(Washington, DC — September 25, 2015) – What’s the best way to take the public’s mind off Congressional financial mismanagement which is slated to cost the country tens of billions of dollars in just a few days?
Such is the choice of John Boehner (R-OH), who announced this morning that he’s resigning both as Speaker of the House and from Congress on October 30.
The hastily-called press conference, during which Boehner used the phrase “you know” 14 times and the word “listen” six times, barely eclipsed the ongoing global media coverage of Pope Francis’ visit to the United States. The pope finds himself in New York City today, but yesterday he addressed Congress – and Boehner, as Speaker of the House, sat behind him, openly weeping during the papal address.
The last time this happened, in 2013, Republicans drew the most blame for the shutdown – just as they did during the 1995 and 1995-1996 shutdowns – which cost the economy over $2 billion.
Boehner’s resignation keeps the country’s news media from focusing on the next artificially-created Congressional crisis: funding the Federal government beyond September 30. If either a budget or Continuing Resolution (CR) isn’t passed in less than a week, the majority of non-essential Federal government employees will be furloughed.
Boehner’s crowning accomplishment? The release of the Lemon-Scented Republican Pledge (also known as the Pledge to America) on September 23, 2010. Following in the footsteps of 1994’s Contract Upon America, the 2010 document provided a list of legislative priorities Republicans promised to pursue should they win majority rule in Congress in November 2010 – which they did. However, what followed was years of brinksmanship, threats, and Federal government shutdowns – hardly an example of a working, efficient, competent legislative body.
In July, Representative Mark Meadows (R-NC) filed a motion to oust Boehner as Speaker. The motion went nowhere, and Meadows returned to his top legislative priority: Limiting the ability of Federal employees to watch porn while at work.
And as of late last week, House Tea Partyists were attempting to cobble together enough support for a no-confidence vote in Boehner. With the number at around 30, Boehner might not have been replaced as Speaker, but he would have needed support from Democrats to pass any legislation.
“That was the last straw,” said a Congressional Boehner supporter, speaking on condition of anonymity. “The day he cooperates with (House Minority Leader) Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is the day he sets himself on fire with his cigarette lighter. It just wasn’t going to happen.”
After Boehner’s announcement, members of the House Tea Partyists said they would agree to a short-term CR.
“We met our primary goals: To threaten the country with financial ruin and to embarrass John Boehner into oblivion. Mission accomplished!”
Some GOP members of Congress reportedly grew tired of Boehner’s crying fits – many referred to him as Congress’ “Weeper-In-Chief” or “The Weepy Speaker” – seeing it as a sign of weakness or femininity.
“If we wanted a senior Republican in Congress to cry like a woman all the time, we’d make Lindsey Graham (R-SC) Senate Majority Leader,” said a Republican House member, speaking on condition of anonymity.