Boehner Out as Speaker

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Speaker John Boehner made headlines this morning by making a surprise announcement: he will be retiring from Congress at the end of October.

More from The New York Times:

Speaker John A. Boehner, under intense pressure from conservatives in his party, will resign one of the most powerful positions in government and give up his House seat at the end of October, throwing Congress into chaos as it tries to avert a government shutdown.

Mr. Boehner, who was first elected to Congress in 1990, made the announcement in an emotional meeting with his fellow Republicans on Friday morning.

The Ohio representative struggled from almost the moment he took the speaker’s gavel in 2011 to manage the challenges of divided government and to hold together his fractious and increasingly conservative Republican members.

It will be interesting to see who replaces Boehner. Will it be an establishment pick? Or will it be someone from the more conservative caucus of the Republican Party?

Early last week, The Hill reported that many House conservatives were “warming” to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy as the next Speaker. The Hill also reported that there would almost certainly be a vote to oust Speaker Boehner this fall. One might speculate that Boehner may have resigned as a way to avoid an embarrassing vote of no confidence from his colleagues.

Jon Schweppe is Deputy Director of Communications for American Principles in Action.