Speaker John A. Boehner will resign in October
WASHINGTON — 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, who was first elected to Congress in 1990, made the announcement in an emotional meeting with his fellow Republicans on Friday morning.
The Ohio representative struggled from almost the moment he took the speaker’s gavel in 2011 to manage the challenges of divided government and to hold together his fractious and increasingly conservative Republican members.
Most recently, Mr. Boehner, 65, was trying to craft a solution to keep the government open through the rest of the year, but was under pressure from a growing base of conservatives who told him that they would not vote for a bill that did not defund Planned Parenthood. Several of those members were on a path to remove Mr. Boehner as speaker, though their ability to do so was far from certain.
Mr. Boehner’s surprise announcement came just a day after Pope Francis visited the Capitol, the fulfillment of a 20-year dream for Mr. Boehner of having a pontiff address Congress. He had a private audience with Francis before the pope’s address to a joint meeting of Congress.