Even as Illinois Congressman Aaron Schock gave his final speech from the floor of the House of Representatives on Thursday, it seems he broke two more rules in his last voting day as a member of Congress.
After the announcement of his resignation, it was determined that Schock will officially end his stint in Washington on March 31. But since House members are about to leave on a recess, Thursday was the last time the troubled Congressman had the opportunity to address his colleagues from the floor.
Aaron Schock, once thought of as a rising star for the establishment GOP, leaves office with dozens of cases of abuse of campaign funds and tax dollars hanging over his head. But while he spoke of fellow Illinoisan Abraham Lincoln and expressed his joy at having been a member of Congress, Schock also appeared to break two more rules.
For one, during his last day, Schock gathered together a group of colleagues for some photographs near his seat. Group photos are expressly forbidden by House rules. In the second instance, it is forbidden to bring food and drink onto the House floor to prevent the need for cleanups from spills and crumbs inside the historic chamber. But it appears that Schock brought a cup of coffee to his seat in the face of the rule.
When it was finally his turn to give his farewell address, Schock compared his troubles to those suffered by Abraham Lincoln, an Illinoisan who once held the same seat in Congress that Schock will now vacate. Without mentioning his own troubles, the now disgraced congressman harkened back to Abe Lincoln.
“Abraham Lincoln held this seat in Congress for one term,” Schock intoned. “But few faced as many defeats in his personal business and public life as he did. His continual perseverance in the face of these trials, never giving up, is something all of us Americans should be inspired by, especially when going through a valley in life.”
Schock, though, tried to end on an optimistic note: “I believe that through life’s struggles, we learn from our mistakes and we learn more about ourselves. And I know that this is not the end of a story, but rather the beginning of a new chapter,” he said.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at email@example.com.