Up date: A jovial John Boehner addressed the press, waking into the press room singing “Zippity Do Da.”
Since the Tea Party revolution that helped the Republicans take over the leadership of the House of Representatives in 2010, that body has slipped into chaos with the hard line right wing refusing to compromise with the more moderate members of their own party. That chaos had now reached its head. Unable to get any compromise from the Tea Party caucus, Speaker of the House John Boehner has announced his resignation from his leadership position and his seat at the end of October.
By Jennifer Steinhauer, The New York Times
Speaker John A. Boehner, under intense pressure from conservatives in his party, announced on Friday that he would resign one of the most powerful positions in government and give up his House seat at the end of October, as Congress moved to avert a government shutdown.
Mr. Boehner, who was first elected to Congress in 1990, made the announcement in an emotional meeting with his fellow Republicans on Friday morning.
“The first job of any speaker is to protect this institution that we all love,” Mr. Boehner said in a statement released later. “It was my plan to only serve as speaker until the end of last year, but I stayed on to provide continuity to the Republican conference and the House. It is my view, however, that prolonged leadership turmoil would do irreparable damage to the institution. To that end, I will resign the speakership and my seat in Congress on Oct. 30.”
Mr. Boehner, 65, from Ohio, had struggled from almost the moment he took the speaker’s gavel in 2011 to manage the challenges of divided government and to hold together his fractious and increasingly conservative Republican members. [..]
It will be up to a majority of the members of the House now to choose a new leader, and the leading candidate is Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the majority leader, who is viewed more favorably by the House’s more conservative members. The preferred candidate among many Republicans, Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, has said he does not want the job.
While he appears to have the support at the moment, there are those who are opposed to Rep. McCarthy so that is not exactly a done deal. Remember the part of the definition of the chaos theory is
Small differences in initial conditions … yield widely diverging outcomes for such dynamical systems, rendering long-term prediction impossible in general.
As Minority Leader Nancy Peolsi (D-CA) said when she heard the news, this is “a stark indication of the disarray of House Republicans.”