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September 25, 2015
Press Release
"Speaker Boehner’s resignation marks the culmination of the Tea Party ascendancy that began with the 2010 elections. He rode this right-wing extremism to power, and it has now brought him down. I have now served under six Speakers of the House, and never have I seen a Speaker face such dissension and disarray within his own ranks.  His tenure will not be remembered for major legislative accomplishments; it will instead be remembered for a series of artificial and unnecessary political crises forced upon the country in order to placate the far right.
"John Boehner's and my years in the House largely coincide. We have been personally cordial, and in earlier years he was well-regarded as a legislator, mainly on education policy. He seemed willing, early in his speakership, to work with the President in crafting a comprehensive budget agreement of the sort that balanced the budget in the 1990's -- until it became clear that the new-model Republican Conference would never support such an endeavor. 
"As we reflect on Pope Francis’s historic visit yesterday, for which Speaker Boehner deserves a great deal of credit, we can only hope that the next Speaker can find a way to restore order within the Republican Party and return to the many important challenges that face this nation—including the looming threat of another potentially devastating government shutdown.  But I fear that Speaker Boehner’s resignation means we can only expect more of the same extremism and dysfunction."