John_Boehner_official_portraitIn a move that caught Republicans and observers by surprise, House Speaker John Boehner announced he will step down at the end of October. Speaker Boehner said that he served with “class and humility.” However, he has come under first recently as the government moved toward a shutdown. By his stepping aside, it is generally felt that a government shutdown will not happen now next week.

Opponents and supporters both say that his orchestrating the Pope to address Congress may have been his crowning achievement and the best way for him to go out. According to The Hill publication, Florida Representative John Mica (R) said Boehner told members that he thought opposition to his role as Speaker was becoming a distraction from broader policy debates.

“He just does not want to become the issue,” Mica told The Hill. “Some people have tried to make him the issue, both in Congress and outside.”

No timetable has been set on picking a House Speaker successor.  Visit the Hill website to read more analysis.