In a shock announcement, Republican speaker of the House John Boehner is stepping down from leadership and resigning from Congress in October.
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 exact reason for the resignation announcement has not been released, though it has not been smooth sailing for Speaker Boehner in recent months. Actually, it hasn’t been smooth sailing for him in years.
The fiscally conservative wing of the GOP has been growing in size and strength since the wave 2010 election, causing friction between the more principled members of Congress and the established politicians in GOP leadership ever since.
It’s unclear at this point who plans to step up and fill the speakership position in the GOP after Boehner leaves.
(Update 10:21 am) According to NBC News:
A Boehner aide told NBC News that the Speaker “believes putting members through prolonged leadership turmoil would do irreparable damage to the institution. He is proud of what this majority has accomplished, and his Speakership, but for the good of the Republican Conference and the institution, he will resign the Speakership and his seat in Congress, effective October 30.”