House Speaker John Boehner will resign from his speakership and from office Oct. 30, “for the good of the Republican Conference and the institution,” his aides said Friday.
Boehner shocked the Republican caucus when he announced his decision early Friday morning in a closed-door meeting, just a day after Pope Francis addressed a joint meeting of Congress, reported the Associated Press.
He was under intense pressure to defund Planned Parenthood from the House Freedom Caucus and other Republicans as a funding deadline looms, and some had threatened to oust him.
“Speaker Boehner believes that the first job of any Speaker is to protect this institution and, as we saw yesterday with the Holy Father, it is the one thing that unites and inspires us all, is aide said in a statement Friday.
Boehner had planned to resign last year, but changed his mind when former Leader Eric Cantor lost in the primary, the statement added. “The Speaker believes putting members through prolonged leadership turmoil would do irreparable damage to the institution.”
“He is proud of what this majority has accomplished, and his Speakership, but for the good of the Republican Conference and the institution, he will resign the Speakership and his seat in Congress, effective October 30.”
Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy is technically next in line to succeed Boehner.
Hours after House Speaker John Boehner announced that he would be resigning from Congress, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz added fuel to the fire by saying he’d heard “early reports” that Boehner cut a deal with Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi to continue funding some of President Barack Obama’s most controversial measures.
“I will say, the early reports are discouraging. If it is correct that the speaker, before he resigns, has cut a deal with Nancy Pelosi to fund the Obama administration for the rest of its tenure, to fund Obamacare, to fund executive amnesty, to fund Planned Parenthood, to fund implementation of this Iran deal – and then, presumably, to land in a cushy K Street job after joining with the Democrats to implement all of President Obama’s priorities, that is not the behavior one would expect of a Republican speaker of the House,” Cruz told reporters at the conservative Values Voter Summit in Washington.
The unconfirmed report came from conservative news site Breitbart. The speaker’s office did not immediately respond to an inquiry from TheBlaze about Cruz’s charge.
Addressing activists at the summit gathering, the Republican presidential candidate told the crowd that they scare the Washington establishment.
“You want to know how much each of you terrifies Washington? Yesterday, John Boehner was speaker of the House,” Cruz said. “You come to town and somehow that changes. My only request is, can you come more often?”
The comment prompted huge applause from the conservative audience.
Also during his speech, Cruz vowed that if elected president, Iran would not be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons – and threatened that “we may have to introduce” Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ”to the 72 virgins.”
“If you vote for Hillary, you are voting for Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon,” Cruz said. “If you vote for me, under no circumstances will a theocratic country led by an ayatollah that chats death to America, will Iran be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons. And if the ayatollah doesn’t understand that, we may have to introduce him to the 72 virgins.”
Cruz laid out an ambitious agenda for his first day in office that included “ripping to shreds” the Iranian nuclear deal negotiated by the Obama administration, along with Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China. The deal with Iran allows continued uranium enrichment but not for weapons. Several polls have show that a majority the public makes the country less safe.
“Do you know which campaign raised the most hard money? We did,” Cruz told the audience.
Cruz has seen his polling improve since the first two GOP presidential debates, though he is still well behind the top tier candidates such as Donald Trump, Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina. Cruz has won the 2013 and 2014 Values Voter Summit straw poll.
Cruz had several one-liners during his address. Referring to Hillary Clinton’s private email server, under investigation by the FBI, Cruz said “maybe we’ll se the first Democratic presidential debate in Leavenworth.”
Of Friday’s meeting between Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping, Cruz said, “Millions of reporters are reporting today on the meeting between the world’s most powerful communist and the president of China.”