Speaker of the House John Boehner Will Resign in October; Next Speaker Uncertain
John Boehner will resign from his position as Speaker of the House of Representatives, as well as give up his congressional seat, at the end of October.
Boehner, 65, who has been in Congress for 25 years, released a statement announcing the news, in which he said, in part:
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.
The Republican from Ohio has overseen the House since 2011, when he was elected Speaker following the GOP victories in the 2010 midterm elections. Boehner has been under pressure recently from conservatives, who have insisted upon defunding Planned Parenthood or possibly enter another government shutdown.
Potential candidates to succeed Boehner include current Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, Jeb Hensarling of Texas or possibly Paul Ryan, the 2012 Republican vice-presidential nominee, though Ryan’s staff has said he is not interested. McCarthy seems to be the likeliest choice, though the GOP caucus will soon begin their selection process, which could be highly unpredictable.
Reactions to the stunning announcement came from across the political spectrum:
John Boehner dedicated his life to public service. Bringing the Holy Father to Congress was a fitting cap to a great career.
— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) September 25, 2015
I wasn't always happy with what Speaker Boehner told me, but he never, ever misled me. He never told me something that wasn't true.
— Senator Harry Reid (@SenatorReid) September 25, 2015
I am grateful to @SpeakerBoehner for his friendship and service to our nation and the people of Ohio. Ann and I wish him all the best.
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) September 25, 2015
.@SpeakerBoehner has been an honorable public servant and I wish him well.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) September 25, 2015
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) September 25, 2015
Today the establishment lost. #Boehner
— Cong. Tim Huelskamp (@CongHuelskamp) September 25, 2015
— Rep. Pete King (@RepPeteKing) September 25, 2015