NEW YORK -- A day after weeping through the pope’s address, Speaker of the House John Boehner resigned his post, a move likely to throw a fractious chamber into chaos.
The representative from Ohio revealed he was leaving in a meeting with Republican Party colleagues on Friday morning ahead of an address to the press.
The 65-year-old has endured a difficult time leading a chamber in which splits in his own party have made compromise with the Democrats all but impossible.
In recent weeks, Boehner had been trying to draft a spending bill that would avoid another government shutdown, but has been hamstrung by a group of conservative ideologues who insisted the bill includes an end to the funding of planned parenthood -- a non-profit organisation that focuses on reproductive health.
The organisation has been wrapped in scandal in recent months over videos released by an anti-abortion group that highlights controversial guidelines for using fetal tissue for research purposes.
Boehner, a catholic, was the force behind having Pope Francis speak in front of Congress. The New York Times reported the pontiff's speech in Washington on Thursday was the “culmination of a 20-year dream” for Boehner. Republican Representative Kevin McCarthy from California is expected to become the next Speaker.