Shocking news to some this morning as Speaker John Boehner announced he will resign from Congress and give up his House seat at the end of October. The Ohio Congressman has been in office since 1991.
Joining us now is Sean Theriault, a professor of government at the University of Texas-Austin.
Some leaders in the House have called Boehner’s resignation “one of the most selfless acts” he’s seen in Congress – and Theriault agrees, to a point.
“At the end of the day, Boehner was in a little bit of trouble and by stepping aside, he’s saving his party from a war that could have gotten quite ugly,” he says.
Theriault says the fight for leadership will happen after he steps down, which will give Boehner more freedom to navigate through the contentious discussions leading up to a possible government shutdown over defunding Planned Parenthood.
A small pool of prominent Representatives, including Jeb Hensarling from Texas, are leading contenders for the power vacuum after Boehner’s resignation, but the Presidential race may become a factor in who sides with whom.
“It’s going to be interesting to see the Republican candidates decide who they back if it becomes a contested fight,” he says. Theriault says Hensarling would be a strong candidate.
Hear more in the audio player above.