OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 114TH CONGRESS:
President Barack Obama’s Statement on Speaker of the House John Boehner’s Resignation
Source: WH, 9-25-15
On John Boehner, I just heard the news as I was coming out of the meeting here, so it took me by surprise. And I took the time prior to this press conference to call John directly and talk to him.
John Boehner is a good man. He is a patriot. He cares deeply about the House, an institution in which he served for a long time. He cares about his constituents, and he cares about America. We have obviously had a lot of disagreements, and politically we’re at different ends of the spectrum. But I will tell you, he has always conducted himself with courtesy and civility with me. He has kept his word when he made a commitment. He is somebody who has been gracious.
And I think maybe most importantly, he’s somebody who understands that in government, in governance, you don’t get 100 percent of what you want, but you have to work with people who you disagree with — sometimes strongly — in order to do the people’s business.
I’m not going to prejudge who the next Speaker will be. That’s something that will have to be worked through in the House. And I will certainly reach out immediately to whoever is the new Speaker to see what his or her ideas are, and how we can make progress in the important issues that America faces.
The one thing I will say is that my hope is there’s a recognition on the part of the next Speaker — something I think John understood, even though at times it was challenging to bring his caucus along — that we can have significant differences on issues, but that doesn’t mean you shut down the government. That doesn’t mean you risk the full faith and credit of the United States. You don’t invite potential financial crises. You build roads and pass transportation bills. And you do the basic work of governance that ensures that our military is operating and that our national parks are open and that our kids are learning.
And there’s no weakness in that. That’s what government is in our democracy. You don’t get what you want 100 percent of the time. And so sometimes you take half a loaf; sometimes you take a quarter loaf. And that’s certainly something that I’ve learned here in this office.
So I’m looking forward to working with the next Speaker. In the meantime, John is not going to leave for another 30 days, so hopefully he feels like getting as much stuff done as he possibly can. And I’ll certainly be looking forward to working with him on that.