WASHINGTON – September 25, 2015 (Gephardt Daily) – In a move that caught official Washington by surprise, House Speaker John Boehner told Republicans Friday morning that he would be stepping down at the end of October.
The resignation is considered “shocking” because the 13-term Ohio Republican is giving up both his coveted leadership position and longtime seat in Congress. However, he has come under increasing pressure from hard line Conservatives who want to shut the government down unless funds are stripped from Planned Parenthood by midnight on Wednesday, September 30.
With the clock ticking, Boehner gathered members of the House together on Friday to share his decision to resign. According to Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., Boehner said that he “does not want to become the issue.” Mica said Boehner felt strongly that “Some people have tried to make him the issue both in Congress and outside.”
Now, Boehner avoids the possibility of a vote to strip him of his speakership which seemed more likely as the deadline to fund the government approached.
The announcement came just one day after what Boehner called the “high point” of his congressional career. On Thursday, Pope Francis delivered an historic speech to a joint session of Congress at the House Speaker’s request.
Boehner became Speaker of the House in January 2011.