Amid intense partisan political pressure, Speaker of the House John Boehner announced Friday that he will resign his coveted position at the end of October, the New York Times reports. Boehner, who has been a Congressman since 1990 and the Speaker of the House since 2011, has been under intense pressure to pass a budget to prevent a government shutdown. His fellow Republicans (and a few Democrats) have been unwilling to get on board with any budget that doesn’t include provisions to defund the controversial reproductive health organization Planned Parenthood.
“The next speaker is going to have a very tough job. The fundamental dynamics don’t change.”
Whoever replaces Boehner as the Speaker of the House is definitely going to have their work cut out for them. Now that Boehner has announced his decision to resign, replacement Speaker names are already being tossed around. The Speaker of the House’s successor will be decided by a House majority vote. The current majority leader, Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, is now the man most are looking to. He is far more conservative than Speaker Boehner, and his toughest competition, Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, isn’t interested in following in the current Speaker’s footsteps after his decision to resign.
With the Speaker of the House deciding to resign, the job of passing a budget to keep the government funded through the end of the year suddenly becomes less complicated. The Speaker of the House no longer has to worry about pandering to the right or anyone in order to keep his job, because he’s already decided to resign his position. The Speaker will be able to get down to business without worrying about partisan politics, such as the defunding of Planned Parenthood, getting in the way.
The pressure from the right to create a budget that ultimately strips Planned Parenthood of its funding has been a major thorn in the side of Boehner and likely played a huge role in his decision to resign. President Obama has vowed to veto any bill that included language that stripped Planned Parenthood of its funding, which left Boehner largely running in circles, Reuters reports.
Not surprisingly, following the announcement of the decision of the Speaker of the House resign, there was a lot of cheering on the left, as well as from some more conservative Republicans who feel as though the Speaker wasn’t representing their interests. Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California didn’t get an official call letting her know that Boehner had decided to resign. She got the news from a staffer’s cell phone alerts and reportedly had her own take on Bohner’s decision to resign.
“God knows what’s next over there. Coming from earthquake country, this is a big one.”
While most fellow Republicans were conciliatory about the decision of House Speaker Boehner to resign his seat, there were a few who were far less than cordial. They used the announcement of his impending resignation as a soap box to further their own political interests. Not surprisingly, as the decision of Boehner to resign reportedly comes due to the incredible pressure to defund Planned Parenthood, much of the chatter from dissenters of the Speaker of the House has to do with abortion.
John Boehner, the Speaker of the House, has always been a staunch supporter of the “pro-life” movement and has dedicated much of his political career to restricting the availability of legal abortion in the U.S. Lately, though, amid a field of presidential contenders and politicians who’ve vowed to change the Washington D.C. status quo, the Speaker clearly hasn’t gone far enough. Senator Ted Cruz was particularly scathing in his remarks after hearing Boehner was to resign, pulling no punches.
“The early reports are discouraging. If it is correct that the speaker, before he resigns, has cut a deal with Nancy Pelosi to fund the Obama administration for the rest of this year, to fund Obamacare, to fund executive amnesty, to fund Planned Parenthood, to fund implementation of this Iran deal and then presumably to land a cushy K Street job after joining with the Democrats to implement all of President Obama’s priorities, that is not the behavior one would expect from a Republican speaker of the House.”
Because the news of the impending resignation of Speaker of the House Boehner is just breaking, the details are few and the rumors are rampant. One can only hope that a budget and the full story behind the decision of the Speaker of the House to resign will come to pass between now and the end of October.
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