Speaker Boehner To Resign

September 25, 2015Alerts Government Relations Alert

Earlier today, Speaker John Boehner, 65, announced his intent to resign from the position of Speaker and his seat in the United States House of Representatives after serving in the House of Representatives since 1990 and as Speaker since 2011.

This resignation also comes amid a contentious debate over a continuing resolution to maintain funding for the federal government. Anti-abortion Republicans are going to vote against any continuing resolution that does not exclude Planned Parenthood from receiving federal funds. Such a bill will be filibustered in the Senate, threatening a government shutdown. Speaker Boehner has continuously said he does not want to see the federal government shut down, but forcing the continuing resolution to passage will further divide the party. This is not the first time that conservative Republicans have had differences with Speaker Boehner. Earlier this year, Rep. Mark Meadows (NC) filed a motion to vacate the chair. If this measure had been brought up for a vote and passed, Speaker Boehner would have been removed from the speakership.

An aide of Speaker Boehner said, “The Speaker believes putting members through prolonged leadership turmoil would do irreparable damage to the institution. He is proud of what this majority has accomplished and his speakership, but for the good of the Republican Conference and the institution, he will resign the Speakership and his seat in Congress effective October 30.”

Due to Speaker Boehner’s resignation, there will be Republican leadership elections. The date has yet to be announced. The leadership election can go a few ways. There is speculation that House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy will run for speaker. If he wins, that opens up the spot of House Majority Leader. Below is a very preliminary list of possible members for each of the top House leadership positions. It is expected that others will join the race for each. Those who are crossed off have already announced they will not seek a leadership position:

Speaker

  • Kevin McCarthy (CA)
  • Paul Ryan (WI)
  • Jim Jordan (OH)
  • Raúl Labrador (ID)
  • Ted Yoho (FL)
  • Mark Meadows (NC)
  • Jeb Hensarling (TX)
  • Justin Amash (MI)

Leader

  • Steve Scalise (LA)
  • Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA)
  • Tom Price (GA)
  • Peter Roskam (IL)
  • Pete Sessions (TX)

Whip

  • Patrick McHenry (NC)
  • Markwayne Mullin (OK)

Speaker Boehner’s resignation from his seat in Congress also leads Governor John Kasich to set a date for a special election to fill the vacancy. It is being speculated that the primary for the special election will be held with the already scheduled primary in March. Below is a preliminary list of potential candidates:

  • Ohio Senate President Keith Farber
  • Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones
  • State Senator Bill Coley
  • State Senator Chris Widener
  • State Senator Bill Beagle
  • Former State Senator Gary Cates

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact Edward "Teddy" Eynon at 202.696.1457 or [email protected], Patrick Anderson at 202.696.1453 or [email protected], Ana D. Schwab at 202.696.1444 or [email protected] or any other member of Fox Rothschild's Government Relations Practice.