Breaking News: Speaker John A. Boehner will resign from Congress at the end of October, aides say http://t.co/xNxxzwFxkQ
— The New York Times (@nytimes) September 25, 2015
I wonder if this has anything to do with his rift with others on the right — in particular, the pressure from the far right to shut down the government in order to defund Planned Parenthood.
Boehner is also facing two difficult, and interrelated, challenges right now: many House Republicans want to shut the government down over defunding Planned Parenthood, and some House conservatives want to use an unusual parliamentary maneuver to launch a coup against Boehner. The problem for Boehner is that a shutdown would likely be a disaster for the Republican Party, but stopping a shutdown would make a coup against him more likely to succeed.
In a statement to reporters, a Boehner spokesman said:
Speaker Boehner believes that the first job of any Speaker is to protect this institution and, as we saw yesterday with the Holy Father, it is the one thing that unites and inspires us all.
The Speaker’s plan was to serve only through the end of last year. Leader Cantor’s loss in his primary changed that calculation.
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 October 30.
That seems a little hasty and thrown together.
I never cared for Boehner, but I respect the fact that he warded off dangerous factions within his party. We are much worse off without him. Whoever replaces him is going to face the same pressures, and is more likely to cave I think. Which means more government shutdowns in Washington (or threats of it) and gridlock.
Rep. Pete King (R-NY) has reacted to the news of Speaker John Boehner’s resignation on Friday by telling Politico reporter John Bresnahan it was a “victory for the crazies.” Yup.
UPDATE: Some blogs are reporting that Boehner wanted out a while ago, but he wanted to bring the Pope to Congress, which he did. He reportedly said last night that after bringing the Pope to Congress, he has “nothing more left to do”. So as to the question of “Did Boehner jump, or was he pushed?”, the best answer seems to be “a little of both.”
UPDATE #2: The conservatives rejoice. Here is video of Rubio announcing the resignation at the Value Voters Summit this morning:
— CSPAN (@cspan) September 25, 2015