By Robert A. Vella

A day after his private meeting with Pope Francis, and amid a growing rebellion within his own Republican caucus, Speaker of the House John Boehner announced today that he will resign both his leadership position and his seat from Ohio’s 8th congressional district at the end of October.

Boehner, a Catholic, has been under increasing pressure from right-wing conservatives over the last four years to force a government shutdown in order to extract concessions from Democrats favorable to the extremist Tea Party agenda.  The last shutdown in 2013 was politically damaging to the Republican brand which Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hoped not to repeat.  The current threat to shutdown the federal government is being pushed by Christian fundamentalists who are attempting to defund the nonprofit healthcare organization Planned Parenthood which provides reproductive and other medical services for women.

The surprising announcement by Boehner guarantees a rough battle ahead in the Republican-controlled House to select a new Speaker.  It is likely that the GOP establishment will have a more difficult task this time in holding off a Tea Party insurgency into its leadership.  Perhaps, that was the main reason for Boehner’s decision.  Whether his meeting with the Pope played any role is open to speculation.

Further reading:

John Boehner to resign from Congress

Boehner to step down at the end of October

6 thoughts on “BREAKING NEWS: Speaker of the House John Boehner to resign from Congress

    • In many ways, Boehner is kind of a pathetic figure. Being a traditional conservative, he’s certainly no liberal nor progressive. But compared to the Tea Party, he’s something of an outcast. His commitment to the federal government has put him at odds with those anti-government loonies, and his Catholicism is generally resented by their Christian fundamentalist (i.e. Protestant) beliefs. My guess is that Boehner saw the writing on the wall – that he would be ousted as Speaker – and decided that he had had enough of the lunatics’ bullshit.

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