House Speaker John Boehner informed the GOP caucus on Friday of his plan to resign from Congress on October 30th.
Ironically, Boehner issued his announcement one day after Pope Francis addressed a joint session of Congress. Many consider Boehner’s papal invite the crowning moment of his 13-term Congressional career. That moment may have actually inspired Boehner.
Boehner addressed the media at 1 pm. He said he planned on making this same announcement on his birthday, November 17th. However, he felt that if he continued to stay in his role while enduring another attempt to oust him, would’ve done harm to the office.
“I woke this morning, said my prayers as usual and decided I was going to do it. It was as simple as that,” Boehner.
Boehner’s statement from his official website:
“My mission every day is to fight for a smaller, less costly, and more accountable government. Over the last five years, our majority has advanced conservative reforms that will help our children and their children. I am proud of what we have accomplished.
“The first job of any Speaker is to protect this institution that we all love. It was my plan to only serve as Speaker until the end of last year, but I stayed on to provide continuity to the Republican Conference and the House. It is my view, however, that prolonged leadership turmoil would do irreparable damage to the institution. To that end, I will resign the Speakership and my seat in Congress on October 30.
“Today, my heart is full with gratitude for my family, my colleagues, and the people of Ohio’s Eighth District. God bless this great country that has given me – the son of a bar owner from Cincinnati – the chance to serve.”
Boehner has been under pressure from Constitutional Conservatives in his caucus for a number of years regarding a myriad of issues including punishments dispensed to House Conservatives who bucked Boehner’s way of doing business.
But the latest budget battle served as the breaking point. Many GOP members want to defund Planned Parenthood after horrific videos — including one where a live baby had its brain cutout after surviving an abortion — revealed how the government-subsidized “women’s health” clinic sells baby parts to a variety of clients.
The budget battle could force another government shutdown, a tactic Boehner has fought since the start of his speakership in 2010.
“The honor of John Boehner this morning stands in stark contrast to the idiocy of those members who seek to continually divide us,” said Rep. David Jolly (R-FL) “The shutdown caucus as I call them has a small victory.”
Jolly, who has thrown his hat in the ring for Marco Rubio’s open Senate seat, seems to be lining up on the wrong side of GOP voters. As a Fox News Poll reports, 62% of GOP voters feel betrayed and much of that blame belongs to Boehner and Senate leader Mitch McConnell.
Boehner staved off an insurrection at the start of the year and was saved, ironically, by former Speaker and Democrat Nancy Pelosi. However, just before the summer recess, Mark Meadows of North Carolina issued a plan to force a roll-call vote to force Boehner out.
Conservatives and non-Establishment GOP voters grew weary of Boehner cozying up with Barack Obama.
Pres Obama shares a laugh with John Boehner, during a St. Pat's Day lunch for PM Kenny of Ireland at the US Capitol pic.twitter.com/d4WiyzCWj4
— Enzo Pontrelli (@ap215) July 15, 2014
Who will replace Boehner?
An early favorite is House Majority leader Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican. McCarthy rates an “F” grade from ConservativeReview.com, a website that monitors, measures and rates voting records.
TheHill.com noted McCarthy is viewed as someone who can pull together all the GOP votes in the House, however, he’ll likely have to forge an alliance with the “Freedom Caucus” a group of 40-60 Constitutional Conservatives who have opposed many GOP Establishment policies.
Some Republicans see the idea of a leadership coalition as pure fantasy. But the Freedom Caucus does have enormous leverage: Between 40 to 50 members strong, the conservative bloc of House members essentially could veto any nominee for Speaker simply by withholding all of their votes.
That could force McCarthy and other establishment Republicans to the negotiating table.
A number of Republicans cautioned that McCarthy, a former majority whip, certainly doesn’t have the Speaker’s race sewn up. In fact, one Boehner critic, Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.), said installing McCarthy in the top post amounted to “a swap with no benefits.”
But McCarthy has been shoring up his right flank this past year ahead of any future run for Speaker. His regular outreach to rank-and-file members has included phone calls, text messages and dinner invitations to members of the Freedom Caucus — a group Boehner views as a nuisance.
While many Tea Party and Constitutional Conservatives are celebrating the demise of the dis-liked Boehner, the victory may be short-lived. A new speaker will be selected. The GOP Establishment’s pull remains extremely strong and the battle to create real change in Congress and Washington overall has just begun.
John Boehner resigning as Speaker leaves a vacuum in leadership, the same vacuum that has been there since 2011.
— Top Conservative Cat (@TeaPartyCat) September 25, 2015
— John Klein (@COFlyerCLE) September 25, 2015
Hell hath frozen over. "@AP: BREAKING: GOP lawmakers: House Speaker John Boehner to step down end of October."
— ybbaaaas (@JustMeSab) September 25, 2015
Did I just hear that John Boehner is going to resign as speaker at the end of October? Hallelujah! There still may be hope!
— John Teller (@Jtell3) September 25, 2015
Boehner met the Pope and saw the error of his ways. He has no choice but to resign to go search himself.
— Darth Lorredroc (@one_illuminati) September 25, 2015
On the bright side, Speaker Boehner will have a lot more time to play golf with Obama. pic.twitter.com/dCLRc7yFn7
— Evil Esq (@EvilEsq) September 25, 2015