On Friday, Republican House speaker John Boehner announced to his colleagues that he will leave both his powerful government post and Congress at the end of October.
Boehner, who was elected to Congress in 1990, often butted heads with his party's growing conservative base who pushed for him to fight harder for conservative values. Most recently, Boehner was wrestling against yet another government shutdown next week, this time over his Republican colleagues' efforts to defund Planned Parenthood.
"My first job as speaker is to protect the institution," Boehner said at a press conference at the Capitol, adding, in an acknowledgement of recent calls for his resignation, "it had become clear to me that this prolonged leadership turmoil would do irreparable harm to the institution."
Boehner's resignation reduces the chance of said government shutdown. Republican leaders have already acknowledged that they will pass a clean spending bill to keep the government running. Plans to repeal Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood will be considered later on, during the House's budget reconciliation legislation.
On Thursday, the willful, normally steely-faced Boehner wept openly during Pope Francis' historic speech to Congress. According to CNN, the pope's visit was a crucial moment in his long political career.
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