House Speaker John Boehner to resign at end of October

25 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Aide: Boehner Felt ‘Putting Members Through Prolonged Leadership Turmoil Would Do Irreparable Damage To Institution’.

John Boehner will resign as speaker of the House at the end of October and leave Congress, choosing to end his tumultuous tenure rather than fight a conservative revolt against his leadership.The 10th annual Values Voters Summit in Washington got underway Friday, boasting eight presidential hopefuls, a host of elected officials, the thoughtful, the outspoken, the outraged and some 2,500 grass-roots activists. Boehner had battled conservatives aligned with the Tea Party for most of his nearly five years as speaker, and in recent weeks they had threatened to try to oust him from power if did not pursue a strategy of defunding Planned Parenthood that would have likely led to a government shutdown.

Boehner was under extreme pressure from the right wing of his conference over whether or not to defund Planned Parenthood in a bill to keep the government open. Conservatives said that if Boehner failed to fight on the government spending bill, they would call up a procedural motion to “vacate the chair” and demand the election of a new speaker. Boehner, second in line to succeed the president and into his 13th two year-term, informed the Republican caucus meeting of his decision in a closed-door session. It came one day after a high point of Boehner’s congressional career, a historic speech by Pope Francis to the Republican-controlled Congress at Boehner’s request.

Bobby Jindal, Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee — all keenly interested in the summit’s presidential straw poll, sure to draw considerable media coverage. “I sense there’s more intense interest in the summit this year. The Roswell Republican’s decision to pass on last year’s Senate contest raised speculation that he could be angling for a leadership post in the U.S. They’ll see firsthand the convergence of moral, fiscal and foreign policy issues that will literally determine our country’s future,” Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council and the point man behind the event — tells Inside the Beltway. “The candidates are vying for the votes of social conservatives, who are crucial for a Republican win in 2016. Boehner’s decision comes just a day after what was arguably his most memorable moment as speaker: The Irish Catholic son of a barkeep hosted Pope Francis in the first-ever address by a pontiff to Congress.

Tom Price has the conservative credentials to attract a lot of support, hails from the vote-rich South and maintains an outsider’s appeal, even if he’s on the inside of most policy discussions. The media narrative that this is a shrinking voting bloc is not supported by the evidence.” Indeed, a recent Gallup poll found that 53 percent of Republicans self-identify as social conservatives. The dispute had threatened Boehner’s speakership and roiled the GOP caucus. “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.

Boehner’s announcement sets off a race to succeed him, with Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, the second-ranking Republican in the House, the early favorite to take his post. And about those values — a new Bloomberg Politics poll reveals that “moral decay” was ranked first on a list of the threats to “American greatness,” cited by a third of the respondents. “Our own lagging work ethic” was second on the list, followed by the rise of Islamic State, money woes, global competition and the influx of illegal immigrants. Conservative group Heritage Action for America said in a statement that Boehner’s resignation “is a sign that the voice of the American people is breaking through in Washington.” “Americans deserve a Congress that fights for opportunity for all and favoritism to none.

Another popular House Republican, Representative Paul Ryan, immediately took himself out of the running, according to the Washington Post’s Paul Kane. “It’s McCarthy,” the 2012 GOP vice presidential nominee said Friday. Boehner’s decision removes the possibility of a damaging vote to strip him of his speakership, a scenario that grew more likely amid the conservative clamour over a shutdown.

Ryan later put out a statement in which he called Boehner’s decision to resign “an act of pure selflessness.” Boehner, 65, was first elected to the House in 1990 and, as he frequently reminds reporters, was himself part of a group of conservative rabble-rousers during his first decade in Congress. Boehner then worked his way back up the leadership ladder, first becoming minority leader and then speaker after Republicans reclaimed the House majority in the 2010 election. As speaker, his tenure has been defined by his early struggles to reach budget agreements with President Barack Obama and his wrestling with the expectations of tea party conservatives who demanded a more confrontational approach.

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