House Speaker John Boehner Suddenly Resigns From Congress
The ranking member of the House of Representatives, John Boehner (R – Ohio), announced early Friday he will resign at the end of October, ending a five year tenure as Speaker. According to one of his aides, Boehner, 65, had planned to leave Congress at the end of 2014, but returned after the unexpected defeat of House majority whip Eric Cantor (R – Va.), who would have succeeded Boehner.
On Friday, Boehner exited a meeting with Republicans “visibly emotional,” according to Politico. He declined to answer reporter questions as he was surrounded by security guards, but he reportedly said “Thank you,” when a reporter congratulated him on his retirement. Rumors had swirled that hard line, right-wing conservatives in the House were going to challenge Boehner in the coming weeks after signalling he would not pursue a vote to shut down the government over funding for Planned Parenthood. According to insiders, Boehner felt we could overcome that battle, but Boehner and his allies “thought it would do serious harm to the institution” of the party, further dividing the party between the extreme right Tea Party crowd and the more moderate wing. Boehner canceled a scheduled news conference for Friday, but said, “This is a wonderful day.” According to one of the Speaker’s aides, “The speaker believes putting members through prolonged leadership turmoil would do irreparable damage to the institution. He is proud of what this majority has accomplished, and his speakership, but for the good of the Republican Conference and the institution, he will resign the speakership and his seat in Congress, effective Oct. 30.” Boehner grew up the son of a bartender in Ohio and was first elected to the House in 1990, eventually becoming one of the most powerful House members after the Tea Party wave stormed into Congress in 2010.