WASHINGTON – In a surprising announcement on the steps of Capitol Hill today, Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner officially resigned his post as Speaker, as well as his job as Congressman for Ohio’s 8th Congressional District. “The time has come for me to step aside,” said Boehner through streams of tears. “While I have enjoyed my time as Speaker of The House of Representatives, the fact of the matter is the job just isn’t fun anymore.”
The final straw for Boehner has been the recent government shutdown which came about when House Republicans refused to fund the government unless the Democratic Senate and President Obama agree to dismantle or delay the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. “When I first gained the Speakership after the 2010 elections, I got everything I asked for from the Democrats,” he reminisced. “But now they’re refusing to play with me, and frankly I just want to go home.”
Boehner also admitted the strain a newly-empowered Tea Party caucus had placed on the job. “These guys are just mean. I keep asking them to cut me some slack and let me turn the government back on, but they’re like big bullies. If they don’t get their shiny new toys like a de-funded Obamacare or massive cuts to Social Security and Medicare then they throw a fit. Who needs that?”
Asked about the timing of his resignation, and whether it was a good idea for the Speaker of the House to quit when the country is in crisis, Boehner refused to be defensive. “Hey, my job has never been harder than it is right now,” he said. “Which sounds to me like a perfect time to quit. Do you have any idea what this shutdown is costing America? You think I want to be anywhere near a position of authority right now?”
In addition to the over 800,000 government workers who have been furloughed, the shutdown is expected to cost approximately $1.6 billion a week in lost economic output, which has been reported to translate to $300 million a day or $12.5 million an hour.
Speculation has already begun as to who will succeed Boehner as House Speaker. While many expect House Majority Leader Eric Cantor to step into the role, a number of members of the Tea Party Caucus are pushing for Texas Senator Ted Cruz to be named, even though he is not, officially, a member of the House of Representatives.