WASHINGTON (FOX NEWS) - House Speaker John Boehner told lawmakers Friday that he plans to resign at the end of October, in a stunning development that comes amid mounting friction with the conservative wing of the party. He plans to step down as speaker, and resign from Congress.
The 13-term Ohio Republican shocked his GOP caucus early Friday morning when he informed them of his decision in a closed-door session. One lawmaker told Fox News he was "stunned," and that there was "some anger" in the room "against the people who caused this to happen."
The announcement came one day after the high point of Boehner's congressional career, a historic speech by Pope Francis to Congress at Boehner's request. To the backdrop of that day's pageantry, though, Boehner was facing an internal battle in the House GOP caucus over Planned Parenthood funding and threats by some in the conservative wing to challenge his speakership.
Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., said Boehner "just does not want to become the issue. Some people have tried to make him the issue both in Congress and outside." Read more at http://fxn.ws/1jhGNYx
Official statement from Speaker Boehner
"My mission every day is to fight for a smaller, less costly, and more accountable government. Over the last five years, our majority has advanced conservative reforms that will help our children and their children. I am proud of what we have accomplished.
"The first job of any Speaker is to protect this institution that we all love. It was my plan to only serve as Speaker until the end of last year, but I stayed on to provide continuity to the Republican Conference and the House. It is my view, however, that prolonged leadership turmoil would do irreparable damage to the institution. To that end, I will resign the Speakership and my seat in Congress on October 30.
"Today, my heart is full with gratitude for my family, my colleagues, and the people of Ohio’s Eighth District. God bless this great country that has given me - the son of a bar owner from Cincinnati - the chance to serve."
What they’re saying
“Speaker Boehner has a long record of dedicated leadership and I am shocked and saddened by his decision. His announcement today is a selfless act and Speaker Boehner wanted to do what’s best for this institution and the country. He was one of the gang of seven which uncovered the House bank scandal almost 25 years ago. He was a trailblazer in efforts to rid Congress of pork-barrel spending and I am proud we stood together to ban earmarks from the House. And he continues to do the right things for this House and our country. John’s leadership, integrity, and sincerity will be dearly missed in Washington and his resignation leaves a tremendous void in the People’s House. I considered it a privilege to call him Speaker and an even greater honor to call him friend.” - Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.)
“While John and I don’t agree on every issue, we were often able to work together when we did agree. I believe Congress needs more people willing to work across the aisle, not less. At his core, Speaker Boehner believes in the promise of America and has served this institution with dignity for more than two decades. I will always be grateful to him for his help in passing the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention Act and I wish him well as he begins life outside of Congress.” - Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minn.)
“In a truly American story, John Boehner grew up the son of a barkeep with eleven brothers and sisters and worked his way up to become Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. His steady, calm leadership has been an asset as Congress has navigated through difficult obstacles and passionate debates. The Speaker’s decision to step down is one of incredible selflessness and humility.” - Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.)