House Speaker Boehner to Resign

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Update 3:30 p.m. 

WASHINGTON (AP) – An emotional House Speaker John Boehner says he woke up this morning and decided to announce his resignation from Congress because prolonged turmoil over his leadership would do irreparable harm to the House.

The Ohio Republican says he had planned to leave the speakership by the end of the year anyway. But he says he moved up his timetable as unrest among conservatives threatened the House.

He told reporters at a news conference it has been an honor to serve in the House for 25 years and as its top leader. He says California congressman Kevin McCarthy, the No. 2 House Republican, would “make an excellent speaker.”

Some conservatives are welcoming the announcement. But more mainstream Republicans say the tea party lawmakers have scored a small victory that will cost them in the long run.

Update 12:50 p.m.

CINCINNATI (AP) – Some people in the Ohio district that House Speaker John Boehner first won in 1990 say they’re not shocked that he’s stepping down, although the timing caught them by surprise.

Veterans’ issues activist Harry Prestanski in Boehner’s hometown of West Chester Township says the congressman has endured many political battles and attacks in recent years. But he says Boehner still enjoys great support in the 8th district that stretches across six counties north of Cincinnati.

Tea party leader Ann Becker, who lives near Boehner in suburban West Chester, has been critical of him over such issues as the increasing national debt and federal role in education.

She says she looks forward to a change and expects the open seat to draw much interest.

Prestanski calls it “the end of a great run.”

WASHINGTON (AP) – In a stunning move, House Speaker John Boehner informed Republicans that he would step down at the end of October.

Rep. John Mica said Friday that Boehner “just does not want to become the issue. Some people have tried to make him the issue both in Congress and outside.”

Boehner took over the speakership in January 2011.