November 14th, 2007
09:35 PM ET
15 years ago

Rep. Dennis Hastert to announce resignation Thursday

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert is expected to announce Thursday on the House floor that he is retiring from Congress, a senior aide to the congressman told CNN Wednesday.

The aide said that Hastert will announce his plans to retire tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. in an address on the House floor. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office provided the floor time to the former speaker to address his colleagues.

"His plan is to make his farewell address tomorrow on the House floor," the aide said. "He is then going to decide at some point this year when he will step down."

The aide said the effective date of Hastert's resignation not yet been determined.

Asked if the decision has anything to do with health problems Hastert has had in the past, the aide said no.

"He's in excellent health," the aide said. "He's in better health than he was as speaker."

CNN reported last month that Hastert would resign his seat rather than serve out the rest of his term.

Asked about a former aide's comment that "wealth not health" was Hastert's reason for retiring, this aide said he could not comment about Hastert's plans beyond his decision to step down and did not think Hastert had made any specific plans on what he would do next.

As for the timing for Thursday's speech, the aide said, "I think he thinks it's the right time. It's right before a congressional recess when he has a chance to talk to members."

Hastert, 65, is the longest-serving Republican Speaker in history, holding the post from January 1999 to November 2006.

He stepped down as the top House Republican leader last November after Democrats won a majority in the midterm elections, ending 12 years of GOP control.

When he was elected speaker in 1999, Hastert, a former high school wrestling coach, was an unlikely candidate. Though he had been in the House 12 years, he had virtually no national profile and did not hold a top leadership position.

However, Hastert managed to build a reputation as a formidable leader and by 2003 his Republican colleagues waived term limits to allow him to continue as their speaker.

- CNN's Dana Bash and Deirdre Walsh

Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Ethan, Brooklyn, NY

    Yay! Good riddance.

    November 14, 2007 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  2. Richard, St. Paul, Mn

    Good Riddance, you Republican tool!

    November 14, 2007 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  3. Daniel, NY

    Campaign Diaries rates this seat Lean Retention in in latest detailed House rankings, but all bets are off if there is a special election.

    November 14, 2007 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  4. David Branch, Waco, Texas

    Many thanks for your years of public service Mr. Hastert. I doubt we will be able to say the same thing about your successor.

    November 15, 2007 05:36 am at 5:36 am |
  5. mark wilkes barre pa

    Thank you Mr hastert for your long service to our nation. I appreciate your dedication to our congress and respect your decision to leave. Too many politicians lack the wisdom to see when it's time to do somthing different and stay in the game far too long. I don't expect you will see any other comments like this one posted here,,, that is ,,if the CNN MONITOR allows this comment to be posted,,, Hate and snappy one liners with total disregard for respect or compasion towards a fellow human being that has served his country seems to be all that is welcome here. I hope that what ever you choose to do in the future will bring you the satisfaction you deserve.

    November 15, 2007 05:38 am at 5:38 am |
  6. jw, canadian,ok

    To the poster from AZ, it's ok to come out of the closet or stall now, The Democratic Party is the 'Party of the Peole' – All people.

    November 15, 2007 06:48 am at 6:48 am |
  7. Anders, Baton Rouge, LA

    Richard, from St. Paul, wrote:

    Good Riddance, you Republican tool!

    Actually Hastert isn't a Republican tool. He's a Republican. A tool can choose to stop being one. Republicanism is a problem with deeper roots.

    November 15, 2007 07:10 am at 7:10 am |
  8. Alice Newman Center Harbor NH

    ... can't even serve out his whole term ... which what he promised to do when elected ... guess being in the minority (even tho Mrs. Pelosi graciously gave him a big office close to the action) isn't as much fun as being in the majority ... covering up for Mark Foley finally did him in ... not the crime – its the cover-up.

    November 15, 2007 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  9. Terry, El Paso, TX

    Another one bites the dust
    Another one bites the dust
    And another one gone, and another one gone
    Another one bites the dust
    Hey, Im gonna get you too
    Another one bites the dust

    November 15, 2007 08:17 am at 8:17 am |


    November 15, 2007 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  11. J.Crobuzon

    Another hate-filled radical shuffles off into oblivion. He'll be having a drink with Tom DeLay down at the Losers' Club tonight. The damage these thugs have done to our nation will be long years healing, but when they are investigated maybe we can get some amusement from their excuses and revelations.

    November 15, 2007 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  12. Throckmorton Q. Goatlips, Embarrassment, Idaho

    Yeah, fake-James, show some class. Sign your REAL NAME when you post, just like I do.
    But real James, Hastert is leaving early because he got caught in the Foley sex scandal and the Jack Abramoff sting. I'm sure he must have done some good things along the way, but those will be interred with his bones while the evil that he's done lives on.

    November 15, 2007 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  13. Kate, Aurora CO

    No I cannot give this man any kind of
    "kudos". He was a part of an administration that has all but torn apart the constitution. "Integrity"..last time I checked covering up and lying does not equate integrity.

    November 15, 2007 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  14. charles

    Sibel Edmonds knows his reasons for the early retirement.

    November 15, 2007 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  15. Brad, from the great state of Texas

    The comments on this blog only reinforce what I've been saying for a while now–every time there's a headline about ANY Republican, I see nothing but idiotic, spiteful comments that have no basis in logic.

    Hey, JW explain your "Fourth Reich" and "Fuhrer" comments for me– I'm a little confused as to how anything in this country resembles Nazi Germany. You still have the right to be a total jerk, don't you? If you think the Gestapo's after you, maybe it's because you forgot to take your meds today...

    November 15, 2007 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  16. Val Davydov, Agawam, MA

    Now boys. James (the real one), do you really think you are the only James in Phoenix AZ? Play nice boys, we are watching you.

    November 15, 2007 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  17. Terry, El Paso, TX

    "... JW explain your "Fourth Reich" and "Fuhrer" comments for me– I'm a little confused as to how anything in this country resembles Nazi Germany. ...: Brad, from the great state of Texas

    Brad makes a good point. Calling a Conservative a Nazi is stupid. It's like calling a sidewalk and elm tree. Likewise with those bizarre, spluttering comments I see here about "commie socialist homosexual liberal traitors" and so on.

    Those on either side who make such comments should go to the library and check out a few books on Nazis, Conservatism, Liberalism, Communism, Socialism because they obviously know nothing about politics or political philosophy.

    November 15, 2007 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  18. Scot, Libertyville, IL

    He should have retired much early. Useless repub.

    November 15, 2007 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  19. Gary, Detroit, Mich.

    The reporting style of FOX News and some of the rubbish they spew certainly rivals anything coming out of the Nazi Germany propaganda machine in the late 20's, 30's and into the 40's. One might think that Rupert apprenticed under Joseph Goebbels himself!

    November 15, 2007 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  20. Susan Maloff

    Who cares who Caroline and Teddy Kennedy endorse. I do know that Jackie Kennedy admired and revered Hillary Clinton. I am an Independent who is only interested in who is the most qualified and who has concrete plans to fix what is wrong in this country. I have studied all of their records and future plans and Hillary Clinton is by far the most qualified.

    January 28, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |