Boehner, second in line to succeed the President and into his 13th two-year term announced announced his decision in a closed-door session of the Republican caucus. It came one day after a high point of Boehner's congressional career, a historic speech by Pope Francis to Congress at Boehner's request.
A constant focus of conservatives' complaints, Boehner was facing the threat of a floor vote on whether he could stay on as speaker, a formal challenge that hasn't happened in over 100 years.
The turmoil in Congress is playing out against an already roiling race for the Republican presidential nomination in which the candidates at the top of opinion polls are all Washington outsiders.

Many of the Republicans candidates have criticized Boehner and his Senate counterpart, Majority leader Mitch McConnell, who've seen their approval ratings sag even among Republicans.
"The first job of any speaker is to protect this institution that we all love," Boehner said. "It is my view, however, that prolonged leadership turmoil would do irreparable damage to the institution. To that end, I will resign the speakership and my seat in Congress on Oct. 30," he said.
"Over the last five years, our majority has advanced conservative reforms that will help our children and their children," Boehner added.


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