Conservatives hailed a victory, political leaders offered their praises and the market largely shrugged as news spread Friday that House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, would resign at the end of October. Boehner, the most powerful Republican in the U.S. House, refused to answer questions from the media Friday about his looming resignation, but his departure comes after years of battling the right wing of his own party.
"I saw him recently and he looked weary. Understandably, he was tired," Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., told reporters. "Sometimes we fail to appreciate that these are human beings with human emotions and lives to lead."
It's unclear if Boehner's decision will make the threat of a government shutdown next week amid a dispute over federal funding for Planned Parenthood more likely. Treasury bill yields briefly soared Friday after reports of Boehner's resignation, reflecting concerns about a government shutdown, said Larry McDonald, head of U.S. strategy with Societe Generale's macro group. "You'll have the debt ceiling, the continuing resolution and the December Federal Reserve meeting all within one week," McDonald told CNBC. "That means Treasury bills that mature in December are in some jeopardy."
Conservatives who have long attacked Boehner's efforts to work across the aisle with Democrats and President Barack Obama were ecstatic over the news. "Credit goes to our awesome community of liberty-loving activists!" tweeted FreedomWorks, a group allied with the tea party movement.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called Boehner's resignation a failure from conservatives who want to shut down the government over Planned Parenthood funding because of its abortion services. She also described his resignation as "seismic to the House."
Boehner grew up in Cincinnati and served in the U.S. Navy in 1969. He was a small businessman before he was elected to Congress.
@SpeakerBoehner devoted a lifetime to public service. He worked tirelessly to make our country a better place and will be greatly missed.
— New York GOP (@NewYorkGOP) September 25, 2015
— Paul Ryan (@RepPaulRyan) September 25, 2015
Paul Ryan was just asked if he's going to run for Speaker, and he said, "I'm not, it's a good job for an empty nester."
— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorpNBC) September 25, 2015
Speaker Boehner is dedicated public servant, moderating influence. May not always agree but appreciate willingness to bring people together
— Brad Ashford (@RepBradAshford) September 25, 2015
Whether as Speaker or as a colleague & friend, John has always been willing to work with me on issues critical to #SouthJersey & the country
— Frank LoBiondo (@RepLoBiondo) September 25, 2015
John Boehner dedicated his life to public service. Bringing the Holy Father to Congress was a fitting cap to a great career.
— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) September 25, 2015
Rep. Dent: "John Boehner's a good a decent man...I really don't like the circumstances under which he's leaving" pic.twitter.com/5EP0TNYuS8
— Kara Rowland (@kararowland) September 25, 2015
— Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (@RosLehtinen) September 25, 2015
Best of luck to #boehner in his latest endeavor as a brand new shade of orange in the Crayola collection.
— Josh Gad (@joshgad) September 25, 2015