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Kentucky Republicans Praise Outgoing U.S. House Speaker


Kentucky U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell is reacting to Republican House Speaker John Boehner’s surprise resignation announcement today. Speaking on the Senate floor, the Majority Leader praised his colleague as a fighter who helped secure a commanding GOP majority in the House.

Describing the speaker as an ally and friend, McConnell acknowledged the tumultuousness of Boehner’s tenure while applauding the House leader’s resolve.

"He took over as Republican leader at a very difficult time for his party. When some said Republicans could never recover, he never gave up. When some gave in to defeatism, he kept up the fight," McConnell said.

But the 13-term Ohio Republican’s decision comes amid another round of hardline conservative pushback, this time focused on Planned Parenthood funding, and the possibility of a repeat of the 2013 government shutdown.

First elected to Congressional office in 1990, Boehner took over the powerful speakership role in 2011. He assessed the outlook during a Lexington appearance at the beginning of his term.

"My big goal is to truly let this be the people's house, and not to be critical of those who came before, but I've got my own ideas about having the process work," he told an audience at Transylvania University.

That process has been repeatedly tested as Boehner worked to keep an increasingly fractious House GOP intact while ducking challenges to his speakership.

In a statement, 6th District Republican Rep. Andy Barr said he was grateful for the Boehner's leadership and his “patriotic willingness to place the interest of the nation, the Congress and the House Republican Conference over his own.”

Boehner plans to step down at the end of October.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.