Boehner to leave as Congress confronts intractable issues

John Boehner
FILE - In this July 29, 2015 file photo, House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. House GOP leaders have summoned their divided conference for a make-or-break discussion on how to fight taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood without having the battle lead to a government shutdown next week. Boehner and his leadership team have been urging lawmakers to consider alternatives to using a must-pass funding bill as a means to carry the battle against Planned Parenthood to President Barack Obama. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) – The timing of House Speaker John Boehner’s resignation isn’t going to make it easy for whoever succeeds him.

Congress could once again be scrambling to avert a looming government shutdown, the loss of federal funding for thousands of highway projects and an unprecedented government default.

Congress has until Oct. 29 to renew federal highway programs, or thousands of projects could be idled. Shortly after that, the government’s ability to pay its bills is set to expire, so Congress will have to extend the government’s borrowing authority or face a first-ever federal default.

Religious conservatives, meanwhile, are rejoicing. And that includes Republican presidential candidates. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio told the Value Voters forum in Washington that “the time has come to turn the page.” Conservatives have complained that Boehner wasn’t fighting hard enough to strip Planned Parenthood of government funds.

Boehner says he had planned to resign at the end of last year but stayed on because he feared a leadership shakeup would create too much turmoil for House Republicans.

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