House Speaker John Boehner announced in a Friday meeting with his fellow Republicans that he will resign his seat in Congress at the end of October, putting down the speaker's gavel he took up in 2011, The New York Times reported
It was previously reported that Boehner would face an all-but-certain floor vote this fall that could've ousted him from the position and made room for fresh blood.
Gathered below are seven reasons Boehner's nearly five-year run left him embattled in his own party, precipitating his resignation.
1. He is unpopular among conservative voters
— "Of the 4,025 polled, less than 6 percent would want their Representative to re-elect Boehner as House Speaker if the election were held today," Citizens United President David Bossie wrote in July.
"Grassroots conservatives are through being patient with John Boehner."
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2. His frequent crying does not instill confidence
In the past, Boehner has wept openly while giving speeches, adding a heartfelt touch to political events that can often be quite dry. In July of this year, however, he shed tears while speaking to an interviewer from The Golf Channel
, of all places — an incident that many commented was a bit strange.
3. He lost many Obamacare arguments in the media
This year, several left-leaning media outlets sought to hold Boehner accountable for his past predictions about the Affordable Care Act, and he failed to hit back. Chuck Todd of NBC’s "Meet the Press" asked Boehner
if he was wrong on Obamacare, as more people had insurance as a result, and the country added jobs the year it was implemented. Boehner's response quickly went into the weeds, talking about hours worked and employer burdens — arguments few found compelling.
4. He has been slow to react to political opportunities
— Rep. Richard Nugent, R-Florida, was kicked off the Rules Committee after he publicly criticized Boehner for his shortcomings. He specifically called out Boehner's 18-month delay in appointing a select committee to investigate the 2012 Benghazi attacks, as well as his months-long delay in filing a lawsuit against President Barack Obama's overreaching executive actions.
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5. He has a record of voting to inflate the nation's debt
— As FreedomWorks reported, Boehner
voted at least five times from 2002 to 2008 to increase the U.S. debt by $450 billion to $900 billion at a time. "[I]n total, John Boehner voted to increase America's debt by 3.631 trillion-with-a-t dollars," the conservative outfit reported.
6. He is unlikely to fight for defunding Planned Parenthood this fall
— After multiple undercover videos have called into question whether the organization has violated the law in performing abortions, many high-profile Republicans called for defunding. After Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell signaled an unwillingness to fight in the face of a likely veto from Obama, Boehner is likely to follow suit.
7. He worked with Democrats to pass the "cromnibus" bill funding Obama's immigration plans
— This past December, 67 Republicans voted against the legislation, while Boehner sided with the opposition party, harnessing 57 of their votes to pass the bill. He then offered empty rhetoric to his conservative colleagues, vowing an immigration fight in 2015 that has yet to materialize.
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