyone, especially during a time when America grapples with so many issues. Any person who is willing to put in the long hours and endure all of the competing priorities deserves our gratitude and respect.

“Our nation, and this Congress, face very serious challenges, including massive federal debt, the deterioration of families, a stagnant economy and terrorism. House Republicans need to select a new leader, set a clear path to govern, and stay focused on the needs of the American people.”

Rep. Steve Russell, R-Oklahoma City: “History will judge John Boehner kindly.”

Rep. Jim Bridenstine, R-Tulsa: “It is time to elect a Speaker who will resolve to no longer fund the government by Continuing Resolution. Congress must follow an appropriations process that ensures our constituents are represented. We must once again use the power of the purse as a constitutional check on the executive branch. I’m looking forward to supporting a candidate committed to these principles.”

Chris Casteel

Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. Casteel covered the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City. From 1990 through 2016, he was the... Read more ›