By Seun Aweda
LEGISREPORTS NG – John Boehner, the Speaker of the US House of Representatives and a lawmaker from Ohio for three decades, has announced he will resign from his seat next month.
The Republican leader announced his resignation to a party conference at a meeting on Friday morning, where he told his members he didn’t want to become “the issue” amid reports of conservative infighting.
Boehner has been under intense pressure from House conservatives, who have repeatedly threatened to stage a coup against the speaker when they expressed dissatisfaction with his leadership in high-profile fights on Capitol Hill.
Aides and members of Congress in the room, who were stunned by the announcement, said Boehner received a standing ovation during the meeting.
As House speaker, Boehner is second in line for the presidency, after the vice-president, and one of the most powerful figures in Washington. He shapes his party’s strategy for passing legislation, schedules congressional business and has been president Barack Obama’s main foil on the Hill.
Boehner has faced repeated challenges to his leadership from the right wing of his caucus since ascending to the top post in the House in 2011. He became majority leader in 2006.
The shock announcement came a day after a highlight of Boehner’s career, when Pope Francis addressed Congress at Boehner’s invitation. The speaker, a former altar boy, wept during the speech and later called it “a blessing for us all”.
Post from Legis Reports Ng