Speaker of the House John Boehner told GOP lawmakers on Friday he will resign at the end on October 30th. For the past five years the Speaker of the House got tired of “herding cats.” Now that he doesn’t have internal political considerations to weigh, Boehner is certain to push through a government-funding bill next week that funds Planned Parenthood, and keeps the government open. The Senate is headed in that direction and now the House seems sure to follow suit.
He will likely need the help of Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi who will rally the Democrats needed to help the Speaker get the funding bill passed.
The embattled Boehner said he would resign from both his speakership and his House seat, he told GOP lawmakers at a closed-door conference.
Boehner, who rose from bartender’s son to the most powerful man in Congress, will retire at the end of October, ending tumultuous five-year tenure atop the House of Representatives.
It is unclear why he is quitting but one of his aides warned of “prolonged leadership turmoil” if he had stayed. Speaker Boehner has been under pressure from the conservative wing of his party ever since he took the job in 2011.
The news comes a day after an emotional Boehner, a Catholic, hosted Pope Francis at the U.S. Congress. It has been a dream of the Speaker to get a pope to address Congress and he accomplished that yesterday.
His resignation makes him the first casualty from the new anti-establishment wave in the Republican Party that keeps getting stronger and more vocal by the day.
Meanwhile, across town John Boehner is resigning. And religious conservative voters are thrilled.
Presidential candidate Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, speaking to the Values Voters Summit gathering of Christian conservatives in Washington D.C. Friday morning, told the crowd that Boehner had just announced his retirement, they went wild with applause.
“The time has come to turn the page,” Rubio told the crowd, “and that extends to the White House and the presidency.”
Conservatives have long clashed with Boehner over tactics. Most recently, another GOP presidential candidate, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz criticized Boehner and the Republican leadership for not supporting the plan favored by conservatives to defund Planned Parenthood.
Despite wanting the Speaker of the House gone there does not seem to be anyone from the tea party leadership that wants the job.
Ironically, Boehner came into power on the momentum of the 2010 tea party wave, but it was that movement that gave him the most problems. Boehner’s tenure will be remembered for his internal political battles, but also his complicated relationship with President Barack Obama. He and Obama tried — but repeatedly failed — to cut a deal on a massive fiscal agreement. But Boehner has had some significant victories, including the free-trade deal that Congress passed this year, and changes to entitlement systems.
Boehner’s decision, relayed in a closed Republican meeting Friday morning, will set off one of the most intense leadership scrambles in modern Congressional GOP politics. Second in line is House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who is widely expected to serve as the next speaker. But there is serious unrest in the House Republican ranks and it unlikely that McCarthy will have any more luck than Boehner did when he was in charge.
President Barack Obama on Friday said House Speaker John Boehner’s resignation took him by surprise, and called him a “good man.” Obama, speaking at a press conference in the Rose Garden, said that obviously he and Boehner had a lot of disagreements but that Boehner understood that you don’t always get 100 percent of what you want.
“He is a patriot…and he cares about America,” Obama said about Boehner.