Politics & Policy

Boehner to Resign at End of October

(Drew Angerer/Getty)

House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) announced today that he is resigning at the end of next month.

“Boehner resigning at end of October,” a Republican representative texted National Review from the House conference meeting. A second congressman confirmed the news.

Boehner has been under pressure from a group of rank-and-file conservatives for months, culminating in the House Freedom Caucus vowing not to vote for any continuing resolution to fund the government that contains money for Planned Parenthood. That pledge came after an HFC member, North Carolina Representative Mark Meadows, filed a motion to vacate the chair — that is, depose the speaker — in August. Boehner considered holding a vote on the motion, according to one House Republican familiar with his thinking, but did not do so out of concern that he would not have the support needed to defeat the motion outright.

Boehner intended to resign at the end of the last Congress, but changed plans after then-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R., Va.) lost his primary. “He is proud of what this majority has accomplished, and his speakership, but for the good of the Republican conference and the institution, he will resign the speakership and his seat in Congress, effective October 30,” a Boehner aide says in an e-mail.

#share#Between the Meadows motion and the HFC pledge, Boehner was in a tight spot. HFC, a group of between 30 and 40 members, is large enough to deny Boehner the 218 Republican votes needed to pass legislation. By the same token, they could also deny him a majority on the House floor in a vote over who should be speaker, assuming that the Democrats were to vote against him as well. The danger, for Boehner, was that if he refused to use the CR to defund Planned Parenthood, at risk of a government shutdown, he’d find himself facing an open rebellion from his right flank.

As it is, Boehner’s announcement sets the stage for the House to pass a “clean” CR that does not strip out funding for Planned Parenthood with the help of House Democrats. “Fifty to 100 GOP members to vote with Dems,” the first GOP representative tells NR.

— Joel Gehrke is a political reporter at National Review.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

O’Rourke’s America

With apologies to Margaret Atwood and a thousand other dystopian novelists, we do not have to theorize about what an American police state would look like, because we know what it looks like: the airport, that familiar totalitarian environment where Americans are disarmed, stripped of their privacy, divested of ... Read More

Is America Becoming Sinicized?

A little over 40 years ago, Chinese Communist strongman and reformer Deng Xiaoping began 15 years of sweeping economic reforms. They were designed to end the disastrous, even murderous planned economy of Mao Zedong, who died in 1976. The results of Deng’s revolution astonished the world. In four decades, ... Read More

LeBron James Looks Like a Fraud

So, LeBron James claimed that Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey was simply “misinformed or not really educated on the situation” when he tweeted his support for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. “I don’t want to get into a feud with Daryl Morey, but I believe he wasn’t educated on the situation at ... Read More

Kurdish, Syrian, and Turkish Ironies

Outrage met Donald Trump’s supposedly rash decision to pull back U.S. troops from possible confrontational zones between our Kurdish friends in Syria and Recep Erdogan’s expeditionary forces. Turkey claims that it will punish the Syrian Kurds for a variety of supposed provocations, including aiding and ... Read More