Oh, happy day! – CVP
The Hill Speaker John Boehner told GOP lawmakers on Friday he will resign at the end of October.
The embattled Ohio Republican will resign from both his Speakership and his House seat, he told GOP lawmakers at a closed-door conference meeting.
“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,” a Boehner aide said.
The aide said the Speaker had only been planning to serve through the end of last year but decided to stay on after then-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) suffered a stunning primary loss.
“Everybody’s still in sort of a state of shock,” he said.
According to Mica, Boehner told members that he thought opposition to his role as Speaker was becoming a distraction from broader policy debates.
“He just does not want to become the issue,” said Mica. “Some people have tried to make him the issue, both in Congress and outside.
“We’ll just have to regroup. We faced challenges before.”
Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot, a fellow Ohio Republican and close Boehner ally, described the room as “somber.”
The famously emotional Boehner shed some tears, as did many other lawmakers.
“You have to put up with a lot of crap when you’re Speaker, and he’s put up with a lot of it,” Chabot said, emerging from the meeting. “I hope the next person on the next team will bring this conference together and do what’s necessary to move this country forward.”
A GOP lawmaker in the room said the meeting also had moments of laughter. Boehner and lawmakers joked about his favorite endearing term for his colleagues: “shithead.”
Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is seen as one strong possibility.
“I assume Kevin McCarthy would likely succeed him,” said Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.).
The Hill reported last week that conservatives were warming to the idea of McCarthy as Speaker, as part of a coalition that would also include other conservative lawmakers.
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), a co-founder of the Freedom Caucus who has been a thorn on Boehner’s side in recent weeks, said the Speaker had “served with honor and distinction and his resignation was done with real class.”
Meadows, before Congress’s August recess, introduced a measure that could have led to Boehner’s ouster. Since then, he and other conservatives had suggested they might try to force a vote on the measure to end Boehner’s Speakership.
On Friday, Meadows said he would not run for the position.