WASHINGTON -- In one of his last official acts before his resignation becomes official next week, U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock took the House floor Thursday to tout his accomplishments and compare himself to Abraham Lincoln. Schock had announced his intention to resign earlier this month after multiple stories surfaced about his use of government money to pay for private airplane trips and other extravagances.
Schock, R-Ill., made no mention of the reason for his departure. He did, however, hint that his political career might not be over, pointing out that Lincoln served only one term in Congress before becoming president.
“I leave here with sadness and humility,” Schock said. “Those I let down, I will work tirelessly to make it up to you. I know God has a plan for my life.”
Schock was considered a rising star in the Republican Party before he was brought down by scandal, including an Associated Press story that cited his Instagram account to allege that he was illegally taking flights and that he allegedly failed to disclose taking a photographer with him on a trip to India. Even House Speaker John Boehner, who has had little patience for ethical lapses in his caucus, indicated that Schock made the right choice by stepping aside.
Schock, whose resignation takes effect at the end of the month, appeared undeterred. “I know this is not the end of the story, but rather the beginning of a new chapter,” he said.
But before noting his humility, Schock delivered a speech that sounded more like that of a member retiring after a lengthy stay in Congress, rather than departing early because of controversy. Schock, who served for six years, praised Republicans for taking control of the House in 2010.
“Being in the majority is key to making a difference, so I'm proud of the work I've done,” Schock said. “I'm proud to have played a role in building it.” He also lamented that he won’t be around for future legislative accomplishments by the House.
“I regret I won't be here when we finally pass a smarter, simpler tax code,” he said.