Republican House Speaker John Boehner on Sunday said “no,” there would not be a government shutdown coming this month, proclaiming that “the Senate is expected to pass a continuing resolution next week.”
In his first interview since announcing his sudden resignation, Boehner added that there will be a select committee investigating the Planned Parenthood videos.
“We’ll also take up a select committee to investigate these horrific videos that we’ve seen from abortion clinics that we’ve seen in several states,” he said on CBS’ “Face The Nation.”
The shockwave of Boehner’s resignation last week continues to ripple through Congress and the race for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.
Former Republican Speaker Newt Gingrich, who was with Boehner and his wife the day before he announced his resignation on Friday, said that Boehner felt “pretty battered” from years of constant infighting within the Republican Party and the prospect of an exhaustive fight amid negotiations to avert a government shutdown in the coming weeks.
Likening his own term as speaker to Boehner’s and the internal tug and pull by various Republican sects, Gingrich said he and Boehner both faced “a hardcore group, a minority in the party, that were prepared to create total chaos.”
Boehner’s resignation comes amid a continuum of competing interests in the Party, with increasingly conservative forces pushing for a more strident and aggressive brand of political aggression, including deeper spending cuts and stiffer opposition to the Obama administration policy.
The heat from that hardcore group of conservative Republicans has intensified and fed into the momentum behind a surge from so-called outsider Republican presidential candidates like Donald Trump and Ben Carson.
“This isn’t a moment that Boehner can manage,” Gingrich said on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich said of the hardcore group “maybe they ought to look in the mirror” on CBS’ “Face the Nation” Sunday, applauding Boehner for delivering results as a leader of the Party in the ’90s.
“Boehner sat at the leadership table right next to me and we pushed those things through and that was some of the most productive time that Republicans or conservatives have had,” the GOP presidential candidate said.
Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson, who in a new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll is running neck and neck with front-runner Donald Trump for the GOP nomination, said on “This Week” that “it is time probably for new leadership” when asked about Boehner’s stepping down.
“There’s a lot of people, unfortunately who really feel that a lot of people have been sent to Congress over the last few elections but nothing really has changed and they want to see some results,” Carson said. “[Boehner] may have served very well for that time but this is a different time and it’s time probably to move on.”
The Ohioan has been under pressure from the outset, with Republicans in a somewhat precarious situation, lacking the 60 votes needed to block a Senate filibuster, but also the two-thirds majority needed to undercut a presidential veto.
Boehner on Sunday called the group of unbending conservatives “false prophets.”
“The Bible says beware of false prophets. And there are people out there, you know, spreading noise about how much can get done. I mean this whole notion that we’re going to shut down the government to get rid of Obamacare in 2013 – this plan never had a chance,” Boehner said on CBS’ “Face The Nation.”
Boehner’s bombshell resignation came as a surprise on the heels of an historic address to Congress by Pope Francis, a dream event orchestrated by Boehner, who comes from a large Catholic family and who’d been an alter boy as a child.
During a news conference in the Capitol on Friday morning, Boehner said that he woke up, said his prayers and thought to himself, “This is the day I am going to do this.”
On Friday, Boehner, who has been known to let his emotions spill from wet eyes, said he was struck by the pontiff’s request that the speaker pray for him, that it was a cap on his rise from barkeeper’s son to Congressman.
“I never thought I’d be in Congress, let alone be speaker,” Boehner said.
In the “Face The Nation” interview, Boehner said that Francis’ visit gave him clarity.
“I think it helped clear the picture … I never related one of those instances with the other, but clearly by Friday night it was pretty obvious to me,” said.
President Obama called Boehner, whom he said he frequently disagreed with, “a patriot” and a “good man” who “always conducted himself with civility and courtesy with me.”
But Boehner’s seemingly out-of-the-blue departure comes as a government shutdown looms and what will likely be an exhaustive fight to keep it open. The prospect of that fight, growing turmoil with the GOP and intra-party agitation by the most conservative sets among his party may have proven to be the butter on the skids of his departure.
“My first job as speaker is to protect the institution,” Boehner said. “It had become clear to me that this prolonged leadership turmoil would do irreparable harm to the institution.”
Boehner said he would be leaving office at the end of October.
Congressman Peter King, a New York Republican, said the resignation signals a concerning shift in the party.
“I think it signals the crazies have taken over the party, taken over to the party that you can remove a speaker of the House who’s second in line to be president, a constitutional officer in the middle of his term with no allegations of impropriety, a person who’s honest and doing his job,” King said in an interview with CNN on Friday.
Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush on Sunday called Boehner a “great public servant.”
“I admire John Boehner greatly, he’s a great public servant,” Bush said on “Fox News Sunday.”
“He left at the apex of his time in service to the country with the pope speaking in Congress. I think people are going to miss him in the long run because he’s a person that is focused on solving problems,” Bush said, refusing to weigh in on weather or not Boehner’s resignation was a win for Republicans. “I think what we need is a conservative president that can work with Congress,” he said. “We wouldn’t have these problems if we had a president that actually would commit to passing a budget, would commit to repealing ObamaCare.”