While John Boehner’s resignation from Congress as speaker of the House has created quite a stir, the announcement should be viewed in a positive light.
Boehner, who is the 61st speaker and announced last week he would resign from Congress, effective Oct. 30, said he had planned to resign last year but chose to continue in the position for fear of destabilizing the House Republican caucus, according to CNN. October will mark the explosive end to Boehner’s nearly six-year tenure.
As speaker, Boehner led a broken Republican Congress that fought him on many of his attempts to compromise with the Democratic Party. The House witnessed, “recurring fiscal clashes with the White House, failed compromises with President (Barack) Obama and Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, a rare bipartisan accord on trade and the historic papal visit,” according to CNN.
The Republican Party has been split on Boehner for years. According to the Boston Globe, “Boehner lost the votes of a dozen members — more defections than any other speaker has suffered in an election in more than two decades. In fact, since the 102nd Congress began in 1991, Boehner is one of just three speakers who have lost the support of more than one member.”
Without the support of his party, Boehner has had to rely on his ability to compromise with democrats. This bipartisan attitude only served to further drive a wedge between the speaker and elected Republicans.
When discussing his resignation, Boehner said, “My first job as speaker is to protect the institution. It had become clear to me that this prolonged leadership turmoil would do irreparable harm to the institution,” per the New York Times.
Boehner’s resignation is in no way a surprise. The true mystery lies in whether the GOP will be able to fix their crumbling divide and come together for the upcoming presidential election. According to USA today, conservatives have had issues with Boehner’s management for years due to there being, “no progress on priorities such as overturning Obamacare, getting tough on illegal immigration and defunding Planned Parenthood.”
Though it is unfortunate that such a competent individual is stepping back from this prestigious role, Boehner’s resignation should be visualized as a fresh start in the world of politics.
A divided House has led to many issues in our government, including the hasty temporary spending measure that averted another government shutdown. Boehner’s resignation allows a new, unifying speaker to lead the House, which will ultimately lead to a functioning and productive Congress.
Pallavi Dheeja Gopee is a sophomore majoring in management.