One word sums up the reaction to U.S. House Speaker John Boehner’s retirement announcement from Illinois Republicans: surprise.
U.S. Rep. Bob Dold (R-Kenilworth) wasn’t expecting Boehner to step down, but considers his tenure as Speaker a productive one for the party.
“The Speaker has been focused on trying to fight for smaller, less costly, and more accountable government, and we have, over the last several years, been able to try to do some of that and we’ve got a lot more work to do,” Dold said.

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Boehner became Speaker after the Republicans gained 63 House seats in the 2010 election, but many of those new members criticized him over issues like raising the debt ceiling. Boehner expected more conservative members to try and vote him out of his leadership position.
U.S. Rep. John Shimkus (R-Collinsville) has been a Boehner supporter.
“Most of the folks that probably cause him the most challenges have never served in the minority,” Shimkus said, “so they don’t know how bad it can get.”
Shimkus expects House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to be the only one who can garner enough support from Republicans to replace Boehner, and then for other members to try and fill McCarthy’s no. 2 spot. He doesn’t know if any of Illinois’ 8 Republicans in the House will be among them.
“All I know is no one’s reached out to me yet,” Shimkus said.


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