Speaker of the House John Boehner Resigns
Speaker John A. Boehner, facing mounting pressure from his peers, will retire from Congress this October. Mr. Boehner, who was elected to Congress in 1990, made his announcement not to complete his 25th year in office in a meeting with his fellow Republicans on Friday morning.
The resignation came at the heels of yesterday’s papal visit. Boehner had told the pontiff his staff urged him to wear a green tie.
“He says it’s a tie with the color of hope,” the interpreter of Pope Francis told Boehner.
“I need a lot of hope today,” Boehner responded.
Hamstrung by the new members of Congress who were unable to accept the fact that Democrats controlled much of Washington and that their ability to fulfill their goals would have its limits, Boehner has needed that hope for a while.
As speaker of the house since 2011, the Ohio representative has faced the daunting challenges of a divided government and attempting to hold together his own party.
In the coming weeks, Boehner expected conservatives to try to strip him of his speakership. While the speaker felt he could win a vote, the process would have done serious harm to the institution and the GOP.
“The Speaker believes putting members through prolonged leadership turmoil would do irreparable damage to the institution,” a Boehner aide said. “He is proud of what this majority has accomplished, and his speakership, but for the good of the Republican Conference and the institution
Members of the House now will choose a new leader, and the leading candidate is Representative Kevin McCarthy of California.