House Speaker John Boehner will give up his seat in Congress at the end of October.
Boehner became the 53rd Speaker of the House in 2011. The Ohio Republican’s tenure has been marked by fierce confrontations with Democrats and sometimes with his own party. One of those fights led to a 16-day partial government shutdown in 2013.
Congress is once again facing a government shutdown, unless a budget deal is reached by the end of the month.
A Republican aide says that Boehner believes “the first job of any Speaker is to protect this institution.”
The aide said Boehner expected to serve through the end of the year but that he changed his mind after seven-term Rep. Eric Cantor, the former House majority leader, lost his seat to a Tea Party Candidate in 2014.
“The speaker believes putting members through prolonged leadership turmoil would do irreparable damage to the institution,” the aide said.
Boehner, who has 11 brothers and sisters, grew up working at his family’s tavern. He has represented Ohio’s Eighth Congressional District since 1990.
His speakership was almost immediately challenged in 2011 as the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party refused to vote for a plan to raise the debt ceiling.
In 2013, that fight came to head, ending in a partial government shutdown. At the time, both Democrats and Republicans criticized the speaker of being too accommodating to the conservative wing of his party.
Boehner is in the same position now, NPR’s Brian Naylor tells our Newscast unit, except this time the fight is over the funding of Planned Parenthood. The conservative wing of his party wants to defund Planned Parenthood as part of a bill to keep the government open.
“There has been a movement by renegade Republicans to oust him from the speakership,” Brian says.
Boehner is expected to speak shortly. We’ll update this post when he does.
Update at 10:16 a.m. ET: An Encounter About A Looming Shutdown
NPR’s Scott Detrow saw Boehner leaving a restaurant last night in Washington, D.C. He sends us this missive:
“Boehner looked relaxed and content last night, when he emerged from his favorite Washington Italian restaurant, Trattoria Alberto, around 9:30.
“A man who appeared to be the owner saw Boehner and his family out. And as the speaker walked to his SUV, a man at a neighboring restaurant approached the speaker for a handshake, and then asked him to please not shut the federal government down.
“Boehner embraced the man, grabbing both his shoulders, and said, ‘That’s not going to happen.’
” ‘Look at me,’ he said, pointing to both men’s eyes with two fingers. ‘From me to you, that’s not going to happen.’ “
Update at 10:05 a.m. ET: Applause At Values Voter Summit
NPR’s Jessica Taylor sends this report from the Values Voter Summit, where GOP presidential hopeful Sen. Marco Rubio broke the news to the crowd:
“When Rubio announced at Values Voter Summit that Boehner had announced he was resigning, there was huge applause and a standing ovation.
“He deviated some from his prepared remarks. While he said he respected Boehner, ‘the time has come to turn the page for a new generation of leadership, and that extends to the White House.’ “