The Washington Post
Politics ⋅ Live Blog

House Speaker John Boehner to resign: Live updates

September 25, 2015
  • Christopher Ingraham
  • ·


John Boehner was elected House majority leader in 2006 after 15 years in Congress. And if you had told someone, at that time, that Boehner would resign his seat in less than 10 years for being insufficiently conservative, you probably would have been laughed at. But Boehner’s career provides an illustration of the stunning rightward shift among House Republicans in recent years.

The chart above plots average conservative ideology scores among House Republicans from the 1960s to today. The data come from political scientists Keith Poole and Howard Rosenthal, who’ve created a widely-used ideology index called a dw-nominate score, which is based on individual legislators’ voting records.

Read the rest here.

  • Elahe Izadi
  • ·

It’s Washington, where campaigns and politicians usually can figure out a way to spin a major development like a speaker resignation into a reason to donate money.

About an hour after Boehner explained to reporters why he’s resigning, the Democratic National Committee sent an e-mail blast encouraging people to sign up for their list.

“House Republicans are officially too extreme for even John Boehner,” it reads. “If you want to kick them out of Congress, add your name to say you’ll help elect Democrats.”

  • Terri Rupar
  • ·

They just got more muddled, according to education reporter Lyndsey Layton:

Congress has been trying to update the 2002 law, widely recognized as broken and a burden to the nation’s 100,000 public schools, since 2007. In July, the Senate passed a bipartisan bill while House Republicans approved a GOP version. The two sides have been trying to come to terms ever since.

Boehner’s decision to step down came as conservative GOP members of the House Freedom Caucus were talking about a no-confidence vote in him – the same members who opposed the House bill to replace No Child Left Behind because it included a federal role in public education, which they believe is strictly a state and local function.

But to reach a deal with the Senate that could also win President Obama’s signature, House negotiators are going to have make their GOP bill more appealing – not less appealing – to Democrats, who insist the federal government must be able to exercise some oversight of K-12 education.

If Boehner is succeeded by a speaker more closely aligned with the Freedom Caucus, the chances for a compromise education bill plummet considerably, some observers said Friday.

Read more here.

  • Terri Rupar
  • ·

From a 2010 profile by Paul Kane:

Just before Thanksgiving 1998, John A. Boehner hit bottom. The Ohio congressman, once a comer in the Republican Party, was unceremoniously removed from his post in the House leadership. Boehner’s colleagues had a win-at-all-costs mind-set; he saw no point in antagonizing the Democratic minority just because he had the power to do so.

That night, Boehner commiserated with his closest friends at Sam and Harry’s steakhouse in downtown Washington. He kept a brave face over glasses of red wine, until Republican Rep. Tom Lathamof Iowa rose to toast his best friend. That’s when Boehner, who is prone to tears (it drives him crazy, but he can’t help it), lost it.

“Everybody in the whole room cried,” he said.

  • Sarah Larimer
  • ·

Okay, I actually checked out John Boehner’s Instagram posts to see if he had a picture of his new grandchild (yep), but the entire account is ace, and probably worth a quick look today.

Here are a few highlights:


Cool work photos!

Throwback Thursdays!

You can find the account here.

  • Catherine Ho
  • ·

House Speaker John Boehner may have just become the most sought-after hire on K Street.

It’s too soon to tell whether Boehner, who announced his resignation Friday, will entertain the possibility of a job at a law or lobby firm, a familiar path for former members of Congress and their senior staff.

But those who have worked closely with Boehner say they can’t see their former boss as a corporate lobbyist. Several former members of Boehner’s staff who are now lobbyists believe he’s more likely to join corporate boards or get more involved in Catholic charities than join a well-heeled lobby firm. Boehner, like other House members, would have to wait one year under federal law to become a registered lobbyist. But he could engage in more informal work such as becoming an adviser on policy.

Read the rest here.

  • Elahe Izadi
  • ·
Ben Carson, 2016 Republican presidential candidate, listens to an audience member's question during a rally at Spring Arbor University in Spring Arbor, Michigan, U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015. Carson, the third candidate in the Republican race to have never held elected office, saw his numbers drop following the debate last week. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg

Ben Carson at a rally in Spring Arbor, Michigan on Sept. 23. (Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg)

Republican presidential hopeful Ben Carson praised Boehner on Friday, calling the speaker “a fine family man and devoted Catholic whose views on the most important issue of all–life–were unshakable.”

“He was before his time with his opposition to earmarks and pork barrel spending,” Carson said in a statement. “His service has been marked by a demeanor and style many should learn to copy.”

  • Terri Rupar
  • ·
Pope Francis addresses Congress in the House chamber on Thursday. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Pope Francis addresses Congress in the House chamber on Thursday. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

As my colleague Mike DeBonis just pointed out, the speaker of the House doesn’t have to be a member of the House of Representatives.

The Constitution just says that the House members should choose their own speaker. According to the House clerk’s office, all the speakers have been members.

Here’s how it works:

When a Congress convenes for the first time, each major party conference or caucus nominates a candidate for Speaker. Members customarily elect the Speaker by roll call vote. A Member usually votes for the candidate from his or her own party conference or caucus but can vote for anyone, whether that person has been nominated or not.

To be elected, a candidate must receive an absolute majority of the votes cast—which may be less than a majority of the full House because of vacancies, absentee Members, or Members who vote “present.” If no candidate receives the majority of votes, the roll call is repeated until a majority is reached and the Speaker is elected.

  • Elahe Izadi
  • ·

Yes, Boehner had many tears during Pope Francis’s visit to the Capitol, and appeared to try to hold them back Friday as he spoke of resigning from the House. Crying in public is kind of Boehner’s thing, and it has been for awhile. He lets the waterworks flow and he has no shame about it.

This Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010 file photo shows House Republican leader John Boehner of Ohio with tears in his eyes as he celebrates the GOP's victory that changes the balance of power in Congress and will likely elevate him to speaker of the House, during an election night gathering hosted by the National Republican Congressional Committee at the Grand Hyatt hotel in Washington. It seems a strange sight: The president of the United States, sometimes called the most powerful person in the world, breaking down in tears thanking campaign workers for their tireless _ and ultimately successful _ work on his behalf. But Barack Obama isn't the only world leader unashamed or unable to avoid being seen crying in public. As Speaker of the House, Republican John Boehner holds one of the most powerful positions in the U.S. government _ and he cries so frequently that Twitter jokesters have taken to calling him the weeper of the house. He tears up easily, particularly when talking about the American dream. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Boehner, with tears, celebrating the GOP victory on Nov. 2, 2010. (Cliff Owen/AP)

Recall the moments before he assumed the Speaker’s gavel in 2011. “He looked up at his wife, two daughters and 10 of his 11 siblings in the gallery above. They were crying, and so was he.”

As The Post’s Paul Kane wrote in 2010, “His friends say there’s a method to the madness.”

“When you see that happen, you really get to the core of what he believes,” former Rep. Tom Latham (R-Iowa) said in 2010. Kane writes that Latham then described “one of two sure-fire moments that will break down the presumptive speaker’s tear ducts: speaking “about why he originally ran . . . to make a difference, because he wants to keep the country great.”

Speaking before a crowd in a downtown Washington hotel following the 2010 midterms, Boehner said: “Listen, I hold these values dear because I’ve lived them.” He then began to sniffle. “I spent my whole life chasing . . . the American dream.”

From the story:

The word “dream” was no sooner out of his mouth then he just started crying, pausing a full 20 seconds to soak in the moment and fight back the tears as the crowd chanted “USA, USA.” Boehner finally returned to tough-guy form, yelling, “All right!” He fought back tears for the entire final minute of the speech.

The crying scene was played in [the following day] by the cable news outlets. Sheepishly, Boehner owned up [that morning] to his inability to control himself.

“Most of you know it’s just a little difficult to talk about my background or talk about my family,” he said. “And I thought – I thought I was going to be in good shape, but not as good as it turned out.”

Go on ahead, Mr. Speaker, and show those emotions.

  • Terri Rupar
  • ·

Boehner officially became House speaker on Jan. 5, 2011, when he was handed a gavel by outgoing Speaker Nancy Pelosi. But it wasn’t just any gavel: It was a really big gavel.

“[It] is larger than most gavels here, but the gavel of choice for Mr. Speaker Boehner,” Pelosi said at the time.

While the Senate replaces its gavel rarely, the House has a number of them. He’s used a large one since then, as well.

House Speaker John Boehner, right, shakes hands as he receives the gavel from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, as the 112th Congress convenes in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2010. Boehner is promising to "give government back to the people" and make "tough decisions" to cut spending as he becomes the U.S. House of Representatives' 53rd speaker today. Photographer: Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg *** Local Caption *** Nancy Pelosi; John Boehner

Boehner shakes hand with Pelosi as the 112th Congress convenes. (Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg)

(Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post)

(Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post)

The gavel and sound block for House Speaker-designate John Boehner of Ohio, is taken through Statuary Hall to the floor of the House on Capitol Hill in Washington Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2011. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The gavel and sound block for Boehner are taken through Statuary Hall to the floor of the House in 2011. (Alex Brandon/AP)

FILE - SEPTEMBER 25, 2015: Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner will resign from Congress at the end of October, according to aides. WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) holds his speakers gavel during the first session of the 114th Congress in the House Chambers January 6, 2015  in Washington, DC. Today Congress convened its first session of the 114th Congress with Republicans controlling both the House and Senate.  (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Boehner holds the speaker’s gavel on Jan. 6, the first session of the 114th Congress. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

  • Mike DeBonis
  • ·

The process of selecting the next speaker of the House will happen in two stages: Republicans will meet internally to nominate their next leader, and a floor vote will follow in the House electing a new speaker.

The timing of that process has yet to be determined, and Boehner will likely be influential in its scheduling ahead of his Oct. 30 departure.

Leadership vacancies have in the past been filled swiftly. When, for instance, Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) lost his re-election bid and subsequently announced his intention to resign in June 2014, the GOP conference elected replacement Kevin McCarthy nine days later — and two months before Cantor formally left office.

Boehner’s resignation is likely to cause a cascading series of departures down the chain of Republican leadership. McCarthy is widely expected to seek the speakership. Possible candidates for his majority leader post include Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) and Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), which would in turn open up races for those posts, respectively the No. 3 and No. 4 leadership positions.

While those internal party races are likely to be bruising, only the speaker’s seat is subject to an actual House vote. But the internal nomination is important in building strong support for a Republican leader.

With Boehner’s resignation, there will be 246 Republicans voting for the next speaker and all but a few Democrats will vote to support Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). A majority vote of 218 is necessary to elect a speaker, so Republicans cannot afford to have more than a couple of dozen dissenters.

  • Terri Rupar
  • ·

Here’s a complete transcript of Boehner’s news conference about his resignation; he entered singing “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah.”

[This is a long one; if you want to skip to the next post, go here.]

BOEHNER: My, oh my, what a wonderful day.

(LAUGHTER) I used to sing that on my way to work in the morning.

Listen, my mission everyday is to fight for smaller, less costly, more accountable government.

And over the last five years, our majority has advanced conservative reforms that will help our children and their children. We’re now on track to cut government spending by $2.1 trillion over the next 10 years. We made the first real entitlement reform in nearly two decades.

And we protected 99 percent of the American people from an increase in our taxes.

We’ve done all this with a Democrat in the White House. So I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished. But more than anything, my first job is — as speaker, is to protect the institution.

A lot of you know that — now know, that my plan was to step down at the end of last year. I decided in November of 2010 that — when I was elected speaker, that serving two terms would have been plenty.

And — but in June of last year, when it became clear that the majority leader lost his election, I didn’t frankly believe it was right for me to leave at the end of last year.

So, my goal was to leave at the end of this year. So I planned, actually, on my birthday, November 17, to announce that I was leaving at the end of the year.

But it’s become clear to me that this prolonged leadership turmoil would do irreparable harm to the institution. So, this morning, informed my colleagues I would resign from the speakership and resign from Congress at the end of October.

Now, as you’ve often heard me say, this isn’t about me. It’s about the people, it’s about the institution.

Just yesterday we witnessed the awesome sight of Pope Francis addressing the greatest legislative body in the world. And I hope we will all heed his call to live by the golden rule. But last night, I started to think about this.

BOEHNER: And this morning, I woke up and I said my prayers, as I always do, and I decided, you know, today’s the day I’m going to do this.

As simple as that.

That’s the code I always lived by, if you do the right things for the right reasons, the right things will happen. And I know good things lie ahead for this House and this country, and I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished, especially proud of my team.

You know, I’ve been here — my 25th year here, and I’ve succeeded, in large part, because I put a staff together and a team together, many of which have been with me for a long time. And without a great staff you can’t be a great member, and you certainly can’t be a great speaker.

I’m going to thank my family for putting up with this all these years. My poor girls, who are now 37 and 35. Their first campaign photo was in July of 1981, and so, they’ve had to endure all this.

It’s one thing for me to have to endure it. I’ve got thick skin. But, you know, the girls and my wife, they had to put up with a lot over the years.

Let me express my gratitude to my constituents, who’ve sent me here 13 times over the last 25 years. You can’t get here without getting votes. But — I say this often. People ask me, what’s the greatest thing about being speaker, or about being an elected official? And I said, well, it’s the people you get to meet.

You know, I have met tens of thousands of people in my own congressional district that I would have not met, other than the fact I decided to ran for Congress.

Over the years, as I traveled on behalf of my colleagues and the party, I’ve met tens of thousands of additional people all over the country. And you meet rich people, you meet poor people, you meet interesting people. Probably a few boring ones along the way.

But I can tell you that 99.9 percent of the people I meet on the road, anywhere, could not be — could not be nicer than they’ve been. It’s been — really, it’s been wonderful.

It’s been an honor to serve in this institution. And with that — all right, Junior, go ahead. QUESTION: Speaker Boehner, you were noticeably overcome with emotion yesterday.

BOEHNER: Really? What a surprise.

QUESTION: I’m curious, did you make this decision last night — if the grace of Pope Francis led you to this decision?

BOEHNER: No, no. Yesterday was wonderful day. It really was. Was I emotional yesterday? I think I was.

I was really emotional in a moment that really no one saw. As the pope and I were getting ready to exit the building, we found ourselves alone. And the pope grabbed my left arm, and said some very kind words to me about my commitment to kids and education.

And the pope puts his arm around me, and kind of pulls me to him and says, “Please pray for me.” Well, who am I to pray for the pope? But I did.

QUESTION: If it wasn’t the pope, then what was it?

BOEHNER: It’s — listen, it was never about the vote, all right? There was never any doubt about whether I could survive the vote.

But I don’t want my members to have to go through this. I certainly don’t want the institution to go through this. And so — especially when, you know, I knew I was — I was thinking about walking out the door anyway.

So, it’s the right time to do it, and frankly, I am entirely comfortable doing it.

QUESTION: Mr. Speaker, I’ve heard you say before that a leader who doesn’t have anybody following him is just a guy taking a walk.

BOEHNER: That’s right. I have got plenty of people — I’ve got plenty of people following me.

But this turmoil that’s been churning now for a couple months is not good for the members and it’s not good for the institution. And if I wasn’t planning on leaving here soon, I can tell you I would not have done this.



QUESTION: Just — there are people who are on the right in your caucus, and even outside of this institution, who have been wanting you to step down for some time, who feel they have a victory today.


QUESTION: Do you feel that you were pushed out?

BOEHNER: No. The members — I’m glad I made this announcement at the conference with all my Republican colleagues, because it was a very good moment to help kind of rebuild the team.

Listen, I feel good about what I’ve done. I know that I — every day try to do the right things for the right reasons, and try to do the right thing for the country.

QUESTION: Mr. Speaker, how can this not be a moment for turmoil? You said you thought about leaving two years ago after (inaudible), but at the time, you said this would have put the House in turmoil.

You have to keep the government open in a couple of days, debt ceiling. There’s going to be…

BOEHNER: Well, I’m…


BOEHNER: I’m going to be here for another five weeks. And I’m not going to leave, I’m not going to sit around here and do nothing for the next 30 days. There’s a lot of work that needs to be done. I plan on getting it as much of it done as I can before I exit.

QUESTION: And as a result, though, (inaudible) does it make it easier in some ways to make some tougher decisions, maybe relying on Democrats to keep the government open next week or something (ph)?

BOEHNER: No. I’m going to make the same decisions I would have made regardless of this.

QUESTION: Mr. Speaker, you’ve made no secret of your frustration that some members of your far right (inaudible) and some outside groups used words like, “knuckle heads” and some other words we probably can’t use on television…

BOEHNER: Probably.

QUESTION: Probably. Have you just have enough? And how will anything be different for the…

BOEHNER: No, no. I — let me tell you. I would not describe it as having had enough. And that’s not it at all.

When you are the speaker of the House, your No. 1 responsibility is to the institution. And having a vote like this in the institution, I don’t think is very healthy.

And so, I’ve done everything I can over my term as speaker to strengthen the institution. And frankly, my move today is another step in that effort to strengthen the institution.

QUESTION: So, won’t the next speaker face the same thing?

BOEHNER: Hopefully not.

QUESTION: That’s my question, Mr. Speaker. How will Washington be different because you leave this institution?

What should people watching this expect the House and Congress to do going forward, if you’re not here?

BOEHNER: Well, if we — if the Congress stays focused on the American people’s priorities, there will be no problem at all.

And while we have differences between Democrats and Republicans, the goal here, as one of the leaders, is to find the common ground.

Listen, I talked to President Bush and President Obama this morning. I’ve talked to all my legislative leaders who I have a very good relationship with all of them. Because at the end of the day, the leaders will have to be able to work with each other, trust each other to find the common ground and get things done.

And so, if the Congress stays focused on what’s important to the American people, they’ll get along just fine.

QUESTION: Can you tell us how your conference reacted to the news?

BOEHNER: I would say they were shocked.



QUESTION: Can you elaborate a little bit more on that? Maybe how the leadership itself reacted?

BOEHNER: Yeah, I told Mr. McCarthy, about two minutes before I spoke, what I was going to do. I had to tell him five times, because he didn’t believe me.


I said, you better believe me.

QUESTION: Should McCarthy be the next speaker?

BOEHNER: Listen, I’m not going to be here to vote on the next speaker, but that’s up to the members. But having said that, I think that Kevin McCarthy would make an excellent speaker.

QUESTION: Who is the first person you told, and what did they say?

BOEHNER: Well, I told my wife.

QUESTION: What did she say?

BOEHNER: She said, good.


I told my chief of — my chief of staff and I talked late yesterday. I had told him I was thinking today might be the day. And I told him I’d sleep on it.

So, before I went to sleep last night, I told my wife. I said, “You know, I might just make an announcement tomorrow.” What do you mean? What kind of announcement?

Well, I might tell them it’s time to go. So, this morning, I woke up and walked up to Starbucks as usual and got my coffee, and came back and read. And walked up to Pete’s Diner and saw everybody at Pete’s, and got home and thought, “Yep, I think today’s the day.”

So, my senior staff was having a meeting at 8:45, and kind of walked in before I opened the House and told them, “This is the day.”

It’s going to happen someday. Why not today?

QUESTION: Do you know when the next election might be held?


Paul (ph)?

QUESTION: What advice will you give Kevin McCarthy, based on your five years, what advice do you give him to avoid the same pitfalls that you’ve come across?

BOEHNER: Well, I’ll tell Kevin, if he’s the next speaker, that his number one responsibility is to protect the institution. Nobody else around here has an obligation like that.

Secondly, I’d tell him the same thing I’ve just told you. You just do the right thing every day for the right reasons, the right things will happen.

You all know me. My colleagues know me. I’m always straight with them. You know, they may not like the answer they get but they’ll get an honest answer every single time they come to my office. It’s just an easier way for me to do my job.

QUESTION: You originally planned to announce this on your birthday? And if it wasn’t the pope what factors sort of weighed in on your decision to do this now?

BOEHNER: Just all this stuff I read about in the paper and — I really don’t want the institution to hurt and I don’t want my colleagues hurt. I don’t want to put my colleagues through all this. For what? So, yes?

QUESTION: What are you going to miss? What will you miss?

BOEHNER: Pardon me?

QUESTION: What will you miss?

BOEHNER: What will I miss? Of course all of you.


I don’t know what I’m going to miss because I haven’t missed it yet. But I’ll certainly miss the camaraderie of the House.

Let me tell you another story that was really kind of interesting. Maxine Waters and I, Democrat from Southern California, came here 25 years ago in the same class. Now, you know, there’s nothing about my politics and Maxine Waters’ politics that is even anywhere close, but yesterday about 5:30 she called my office. I got a note that she called so I called her back.

And she said, “You know, I watched you for 25 years here. We came here together and watched your career. And I watched you today.” And she said, “I just want to tell you something. I’m really proud of you.” You know, listen, I’ve got the best relationships on both sides of the aisle because I treat people fairly and treat them honestly. But I’m going to miss, certainly miss my colleagues.


QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

To go back to this theme of trying to take turmoil out of the House and stabilizing the institution, how do you think that it could become more stable? Several Republicans I talked to yesterday from your conference said they don’t think a new speaker will mean any new outcome especially with an untested (inaudible) of untested leadership, how could it become more stable?

BOEHNER: As I mentioned earlier, the fact I did this with my colleagues this morning, then we proceeded to have an hour and a half conversation, I thought was a unifying moment. Between that and the pope’s call for living by the golden rule yesterday, hope springs eternal.

QUESTION: Can you talk about what you think your legacy is as you’re leaving? What are your most important accomplishments, and what are you going to do on November 1st? Are you moving to Florida?

BOEHNER: I was never in the legacy business. You all heard me say it, I’m a regular guy with a big job. And I never thought I’d be in Congress much less I’d ever be speaker. But people know me as being fair, being honest, being straightforward and trying to do the right thing every day on behalf of the country. I don’t need any more on that.

QUESTION: Mr. Speaker, you seemed very relieved.

BOEHNER: Zippidy do-da, zippidy day.

QUESTION: I mean by speaking to — singing zippidy do-da, what are your plans next and also have you talked to — have you spoken to…

BOEHNER: You know when you make a decision this morning, you haven’t had — really haven’t had anytime to think about what I’m going to do in the future. I have no idea, but I do know this. I’m doing this today for the right reasons, and you know what? The right things will happen as a result.


  • Colby Itkowitz
  • ·

Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.), who leads the GOP caucus centrists, said he is “concerned” about the future of the party, particularly the 100 or so members who he says often “hope yes, but vote no.”

“We need to get them firmly back into the right mental state and into the fold,” Dent said.

Dent, though not in leadership, often whipped votes for Boehner and defended him against those who sought to “undermine him.”

“John Boehner understood the political reality of his circumstance. He tried to govern accordingly, some folks can’t …they are simply in math denial. The next speaker is going to have to deal with those who deny basic math,” he said.

“It’s not just sad, there’s a sense of uncertainty and a little bit of a haze and a fog of not sure where things are going to go,” Dent said.

  • Sarah Larimer
  • ·

When describing what his morning was like before today’s announcement, you might have heard Boehner mention Pete’s Diner, a Capitol Hill spot where he is a regular.

You can see the diner in the video below:

In a 2014 issue of Esquire, Boehner was particularly pro-diners, writing that his diner routine was “a comforting ritual, particularly in the dead of winter.”

  • Catherine Ho
  • ·

Dave Schnittger, a longtime aide to Boehner who is now a lobbyist at Squire Patton Boggs, said he shook his former boss’s hand in the Capitol shortly after his announcement. Schnittger worked for Boehner for 21 years, most recently as his deputy chief of staff from 2006 to 2015.

“I shook his hand, I looked at him and said one word, ‘Liberation,'” Schnittger said. “We both laughed.”

  • Elahe Izadi
  • ·

Boehner’s long congressional career included a number of memorable zingers, quotes and even a birthday song or two.

Among them: “This isn’t some damn game!”

  • Kelsey Snell
  • ·

Republicans said Thursday that the House will vote next week on a stop-gap spending bill to fund the government after Sept. 30, without the controversial language that would defund Planned Parenthood.

Dozens of House Republicans acknowledged the plan on Friday after the closed-door meeting where Boehner (R-Ohio) made the bombshell announcement that he’ll resign as speaker at the end of October. The strategy all but ensures there will be no imminent shutdown and leaves any future budget battles in the hands of new leadership.

But the temporary stand-down doesn’t mean the larger crisis is over. The spending bill will likely keep the government funded through Dec. 11, but at that point, the whole battle could replay itself. Conservatives are already pressing for a new speaker who is more responsive to their demands. While the fight over Planned Parenthood is the most public between Boehner and the right-wing of his party, many conservatives are also still angry that Boehner would consider negotiating with Democrats to add spending increases to the budget.

Read more about what may come next here.

  • Juliet Eilperin
  • ·

President Obama lavished praise on retiring House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) Friday, saying he had been “true to his word” and was open to forging compromise.

During a joint press conference with Chinese President Xi Jinping, the president said Boehner’s decision to step down “took me by surprise,” and he called the speaker shortly before facing reporters in the Rose Garden.

“John Boehner is a good man. He’s a patriot,” said Obama, who had a friendly rapport–but often strained working relationship– with Boehner. “He cares deeply about the House.. He cares about his constituents. He cares about America.”


Obama declined to speculate on who might succeed the Ohio Republican, saying, “I’m not going to prejudge who the next speaker will be. That is something that will have to be worked through the House.”

But the president suggested the same dynamics that had stymied compromise between the White House and Capitol Hill leaders—in which many Republicans “saw compromise of any sort as weakness or betrayal”—would likely continue to define Washington.

“I don’t necessarily think that there’s going to be a big shift,” he said.

  • Terri Rupar
  • ·

In his press conference, Boehner said that he told his wife and chief of staff last night that he might have an announcement today.

He said this morning, he woke up and did his normal routine: went to Starbucks, got coffee, read the news, went to Pete’s Diner and said: “Yup, I think today’s the day.”

Boehner said that he walked into a meeting of his senior staff before opening the House, at an 8:45 a.m. meeting, and told them of his plan to resign.

  • Elahe Izadi
  • ·

Boehner told reporters Friday that although he won’t be voting for the next speaker, that House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy “would make an excellent speaker.”

He told McCarthy that he was resigning about two minutes before he broke the news to the rest of his House Republican colleagues. “I had to tell him five times because he didn’t believe me. I said, ‘You better believe me,'” Boehner said.

Asked about advice to a future speaker, Boehner said, “I told Kevin, if he’s speaker, his number one responsibility is to protect the institution…  And secondly, you just do the right thing, every day, for the right reasons.”

Load More
No More Posts