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Just two days after abruptly announcing that he’s resigning from Congress, House Speaker John Boehner will participate in a live interview with CBS’ Sunday-morning news show Face the Nation.
The 13-term Ohio Republican, who said Friday that at the end of October he will step down from his current position and Congress altogether, will sit down with moderator John Dickerson, CBS announced shortly after news of Boehner’s resignation plans broke.
A story on the Face the Nation website says Dickerson will ask Boehner why he decided to leave, a move that surprised many of his colleagues and others in the GOP, and whether Pope Francis’ visit to the Capitol, which occurred just a day before Boehner broke the news, influenced his decision at all.
Pope Francis was the first pontiff to address Congress and Boehner, a Catholic, had long sought to get the church’s leader to Washington. Boehner was also facing the threat of a floor vote on whether he could stay on as speaker, a formal challenge that hasn’t happened in over 100 years and a move being pushed by members of Congress who believed Boehner wasn’t pushing hard enough to defund Planned Parenthood, even though doing so risked a government shutdown, according to the Associated Press.
“It’s become clear to me that this prolonged leadership turmoil would do irreparable harm to the institution,” Boehner told a news conference several hours after announcing his plans to his staff. “There was never any doubt I could survive the vote, but I didn’t want my members to go through this, I didn’t want this institution to go through this.”
Boehner, who took over as Speaker of the House in January 2011, said he had planned to announce in November that he would resign at the end of the year but had not said so publicly, the AP reported. After the emotional meeting with the pope on Thursday, Boehner woke up Friday morning and decided now was the time, the AP reported.
It’s unknown who will succeed Boehner but the No. 2 House Republican Kevin McCarthy is a top candidate. Boehner said the decision of who’ll replace him is up to Republicans but said McCarthy, “would make an excellent speaker.”
Other guests set for Sunday’s Face the Nation include Republican presidential candidate John Kasich, who served with Boehner in Congress for years and will talk about the presidential race and Boehner’s move, and Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, who will talk about whether he can sustain his campaign’s momentum. The show will also feature a political panel with CBS News congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes, Wall Street Journal columnist Kim Strassel, the Washington Post‘s Ed O’Keefe and USA Today‘s Susan Page.
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