Boehner departure blamed on "conservative extremists"

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Speaker of the House John Boehner says he's leaving now, rather than facing a divisive fight with his own party. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Speaker of the House John Boehner says he's leaving now, rather than facing a divisive fight with his own party.

Boehner explained, "I don't want my members to have to go through this and I certainly don't want the institution to go through this and so especially when I was thinking about walking out anyway."

One of Boehner's closest allies in Congress is Representative Devin Nunes of Visalia. Known as a conservative Republican he nonetheless blames extremists for pushing Boehner out.

Nunes said, "There are for profit groups out there that call themselves conservatives that have hijacked the Tea Party name, hijacked the conservative label and branding and we just have to get past this because its leading to some real poor decision making."
Congressman Jim Costa, a Democrat from Fresno also blames extremists for Boehners departure.

Costa explained, "Speaker Boehner would have liked to work together in a bi-partisan fashion but he was hand tied, hand tied, because of this extreme group of Republican members who thought they controlled the place."

But local Republican party activist, Tal Cloud says Boehner's leaving may pave the way for more aggressive congressional action.

Cloud explained, "I think there's many in the Republican Party that want to see action, instead of just words and I think that's what this is about, trying to get action from the party not just letting President Obama roll over the Republican controlled congress."

Nunes believes the man who ends up influencing any action may be Republican Representive Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield, now the House Majority Leader.

Nunes said, "The next speaker will be Kevin McCarthy from the San Joaquin Valley so in a lot of ways we lose Speaker Boehner who's been a champion for Valley issues and we've gained one of our own."

Costa also believes McCarthy is a likely choice, but notes, "He's got the inside track but I think the very extreme conservative wing will attempt to mount a challenge. He's going to have the same divisions that Speaker Boehner had to deal with."
Both Costa and Nunes believe McCarthy would be a valuable ally in the fight to bring more water to the Central Valley. But Costa notes McCarthy has not been supportive of immigration reform.

The vote for a new Speaker is expected to take place in about a month. John Boehner's resignation as Speaker and as a member of congress takes effect on October 30th.

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