WASHINGTON – House Speaker John Boehner will resign as a member of Congress in October, he confirmed Friday.
“It’s been an honor to serve,” Boehner said.
He said he didn’t feel like he had been pushed out.
“I feel good about what I’ve done,” Boehner said.
“I would not describe it as ‘having had enough.’ That’s not it at all. When you are the Speaker of the House, your No. 1 priority is to the institution. … My move today is to strengthen the institution.”
Asked how the Republicans reacted, he said, “Oh, I’d say they were shocked.”
A Boehner aide told NBC, “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.”
Boehner has been under prolonged pressure from conservatives in his party, who have accused him of failing to fight the Obama administration on issues important to the GOP.
Boehner, from southwest Ohio, was elected to a 13th term in 2014.
Boehner became House Speaker in 2011 when Republicans took over the House, succeeding Democrat Nancy Pelosi.
Politico reported that Boehner told House Republicans in a closed meeting that he was stepping down.
“I thank the Speaker for his 25 years of honorable and selfless service,” said Rep. Renee Ellmers of North Carolina. “His willingness to step down for the betterment of the institution in order to more closely unify our party demonstrates his love for our country. He works tirelessly behind the scenes to bring people together and improve the lives of many, including inner city youth and those without a voice. I wish the Speaker and his wife, Debbie, all the best in their future endeavors.”