Sudden Resignation Speaker John Boehner
John Boehner’s sudden resignation is launching an unexpected leadership battle in Congress that may be a turning point for Republicans, likely pitting the establishment wing against tea party conservatives.
The Ohio Republican, who has served as the Speaker of the House since 2011, told colleagues in a closed-door gathering Friday morning that he would leave at the end of October, sending shockwaves through the chamber.
Even as Boehner’s fellow lawmakers were still digesting the news, the speculation over who would succeed him had already begun. One person who is naturally next in line is House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, but this could be a moment for the tea party to make a splash.
Ohio GOP Rep. Steve Chabot, who described the mood in the room as “somber” and said there had been tears from Boehner, said the subject of who would replace the Speaker had not come up. But he predicted that this would begin in “five minutes.”
If McCarthy wins the gavel, it would mark the continuation of an incredible ascent for the California Republican, who has only held the second highest ranking job in the House since last summer. McCarthy himself was only said to have found out about Boehner’s resignation moments before Friday’s morning meeting.