John Boehner will resign from his position as Speaker of the House of Representatives, as well as give up his congressional seat, at the end of October.

Boehner, 65, who has been in Congress for 25 years, released a statement announcing the news, in which he said, in part:

The first job of any Speaker is to protect this institution that we all love.  It was my plan to only serve as Speaker until the end of last year, but I stayed on to provide continuity to the Republican Conference and the House.  It is my view, however, that prolonged leadership turmoil would do irreparable damage to the institution.  To that end, I will resign the Speakership and my seat in Congress on October 30.

The Republican from Ohio has overseen the House since 2011, when he was elected Speaker following the GOP victories in the 2010 midterm elections. Boehner has been under pressure recently from conservatives, who have insisted upon defunding Planned Parenthood or possibly enter another government shutdown.

Potential candidates to succeed Boehner include current Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, Jeb Hensarling of Texas or possibly Paul Ryan, the 2012 Republican vice-presidential nominee, though Ryan's staff has said he is not interested. McCarthy seems to be the likeliest choice, though the GOP caucus will soon begin their selection process, which could be highly unpredictable.

Reactions to the stunning announcement came from across the political spectrum:

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