Some huge news this Friday morning out of Washington. Just one day after Pope Francis I made an historic speech before a Joint Session of Congress, Speaker of the House John Boehner has plans to not only relinquish his Speakership, but exit Congress altogether. Here’s the story from Jennifer Steinhauer of the New York Times…
WASHINGTON — 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 made the announcement in an emotional meeting with his fellow Republicans on Friday morning.
The Ohio representative had 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.
Most recently, Mr. Boehner was trying to craft a solution to keep the government open through the rest of the year, but was under pressure from a growing base of conservatives who told him that they would not vote for a bill that did not defund Planned Parenthood. Several of those members were on a path to remove Mr. Boehner as speaker, though their ability to do so was far from certain.
John Boehner has represented Ohio’s Eighth Congressional District since 1990.
From an interesting statement from one of the Speaker’s spokesmen, it appears that the Fringe Right in Congress was already trying to force him out.
Whether one agrees with Bohener on most issues or not, there’s little doubt that having him in charge of the Republican majority was likely the best possible scenario to avoid a government shutdown. Congress has until September 30th to come up with a fiscal plan that will carry the Federal Government through to the next year. As we know from past experience, most of the GOP members of Congress love to shutdown the government, and even consider it an accomplishment. At least, until their constituents show up with pitch forks demanding to receive their hard-earned paychecks.
Hold on to your seats folks.