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Boehner calls it quits

John Boehner announces his resignation from Congress.

USNews.com

John Boehner announces his resignation from Congress.

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Politics has changed drastically over the past century. The United States had its first African American president, foreign policy has shifted from Russia and communism to the rise of terrorism in the Middle East, and a shift from declarations of war to outright attacks instituted by leaders.

One major change recently was the first ever Speaker of the House stepped down from Congress as a whole. Speaker John Boehner will step down from the office on October 31st, 2015. Nothing like this has ever happened in the history of the United States, making the situation impossible to predict the aftermath of his retirement.

The last time a Speaker of the House was outright challenged on his loyalty to his political party was in 1910 (Joseph G. Cannon –R). Cannon was an iron-fisted leader of the House of Representatives, but was removed from office when the Democratic Party won the majority in 1910. Since then, there have been no other challenges to the Speaker’s role or loyalty to the party or government. So the question arises: what did Speaker Boehner do to lose support? To answer this, the entire story must be evaluated.

It all started back in July when Representative Mark Meadows from California pushed for a motion to vacate the speaker’s seat in Congress. The motion had gained so much momentum Boehner had to appeal to the Democratic Party for support, an act a speaker has not had to perform since the pre-Civil War era.

Many sources covering the story blame Boehner’s decision on the overwhelming growth of Tea Party Republicans in the House of Representatives. As Speaker of the House, Boehner is to come up with compromises to get work done in Congress, and has often voiced the opinions of Democrats. His siding with the opposition has made Republicans question his loyalty to the party and whether or not he is a true conservative.

In today’s American politics, everything comes down to being a conservative or a liberal and Speaker Boehner has come across as a liberal. But since nothing like this has happened before, how will house elections happen now post-Boehner? Seeing how divided both parties are, can anyone claim the Speaker’s seat without going through the same criticism?

“It’s not surprising. He’s had a difficult job…dealing with ultra-conservative Republicans and the views of the most liberal president in recent years.””

— Jake Rinear

Elder High School President Jake Rinear said “It’s not surprising. He’s had a difficult job trying to unite the House dealing with ultra-conservative Republicans and the views of the most liberal president in recent years.”

According to Rinear, Boehner was wiping his hands clean of the whole mess. “He planned to retire last year but since the House Majority Leader at the time Eric Canter lost his reelection, he decided to stay in office.” There is no surprise he wanted to be done with the whole mess, according to Rinear, which makes sense why.

While everything is changing in the role of the Speaker of the House, Republican Representative from California Kevin McCarthy has been advertising himself to become the next Speaker of the House. McCarthy is the current Republican Majority Leader and right now is the only person going for the seat.

House Majority leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., talks about running for Speaker of the House.

Huffington Post
House Majority leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., talks about running for Speaker of the House.

Congressman McCarthy is clearly the front runner in the race for Boehner’s job, but how well can he handle the job? So far, the past two Speakers have not been fairly popular according to several polls conducted by FOX News. Boehner couldn’t hold any support from his own party, and Former Speaker and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi had a very low approval rating from most of the country.

If McCarthy wins the Speaker’s chair, he certainly has his work cut out for him. Nothing like this has ever happened in politics before, and with the election for the new Speaker starting today, the race becomes all more interesting.

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About the Writer
Bobby Wynn '16, Staff Writer

Elder hockey goalie and fantasy football fanatic. "The only way to do great work is to love what you do."

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