Boehner resigns and surprises the country this week as the battle over spending that could shut down the government looms just around the corner.
Why John Boehner resigned remains unclear but easily guessed, and a replacement for that unenviable job must now be found.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy is somewhat next in line, and was endorsed by Boehner himself shortly after announcing his resignation.
He said, “I am not going to be here to vote on the next Speaker. But, that’s up to the next members. But, having said that, I think that Kevin McCarthy would make an excellent Speaker.”
However, speculation is building that he could be challenged by the likes of Representatives Steve Scalise of Louisiana, Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington state and Tom Price of Georgia.
My mission every day is to fight for a smaller, less costly, and more accountable government. Over the last five years, our majority has advanced conservative reforms that will help our children and their children. I am proud of what we have accomplished. The first job of any Speaker is to protect the institution that we all love. 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. Therefore, I will resign the Speakership and my seat in Congress on October 30. Today, my heart is full with gratitude to the people of Ohio's Eighth District, my colleagues, and this great country that has given me – the son of a bar owner from Cincinnati – the chance to serve.
In addition to the talk of succession is debate about how John Boehner’s departure will affect the battle over spending that could lead to the second government shutdown in two years.
Congress and President Obama have been trying to hammer out a short-term extension of funding authority to keep the government operating beyond midnight Wednesday, but so far efforts have been unsuccessful.
Now it looks even more unlikely that a newcomer to John Boehner’s vacated position could negotiate between those who are staunchly opposed to any budget that includes funding for Planned Parenthood and those who feel that other domestic programs included in the current proposed budget desperately need to be funded.
Bill Hoagland, a former Republican Senate budget adviser, did not seem jealous of the poor person who will become Speaker of the House.
He said, “For the next Speaker, he’s going to have a huge, huge problem. With the debt limit, with the expiring continuing resolution, with tax extenders, the highway bill – you almost understand why Boehner said to hell with it, I’m out of here.”
He added, “How that next Speaker makes a silk purse out of a sow’s ear come December is going to be extremely difficult.”
What do you think will happen in the next few days? Do you think whoever takes over for John Boehner will be able to make a budget deal happen or do you think we are facing another government shutdown?