(WASHINGTON POST) Karen Tumulty, Mike DeBonis and Kelsey Snell — House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) sacrificed his job on Friday — a wrenching decision that he determined was the only way to spare the country the trauma of yet another government shutdown.
“More than anything, my first job as speaker is to protect the institution,” Boehner said at a news conference, after making the stunning announcement that he will resign from the House on Oct. 30.
While the shutdown crisis may be averted for now, the forces of dysfunction that drove Boehner to quit remain and will likely bedevil the next speaker in similar ways.
Boehner’s decision came at a poignant moment. He announced it the day after an emotional high point for the famously sentimental Boehner, in which the onetime altar boy from Reading, Ohio, hosted Pope Francis for an unprecedented address to a joint meeting of Congress.
The speaker’s resignation — the timing of which he said he decided only Friday morning, after prayer, coffee and his regular breakfast at Pete’s Diner on Capitol Hill — clears the way for passage of a stopgap spending bill to fund the government.