BY BILL ORR
Speaker Boehner announced this morning he will resign from his powerful leadership position and give up his seat at the end October. He has been trying to craft a solution to keep the government open. He has been opposed by Tea Party members and the House Freedom Caucus who insist on defunding Planned Parenthood, a move which could delay briefly the funding necessary to keep the government open on October 1. A leader/founder of the Freedom Caucus is arch-conservative New Jersey Republican Rep. Scott Garrett (CD 5). In the NJ House contingent all Republicans have voted to defund Planned Parenthood and all Democrats have been opposed.
There is no immediate heir apparent to Boehner. The fact that even a conservative Republican, albeit not conservative enough for fractious members, can not control a dysfunctional House, bodes continued ill for future legislation.
Boehner’s resignation takes place one day after he had a private audience with Pope Francis. During the pontiff’s address Boehner became misty-eyed.