U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner walks through a U.S. Capitol hallway after resigning from the speakership and Congress at the end of October. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, who struggled with repeated rebellions by conservatives during a tumultuous five-year reign as the chamber's top Republican, will step down from the speakership and leave the House at the end of October. Boehner was seen walking through the halls of the Capitol flanked by reporters and heard saying "a wonderful day," though he did not answer questions about why he resigned or how he was feeling. The Ohio lawmaker, age 65, stunned Republican House members at a morning meeting on Friday with the announcement he will leave the top job in the 435-seat chamber and resign his seat effective on Oct. 30. U.S. Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the No. 2 House Republican, quickly became the leading contender to replace Boehner as speaker, lawmakers said. Representative Paul Ryan, a former U.S. vice presidential candidate, told reporters in a Capitol hallway that McCarthy would likely be the next speaker. Ryan said, "I don't want to be speaker." Boehner's decision eased the threat of a government shutdown next week, with many Republicans saying they would forge ahead with a "clean" spending bill that does not withhold funding from the women's reproductive health group Planned Parenthood, as threatened by conservatives who objected to the group's abortion services. Only the day before, Boehner, a Catholic, hosted Pope Francis for an address to Congress and broke down in tears as he stood with the pope to greet crowds on the Capitol's West front.