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  • When I was younger, the sound of “last call” at the bar was always a little sad. So it was on Friday, as the bar owner’s son from Ohio announced his last call and resignation. For more than 20 years, House Speaker John Boehner was my friend, adviser, leader and, once in a while, a guy who needed a little help from his friends, too. While his announcement was a stunner, his decision to protect the House instead of his personal ambition didn’t surprise his friends at all. In the end, it was his greatest strength that would become his Achilles’ heel: His love of the institution and his unwillingness to crush the rebellion in his conference early on led directly to the end of his speakership.
  • In 1986, I was as ready to leave the closet as I would ever be—but how would I do so? Though I was a third term Democratic congressman from Massachusetts, I had lived too long with the burden of “the gay thing” to treat coming out as a political matter alone. For many years, I was ashamed of myself for hiding my membership in a universally despised group. I’d been afraid of exposure, and angry at myself for my self-denial. I’d felt shame as I watched younger gay men and lesbians confront the bigots openly with a courage that I lacked. After all those years, lying to people was much easier emotionally than finally admitting my lie.
  • More families with higher incomes could claim the popular child tax credit under a bill that won approval Friday in the House. But in a dispute that divides Republicans and Democrats, millions of the poorest low-income families would still lose the credit in 2018, when enhancements championed by President Barack Obama are set to expire.
  • Reflecting growing national acceptance of cannabis, a bipartisan coalition of House members voted early Friday to restrict the Drug Enforcement Administration from using funds to go after medical marijuana operations that are legal under state laws.
  • The House of Representatives on Thursday passed a bill to end bulk collection of Americans' phone records by the National Security Agency, despite objections from leading Silicon Valley companies and privacy advocates who said last-minute changes could still enable widespread collection of Internet users' data.
  • Foley, 84 and a Democratic congressman from Washington state, served as speaker from 1989 to 1995.

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