October 19, 2021

Boehner explains decision to step down

th-56Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) became emotional on Friday as he explained his surprise decision to step down from Congress.

Boehner said he began thinking about stepping down on Thursday night and, after saying his morning prayers as usual on Friday, decided “today’s the day I’m going to do this.”

Hard-line conservatives have been threatening to oust Boehner for months, which culminated in Rep. Mark Meadows’s (R-N.C.) introduction of a resolution to oust him in August.
Boehner said bringing that resolution to a vote wouldn’t end well for anyone.

“This turmoil that’s been churning now for the last couple months is not good for the members, and it’s not good for the institution,” he said.

Boehner offered an endorsement of House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to succeed him as Speaker. McCarthy has held the majority leader post for just over a year, after replacing Eric Cantor, who lost a primary in 2014.

“I think Kevin McCarthy would make an excellent Speaker,” Boehner said.

The famously emotional Speaker’s eyes started to fill with tears as he described a private moment with Pope Francis on Thursday. Francis put his arm around Boehner and said, “Please pray for me.”

Boehner has tried for 20 years to invite a pope to speak before Congress — and finally succeeded with Francis.

He spoke with his longtime Chief of Staff Mike Sommers on Thursday night and decided to sleep on the decision over whether to leave Congress.

By Friday morning, after ritual stops on Capitol Hill at Starbucks and Pete’s Diner, Boehner felt it was time to move on.

“I was thinking about walking out the door anyway,” Boehner explained to a packed press conference in the Capitol.

Source: The Hill