(JNS.org) Speaker of the House U.S. Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced a surprise resignation from Congress on Friday.
Boehner, 65, became speaker in 2011 following a Republican victory in the 2010 midterm Cp Congressional elections. He plans to resign at the end of October. Boehner has been battling with members of his own party, who have threatened to shut down the government over funding for Planned Parenthood.
During his term as House speaker, Boehner was a strong advocate for Israel. He led a Congressional delegation to Israel last spring and invited Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress about the Iranian nuclear threat. The White House accused the invitation of circumventing the normal diplomatic “protocol” of consulting the president when a foreign leader addresses Congress.
Over the summer, Boehner was among the leading Congressional advocates against the Iran nuclear deal. But Congress failed to get the necessary amount of votes to potentially override President Barack Obama’s veto of a resolution disapproving the deal. Ultimately, the nuclear deal never came to a Congressional vote.
“Speaker Boehner has always been attuned to the interests of the Jewish community—working closely to help those served by our social service agencies, to bolster the philanthropic sector, and to strengthen the U.S.-Israel relationship,” said William Daroff, senior vice president for public policy and director of the Washington office of The Jewish Federations of North America, who worked for Boehner as a page in the Ohio House of Representatives. “His steadfast leadership will be missed.”