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Ohio State community members discuss implications of Boehner’s resignation

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John Boehner during a press conference on Capitol Hill on Sept. 25. Credit: Courtesy of TNS

John Boehner during a press conference on Capitol Hill on Sept. 25. Credit: Courtesy of TNS

House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, released a statement Friday morning announcing he will be resigning from Congress, a move some in the Ohio State community believe might have a negative effect for the Republican Party.

Thomas Nelson, an associate professor at Ohio State and the head of the political psychology minor program, said in an email that he believes Democrats will exploit Boehner’s resignation as they try to maintain the Democratic presidency in 2016 and try to take back Congress in the upcoming election.

He added that Boehner’s announcement “is potentially a dangerous development for the Republican Party.”

However, he also said Boehner’s resignation “will remove the immediate threat of a government shutdown over funding Planned Parenthood.”

Boehner announced he will be stepping down as speaker of the House on Oct. 30.

“My mission every day is to fight for a smaller, less costly and more accountable government,” he said in a Friday press release.  “Over the last five years, our majority has advanced conservative reforms that will help our children and their children. I am proud of what we have accomplished.”

Boehner has been speaker since 2011. Before being elected to the third most powerful position in the country, he was the House minority leader from 2007 to 2010, and before that he was the House majority leader from 2006 to 2007. He has been the U.S. Representative from Ohio’s 8th congressional district since 1991.
“Today, my heart is full with gratitude for my family, my colleagues and the people of Ohio’s eighth district,” he said in his statement. “God bless this great country that has given me – the son of a bar owner from Cincinnati – the chance to serve.”

Boehner’s position has not been an easy one by any means. President Barack Obama and he have often been in disagreement since his current position began. Yet, many Republicans believe he has been too conciliatory toward Democrats, especially when it comes to disagreements concerning the Iran nuclear deal, Planned Parenthood and the Affordable Care Act.

David Stanislav, a third-year in chemical engineering and chairman of OSU College Republicans, said he was surprised by Boehner’s announcement and is not sure whether it will further separate the two parties or bring them closer together.

“We won’t know how this will affect partisanship until we have a new speaker,” he said. “But I have faith that the leadership we put in his place will be well suited for the job.”

Michael Lakomy, a third-year in accounting and president of OSU College Democrats, said he was also surprised by Boehner’s resignation. He added that he believes that whoever is chosen to fill Boehner’s shoes will be a much more radical speaker.

“Well, we (the Democrats) have had disagreements with Boehner, the disagreements with whoever replaces him will make it impossible to get anything done in the House,” he said. “Boehner at least seemed willing to believe in compromise.”

A special election will be held for Boehner’s congressional seat. Per state law, Ohio Gov. John Kasich will decide those election dates. Voters in Ohio’s 8th Congressional District will elect someone new to finish his term through December 2016.

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