House

Former Speaker Boehner's official portrait unveiled

Former House Speaker John Boehner's (R-Ohio) official portrait was unveiled during a ceremony in Capitol Hill on Tuesday.

The portrait, painted by artist Ronald Sherr, shows Boehner with a suit and a red tie and seated on a leather couch.

 

 

During its unveiling, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) praised Boehner's tenure as a public servant and poked fun at his penchant for crying and smoking.

Former Speakers Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Newt Gingrich (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 Trump that has roiled Washington.

"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." 

Outbrain