Former Speaker Boehner's official portrait unveiled

Former Speaker Boehner's official portrait unveiled
© Greg Nash

Former House Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerMeadows joins White House in crisis mode Meadows set to resign from Congress as he moves to White House The Pelosi administration MORE's (R-Ohio) official portrait was unveiled during a ceremony in Capitol Hill on Tuesday.

The portrait, painted by artist Ronald Sherr, shows BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerMeadows joins White House in crisis mode Meadows set to resign from Congress as he moves to White House The Pelosi administration MORE with a suit and a red tie and seated on a leather couch.

 

 

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During its unveiling, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyDemocrats press Trump, GOP for funding for mail-in ballots Top GOP lawmakers push back on need for special oversight committee for coronavirus aid Stocks move little after record-breaking unemployment claims MORE (R-Calif.), Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiNJ governor calls for assessment of coronavirus response after crisis abates Overnight Health Care: Global coronavirus cases top 1M | Cities across country in danger of becoming new hotspots | Trump to recommend certain Americans wear masks | Record 6.6M file jobless claims Hillicon Valley: Zoom draws new scrutiny amid virus fallout | Dems step up push for mail-in voting | Google to lift ban on political ads referencing coronavirus MORE (D-Calif.), and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDemocrats press Trump, GOP for funding for mail-in ballots Top GOP lawmakers push back on need for special oversight committee for coronavirus aid Stocks move little after record-breaking unemployment claims MORE (R-Ky.) praised Boehner's tenure as a public servant and poked fun at his penchant for crying and smoking.

Former Speakers Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanWho should be the Democratic vice presidential candidate? The Pelosi administration It's not populism that's killing America's democracy MORE (R-Wis.) and Newt GingrichNewton (Newt) Leroy GingrichMORE (R-Ga.) also attended the tribute to the Ohio Republican, who stepped down in 2015 and is now on the board of a cannabis company.

“All the turmoil going in Washington, John Boehner brought us all back together,” McCarthy joked, going on to highlight his accomplishments as Speaker.

The unveiling of his portrait came as the House resumed public hearings as part of an impeachment inquiry into President TrumpDonald John TrumpMilitary personnel to handle coronavirus patients at facilities in NYC, New Orleans and Dallas Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort has total of 20 patients: report Fauci says that all states should have stay-at-home orders MORE that has roiled Washington.

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“This portrait is more than a tribute to one man, it's an internal reminder of the values he stood for: freedom, hard work, and never quitting,” McCarthy added about the long-time smoker.

Pelosi lauded Boehner for being “a great patriot who has dedicated his life to his country” before roasting him for his history of shedding tears throughout his career.

“I think he was crying when he gave me the gavel,” Pelosi joked. “Seeing the first woman speaker of the House is emotional, isn’t it?”

Boehner poked fun at himself while giving his speech, before tearfully reflecting on his time in Congress.

Boehner became Speaker after the Republican takeover of the House in 2010. His tenure was marked with battles with the Tea Party faction of his own party as the country dealt with the aftermath of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis.

“Well, well, well. What a lovely day to be back in the Capitol,” Boehner said during a day marked by public testimony over President Trump's interactions with Ukraine.

“I see Madame Speaker took care of me — she put a box of tissues down here just in case," Boehner added.

Boehner said he hopes his portrait doesn’t serve as a tribute to him, but as a tribute “to the American dream."

“It’s my hope that when our fellow citizens see this portrait in the Speaker’s Lobby for decades to come, they will think not about me, but about the things that we stood for during my time in the Capitol. It doesn’t cost anything to be nice,” he said.

“I like to think we were able to disagree without being disagreeable, and I like to think I tried to do the right things for the right reasons. And I like to think that we served with our priorities in line, mindful of our children’s future, especially when it comes to the challenge of our nation’s debt," he also said.

"Sometimes we fall short on these things, but we always tried. And it’s important for those still serving in office to keep trying.”