John Boehner, House Speaker, Will Resign From Congress

25 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

2016 candidates react to Boehner resignation.

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, left, followed by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, emerge from a Sept. 11, 2014, meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington. The 2016 presidential race was overshadowed by congressional politics on Friday after John Boehner made a surprise announcement that he would resign from Congress at the end of October.A Boehner aide told NBC News that the Speaker “believes putting members through prolonged leadership turmoil would do irreparable damage to the institution. There has been a threat hanging over his head for more than a month that hard-line conservatives in the Republican caucus would force a vote to recall the speaker. Prisoners learn how to become prisoners, all right?” Boehner told POLITICO in an interview earlier this month. “You can teach yourself to do anything, especially if you’re committed to a cause.

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.” Boehner has been under prolonged pressure from conservatives in his party, who have accused him of failing to fight the Obama administration on issues important to the GOP. Foes within his party had been pushing to oust him if he presented any legislation that would continue to fund the government and avoid a government shutdown without stripping federal funding for Planned Parenthood.

And even if he would win a vote and remain speaker, the dynamic would not have changed for Boehner: Every time he looked to pass a bill with enough Democratic support to get through the Senate and get signed by the president, the Tea Party caucus would refuse to sign on and would call for his head. At a news conference, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi called Boehner’s resignation “seismic” and said she was not personally informed by Boehner of his plans. Addressing a reporter’s question on whether his December 2013 budget proposal was an example of him finally standing up to tea party groups in the aftermath of the government shutdown, Boehner erupted. “You know, they pushed us into this fight to defund Obamacare and to shut down the government. And with all due respect to people that serve in government – it is important at this moment with respect to him and the service that he’s provided to our country – it’s not about him or anybody else. A constant focus of conservatives’ complaints, Boehner was facing the threat of a floor vote on whether he could stay on as speaker, a formal challenge that hasn’t happened in over 100 years.

But if you’ll recall the day before the government reopened, one of the people — one of these groups stood up and said, ‘Well, we never really thought it would work,” he explained. “Are you kidding me? In a statement released after news of the speaker’s resignation, McCarthy called Boehner a “true statesman” who always acted with Americans’ best interests at heart. “It takes profound humility to step down from a position of power, and John’s depth of character is unmatched,” McCarthy said. “He will be missed because there is simply no one else like him.” House Ways and Means Committee chair Paul Ryan, considered a possible successor to the outgoing House Speaker, told reporters Friday that he is not interested in pursuing the job. John Mica, R-Winter Park. “Some people have tried to make him the issue both in Congress and outside,” Mica said. “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.

Francis, which begins, “Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.” Boehner was front and center during Thursday’s address to Congress by Pope Francis. During those fiscal cliff negotiations, Boehner bragged to fellow Republicans about an episode with then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid at the White House. Boehner, who is Catholic, sat directly behind the pontiff and was visibly emotional for most of his speech. “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,” said the Boehner aide.

Though he is also known as a strong conservative, his tactics were never confrontational enough to satisfy the most conservative faction in the House. The Texas senator, clearly celebrating the news, also joked to attendees that the group hold weekly summits going to forward to trigger similar developments in Washington. Reid had accused the speaker of running the House as a “dictatorship” and showing more concern for his status as speaker than in making a deal. “Go f— yourself,” Boehner told Reid, according to POLITICO’s recounting of the story, repeating the same words after Reid asked him what he was talking about.

Boehner’s decision removes the possibility of a damaging vote to strip him of his speakership, a scenario that grew more likely amid the clamor over a possible shutdown. After Iowa Republican Steve King compared the children of undocumented immigrants to drug mules in July 2013 with “ankles the size of cantaloupes,” Boehner publicly slammed the remarks. 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 abhorred his tendencies toward deal-making. In his first weekly briefing with reporters following his reelection as speaker in January, Boehner was asked about why there is such vigorous conservative opposition to him. Two years ago, conservatives drove him to reluctantly embrace a partial government shutdown in hopes of delaying implementation of Obama’s new health care law.

Nonetheless, tea party lawmakers had been pressing him to retry the tactic to try to take away federal funding from Planned Parenthood following the disclosure of controversial videos involving its practices of procuring fetal tissue for research purposes. Because he’s not the problem in our conference.” The turmoil in Congress is playing out against an already roiling race for the GOP presidential nomination in which the candidates at the top of opinion polls are all Washington outsiders. Many of the GOP candidates have criticized Boehner and his Senate counterpart, Majority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who’ve seen their approval ratings sag even among Republicans.

Although it’s not certain who will succeed Boehner, the most obvious candidate is the No. 2 House Republican, Kevin McCarthy, a genial Californian who was first elected to Congress in 2006. He was part of former Speaker Newt Gingrich’s leadership team when Republicans took over the House in 1995 for the first time in four decades but was ousted from his leadership role in the wake of the GOP’s disappointing performance in the 1998 midterms.

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