Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner announced his resignation from both the speakership and his congressional seat on Friday, Sept. 25. Boehner, a Republican from the 8th Congressional District of Ohio, has been a member of the House of Representatives since 1990, according to Boehner’s website. He has held a multitude of leadership positions during his time in the House, and has been the Speaker of the House for the past five years.
Boehner held a press conference Friday after the news that he was resigning had broken. Boehner said, as Speaker of the House, his job was “to protect the institution.” His original plan was to step down as Speaker at the end of 2014, but he ultimately decided to stay when he realized “prolonged leadership turmoil would do irreparable harm to the institution,” Boehner said during his press conference.
His speech went on for 15 minutes, noting that his role as Speaker of the House was “to serve the institution and the people.” Boehner noted many times throughout his speech that “it was an honor to serve.”
As Speaker of the House, Boehner’s main goal throughout his tenure as Speaker was to limit both government spending and involvement in the citizen’s personal issues, according to his official website. His latest battle in the House was to defund Planned Parenthood after the organization was caught selling fetus parts. This fight has led Congress to the brink of a government shutdown, which happened before in October 2013 for 16 days when a plan could not be finalized to solve the nation’s debt.
Boehner’s announcement was a surprise to many, even President Obama, who said he would “reach out immediately” to Boehner. This is the third blow to the Republican party, who recently lost Rick Perry and Scott Walker as presidential candidates, according to The Washington Post.
Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin said that he appreciates Boehner’s work as Speaker of the House and considers his resignation to be “an act of pure selflessness,” according to The New York Times. No reports have been made on who will be the next Speaker of the House. John Boehner is set to leave office on Oct. 30, 2015.
Editor’s Note: Information from The Washington Post, The New York Times and John Boehner’s website was used in this report.