Boehner to Step Down

Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) will retire from Congress at the end of October. Boehner announced the move to his fellow Republicans early Friday morning, then followed that announcement with a press conference Friday afternoon. Boehner told reporters he originally planned to leave Congress last year, but reconsidered after it became clear that then-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor would not win re-election. He said he then planned to announce in November that he would leave at the end of the year, but woke up Friday morning, said his prayers, “and I decided, you know, today’s the day I’m going to do this.” Boehner said he does not feel like he was pushed out, and said he won’t be sitting around for the next month. “There’s a lot of work that needs to be done, and I plan on getting as much of it done as I can” before leaving, he said. Congress must pass a budget before Oct. 1 to avoid a government shutdown, but so far conservative Republicans have opposed any spending bills that allows funding for Planned Parenthood, while Democrats have blocked legislation that would defund the non-profit. Though Boehner’s exit will not affect committee assignments in the short term, his successor will have a say in which members of the House will serve and lead all committees, including the House Armed Services Committee and the House Appropriations Committee.