WASHINGTON (AP) – In a stunning move, House Speaker John Boehner has told Republicans that he will step down at the end of October, giving up his leadership post and his seat in Congress in the face of hardline conservative opposition.
The 13-term Ohio Republican shocked his GOP caucus early this morning when he informed them of his decision in a closed-door session.
Florida Rep. John Mica says Boehner “just does not want to become the issue.”
Conservatives have demanded that any legislation to keep the government operating past next Wednesday’s midnight deadline strip Planned Parenthood of his funds, a stance opposed by more pragmatic lawmakers. The dispute had threatened Boehner’s speakership and roiled the GOP caucus.
Boehner took over the speakership in January 2011.
US Senator Lindsey Graham released his statement on Boehner’s resignation.
“I appreciate John Boehner’s service to our nation and his time as Speaker of the House of Representatives. I’ve known him for twenty years and he has always tried to bring about change in the best interests of our nation and party. He is a solid conservative who understands the responsibility which comes from governing. I wish him well. He will always have my respect and admiration.”
The following is a statement from SC Republican Congressman Trey Gowdy about Boehner’s announcement:
“The Speaker’s job is an incredibly hard one, as whoever takes his place will learn. He has been nothing but fair to me and particularly supportive of the Select Committee on Benghazi. I am happy that one of his final memories will be watching the Pope address an institution the Speaker loved and served for many years.”
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