House Speaker John Boehner, a staunch Republican and political foe of President Obama, made a startling, tearful announcement today. Boehner, who has served in Congress since 1990, announced he will resign his seat in Congress at the end of October 2015. The announcement was met with a measure of surprise by some and cheers by ultra-conservative Republicans who felt that Boehner was not conservative enough.
Boehner was elected Speaker of the House in 2011 and it was thought by many that he would be instrumental in defeating President Obama’s various policy initiatives. However, during his tenure he realized that he had to reach agreements with the president and a Congress where Democratic legislators had seen a resurgence in power. The most famous fight between Boehner and Obama dealt with the 16-day government shutdown crisis in 2013, which almost led to the United States defaulting on its national debt. Die-hard Republicans who were swept into power by tea party voters were determined to force Obama to make drastic spending cuts in social services. However, the move by Republican legislators ultimately failed as the outrage of the American people turned from Obama policies to Republicans who refused to govern for the best interest of the people.
The Republican party seemed more willing to continue an election agenda they lost against President Obama and the will of the people. From the passage of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) to ending the conflict in Iraq, Republicans in Congress blamed Boehner for their political losses. Now tea party advocates and conservatives are ecstatic over the possibility of a new Speaker of the House who will push for harder conservative agendas. The next big fight is over the defunding of Planned Parenthood, which many Republican lawmakers favor. The two leading front-runners for consideration are Reps. Kevin McCarthy of California and Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.
Right-wing conservatives like Michael A. Needham, the CEO of the powerful conservative group Heritage Action, welcomed the change in leadership. “Americans deserve a Congress that will fight for opportunity for all and favoritism toward none. Too often Speaker Boehner has stood in the way. Today’s announcement is a sign that the voice of the American people is breaking through in Washington. Now is the time for a principled conservative leader to emerge,” Needham said.