Stunned MN Republicans react to US House Speaker Boehner's resignation


The unexpected resignation of U.S. House Speaker John Boehner from Congress has left Republicans from Minnesota in a state of shock.

Boehner announced on Friday he intends to step down from Congress at the end of October, which the New York Times reports follows "intense pressure" from elements in the party who want to see Planned Parenthood defunded.

With only five days before budget deals must be struck in Congress to keep the federal government running, some GOP members of Congress say they don't want any deal that continues to fund the family planning service.

The newspaper says Boehner's impending departure "lessens the chance" of a shutdown, because he will no longer be put off from reaching a budget agreement by those who would otherwise threaten his job.

Among Boehner's closest allies in Congress is Minnesota Rep. John Kline, who himself recently announced he would not be standing for re-election next year.

He told the Pioneer Press the news left him "stunned" and "reeling."

"I think that the action he took was both courageous and selfless," he added, saying his decision will save the House and party from damage should some of his opponents have moved against him.

Praise for 'steady, calm leadership'

There was support as well from the other side of the House, with Democratic Rep. Rick Nolan telling the Star Tribune his efforts have been undermined by more extreme elements of the Republican party.

"His efforts to foster bipartisanship and cooperation, especially behind the scenes, have been continually blocked by the radical Tea-Party elements of the Republican Party," he said. "Extreme partisanship and political posturing discourage good people from seeking public office and staying in public office."

Rep. Erik Paulsen, of Minnesota's 3rd Congressional District, paid tribute to Boehner's "steady, calm leadership" in a statement, which he says "has been an asset as Congress has navigated through difficult obstacles and passionate debates."

"The Speaker's decision to step down is one of incredible selflessness and humility."

Rep. Tom Emmer, Republican representative for Minnesota's 6th District, posted his reaction on Twitter.

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