John Boehner

Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives John Boehner Resigns Effective End of October

John Boehner resigned from the House of Representatives in a press conference on September 25th, 2015. He will step down at the end of October.  

Freshman student at the University, Sierra Jordan said, “I look at it as a weakness because they (the Republicans) lost one of their big name leaders.”

In his tenure as Speaker of the House of Representatives he was able to lead his party to a majority in the House during the  2010 Congressional elections. As a whole, according to CNN politics, The Ohio Republican’s tenure as Speaker has been marked by clashes with conservatives — especially when it comes to fiscal policy.”

According to CNN, he struggled to push through legislation to increase the debt ceiling and was facing another showdown next week to keep the government open. The Speaker has often relied on Democratic votes during these moments, a strategy that has infuriated conservatives.

Often subject to criticism by his own party, with him choosing to leave at the end of October he is paving the way for someone more conservative to take the lead in the house. Associate Professor of Political Science, Dr. Steven Chapman, said, “With Bohner leaving the speakership there will be a more conservative stance taken by the party,” and during his tenure “he was attempting to corral the party and was unable to do so.”

According to Dr. Joseph Patten, Chair of the Political Science Department said, “The primary reason Speaker Boehner is stepping down is because of tensions in the House Republican caucus.  The conservative wing of the party has been dissatisfied with Speaker Boehner’s leadership over the last couple of years.  One of the issues centers on Speaker Boehner’s reluctance to shut the government down in the upcoming budget debt ceiling battle if Democrats refuse to cut federal funding of Planned Parenthood.” All of these are contributing factors in a departure from the House.

According to a CNN article capturing multiple reactions to John Boehner’s resignition,the Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell said, “When some said Republicans could never recover, he never gave up. When some gave in to defeatism, he kept up the fight. Because he did, Speaker Boehner was able to transform a broken and dispirited Republican minority into the largest Republican majority since the 1920s. That’s a legacy few can match.”

Boehner’s resignation received mixed reviews from conservatives. Presidential Candidate for the Republican Party and current Governor of Ohio, John Kasich, said of the critics of Boehner, “A lot of the people who are doing the complaining and saying, ‘Why isn’t anything getting done, maybe they ought to look in the mirror.’”

Republican Presidential Candidate and Senator from Florida, Marco Rubio said, “I’m not here today to bash anyone– But the time has come to turn the page and allow a new generation of leadership in this country.”

With the party shifting to a different stance, there is also going to be a focus on finding someone to take the place of Speaker Boehner.

Patten said, “The expectation is that his replacement will be House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, though some Republicans are now angry with McCarthy because of his recent gaffe that suggested the House Benghazi investigation has been successful in hurting Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers.”

He continued “This statement strengthened Democratic suspicions that the Benghazi committee was primarily serving a Republican partisan agenda against Clinton, rather than primarily investigating whether security lapses contributed to the deaths of US diplomats in Libya.  Other Republicans are now stepping up to challenge McCarthy’s candidacy for Speaker.”

According to CNN this leaves the party scrambling to find a successor. Big republican names like Paul Ryan, Paul Labrador, and Jason Chaffetz are being tossed around.

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