On What Boehner’s Resignation Really Means

Soon-to-be former Speaker of the House John Boehner

This Article was written by guest contributor Eric O.

Last Friday, House Speaker John Boehner announced that he will be resigning from Congress at the end of the month. Not surprisingly, this move shocked many.

Speaker Boehner rode a Tea Party wave to the Speakership in 2010, but couldn’t prevent a shutdown in 2013 that happened due to Republican opposition to Obamacare. Many Republicans view Boehner as too willing to compromise with Democrats, and have pressured him to pursue aggressive policy changes.

In recent months, however, Boehner has been trying to avert another shutdown precipitated by Republicans who refuse to compromise on a bill that funds Planned Parenthood.

Mr. Boehner’s resignation, therefore, significantly undercuts the ability of unruly Tea Partyers to cause a shutdown, as Republicans and Democrats will probably compromise and undertake short-term funding measures open in order to keep the government open. Boehner will be undeterred by those who would threaten his position.

But even though the Speaker’s resignation will keep the government open, it signifies an enormous problem: that even a conservative Speaker such as Boehner was unable to rein in extremely right-wing House Republicans. Boehner’s departure is merely a band-aid; his frustrations in this regard will surely baffle his replacement as well.

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