By: James Neyer ~Staff Writer~
Speaker John Boehner announced his resignation from congress at a news conference in the Capitol on Sept. 25. He will officially leave his position at the end of October. Boehner has been speaker since 2011 and in congress since 1991. This decision came after Boehner had a private meeting with Pope Francis the night before. While complaints have been raised by fellow Republicans in regard to Boehner wishing to avert a government shutdown, the decision came as a shock to many. When he made the decision to resign, Boehner did not consult many.
“So before I went to sleep last night, I told my wife, I said, ‘You know, I might just make an announcement tomorrow,’” Boehner said. “This morning I woke up, said my prayers, as I always do, and thought, ‘This is the day I am going to do this.’” His resignation is the first time a speaker of the house has stepped down voluntarily, since Thomas O’Neill Jr. in 1986. The leading candidate to replace Boehner is Representative Kevin McCarthy, R-Cal, as the more conservative members of the party favor him.
Representative Paul Ryan, R-Wis, who many Republicans preferred for the job, has said that he does not wish to take over as speaker. President Obama was surprised by the announcement, he said. Though he and many other Democrats disagreed with Boehner on many political issues, Obama respected the way that Boehner presented himself. “(Boehner) always conducted himself with civility and courtesy with me” Obama said. Boehner graduated from Xavier in 1977 and was the first speaker from Ohio since 1931.