The leader of the US House of Representatives, speaker John Boehner, will resign from Congress at the end of October.
The shock announcement came one day after a high point of Boehner’s career —an historic speech by Pope Francis to the Republican-controlled congress at his request.
A focus of conservatives’ complaints, Boehner “just does not want to become the issue”, said Republican John Mica.
“Some people have tried to make him the issue both in congress and outside.”
Conservatives have demanded any legislation to keep the government operating past next Wednesday’s deadline strip women’s healthcare provider Planned Parenthood of government funds, an argument rejected by more pragmatic politicians. The dispute has threatened Boehner’s speakership.
Some conservatives welcomed his announcement. Tom Massie said the speaker “subverted our Republic”.
“I think it was inevitable,” he said. “This is a condition of his own making right here.”
The Senate was right to block a resolution that would defund Planned Parenthood. Now, stop these attacks—and don't shut down the government.— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) September 24, 2015
But more mainstream Republicans said it would be a pyrrhic victory for the conservative Tea Party.
“The honour of John Boehner this morning stands in stark contrast to the idiocy of those members who seek to continually divide us,” said David Jolly. “The shutdown caucus as I call them has a small victory.” Boehner’s decision removes the possibility of a vote to strip him of his speakership
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