Today, my heart is full with gratitude to my family, my constituents and my colleagues for giving me the opportunity to serve Ohioans in the 8th District for 25 years. I leave the people’s House as the same person I’ve always been— just a regular guy humbled by the chance to do a big job.
This all started as a chase for the American Dream in a small house with a big family in Reading, Ohio. That was where I got my first job throwing newspapers, mopped floors at my father’s bar and learned that Ohioans aren’t afraid to work.
I never thought about it as coming up the easy way or the hard way. To me, it was just the Cincinnati way.
Our city was named after the great Roman general, Cincinnatus – a farmer who answered the call of his nation to lead, then surrendered his power and returned to his plow. But for me, it wasn’t a farm. It was a small business. And it wasn’t so much a calling as it was a mission: to strive for a smaller, less costly, and more accountable government.
That often meant helping constituents and local officials cut through gridlock and navigate the bureaucratic maze in Washington to get things done. In Hamilton, for instance, I brought together the Army Corps of Engineers and local officials to get the Meldahl Lock and Dam power plant off the ground. In Butler County, I worked with officials at all levels to keep the veterans highway and Union Centre projects on track. With the Ohio delegation, I made sure that Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and the Springfield Air National Guard Base had the resources they needed to support our men and women in uniform.
It also meant listening to the tens of thousands of constituents my office helped through casework, letters, phone calls, my open door program, and of course, my annual Farm Forum. The stories of Ohioans frustrated with the growing scope of government and their desire to secure a better future for our children drove real change in Washington.
For the first time in nearly 20 years, we made real entitlement reforms, saving trillions over the long term. We protected 99 percent of Americans from tax increases. Today, we are on track to save taxpayers $2.1 trillion over the next 10 years, which is the most significant spending reductions in modern history. And, we did it all with no earmarks.
I am proud of what we accomplished. None of this would have been possible without the support of my family and the hard work of my staff, which has been first-rate from start to finish. Together, we did the right things for the right reasons and good things happened.
It has been an honor. Thank you and God bless this great country.
On Oct. 29, Congressman John Boehner delivered his farewell address in the Hall of the House. He was first elected to Congress in 1990. He will resign as the Representative of Ohio’s 8th District at the end of this month.