The New York Times's Jennifer Steinhauer reports that Speaker John Boehner will resign from Congress at the end of October. So Boehner isn't just giving up his speakership — he's giving up his seat in Congress altogether.
The report, sourced to aides in his office, follows other reporting suggesting Boehner had lost interest in what looked to be, by all measures, a truly unpleasant job.
In a recent interview with Politico, for instance, Boehner said he had gotten used to the demands of his job, but he didn't sound exactly happy about. "Garbage men get used to the smell of bad garbage. Prisoners learn how to become prisoners, all right?" Those are not the words of man who enjoys coming into work each day.
Boehner is also facing two difficult, and interrelated, challenges right now: many House Republicans want to shut the government down over defunding Planned Parenthood, and some House conservatives want to use an unusual parliamentary maneuver to launch a coup against Boehner. The problem for him is that a shutdown would likely be a disaster for the Republican Party, but stopping a shutdown would make a coup against him more likely to succeed.
In a statement to reporters, a Boehner spokesperson said:
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.
The Speaker's plan was to serve only through the end of last year. Leader Cantor's loss in his primary changed that calculation.
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.