The Speaker of the US House of Representatives, John Boehner, is resigning from Congress.
Boehner, the Republican representative from the state of Ohio, was elected House Speaker in 2011, after Republicans gained the majority in the House after 2010 elections. Boehner had faced much criticism by more conservative Republicans for not doing enough to rebuke the policies of President Barack Obama.
In a statement, Boehner said he had intended to resign last year but stayed on for continuity, and added he was grateful for the ability to serve.
— Speaker John Boehner (@SpeakerBoehner) September 25, 2015
The announcement came 24 hours after Pope Francis addressed a joint session of Congress, at Boehner’s invitation.
Boehner was one of the key Congressional persons at the centre of negotiations surrounding a temporary funding measure to avoid a shutdown of the US government on 1 October. Members of his party had criticised the measure due to the issue of funding for the women’s health organisation Planned Parenthood.
According to a report from the BBC, some members have asked that funding measures be removed from consideration of any spending bill.
The US government had shutdown previously in 2013.
— BBC News US (@BBCNewsUS) September 25, 2015
Nancy Pelosi, the Representative from California and leader of the Democrats in the House, said Boehner’s resignation pointed to differences within the Republican Party, and that her party would continue to negotiate with Boehner on the issue of funding the US government, according to a report from the Financial Times.
— Sam Fleming (FT) (@Sam1Fleming) September 25, 2015
Boehner, who has been in Congress since 1990, is to resign on 30 October.