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Boehner (R-Ohio), well-known for his public crying, drew laughter before even beginning his farewell address to Congress by holding up a box of tissues as he walked to the podium before giving the final speech in a quarter-century career in the House.
The Ohio Republican expressed pride for banning earmarks during his tenure as Speaker, true to form after his involvement in the "Gang of Seven" of House freshmen in the 1990s who highlighted congressional corruption scandals.
"We banned earmarks altogether. Sorry," Boehner said.
A stickler of the House dress code, Boehner took one last jab at lawmakers who in his view lacked proper attire for the occasion.
"You know who you are," Boehner said.
Boehner only started to tear up near the end of his speech on a topic that has frequently caused him to choke up: the American dream.
"In America you can do anything you’re willing to work for, willing to work hard at," Boehner said. "Anything can happen if you’re willing to make the necessary sacrifices in life."
As colleagues jumped to their feet to give him a standing ovation, Boehner walked along the side of the dais to shake hands with fellow lawmakers, a crumpled tissue still in hand.
He then saluted fellow lawmakers as he looked around the House chamber for what may be the final time.