House Speaker John Boehner, under fire from conservatives over a looming government shut down, will resign from Congress at the end of October, his office said Friday.
Boehner, 65, told House Republicans of his decision earlier in the morning. Later, he left a meeting without speaking to the assembled media outside.
Speaker Boehner just announced in Conference that he will resign as Speaker and from Congress at the end of October.— Rep. Bill Huizenga (@RepHuizenga) September 25, 2015
Republicans cheered loudly when GOP presidential hopeful Marco Rubio announced the news.
"It's not about him or anybody else, and I'm not here to bash anyone, but the time has come to turn the page—the time has come to turn the page and allow a new generation of leadership in this country," the Florida senator said.
An aide to Boehner told NBC News the speaker had planned to serve through the end of 2014, but Rep. Eric Cantor's loss last year had changed that calculation.
The news came a day after Boehner shed tears while sitting behind Pope Francis as the pontiff addressed a joint meeting of Congress.
"Speaker Boehner believes that the first job of any speaker is to protect this institution and, as we saw yesterday with the Holy Father, it is the one thing that unites and inspires us all," the aide said. "The speaker believes putting members through prolonged leadership turmoil would do irreparable damage to the institution."
By ousting a good man like Speaker Boehner -- someone who understood the art of compromise -- the party of Eisenhower and Reagan is no more.— Senator Harry Reid (@SenatorReid) September 25, 2015
House Majority Kevin McCarthy of California will likely be Boehner's successor, political observers told CNBC.
Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi called Boehner's resignation a "seismic" event for the House.
Some analysts, including KBW's Brian Gardner, said Boehner's exit decreases the chances of a government shutdown in a fight over Planned Parenthood fuding.
"The speaker is taking one for the team: He's going to probably try and strike a deal that includes congressional Democrats, which would have been poison for a group of conservatives who would have rebelled against him," Gardner said. "It's a very fluid situation, but my immediate takeaway is that this decreases the likelihood of a government shutdown."
Such a deal, he said, would be a "clean" continuing resolution that does not strip funding from Planned Parenthood "because the votes just weren't there for that."
Short term Treasury yields spiked on the Boehner news. "It adds some uncertainty and depending on how the battle is going to go, it could even bring the Fed into question," David Ader, said CRT Capital chief treasury strategist.
Republicans have attempted to defund Planned Parenthood in the past, but Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., has led the latest effort this summer following the release of videos by an anti-abortion group that allege Planned Parenthood branches sold parts of fetuses for profit.
Three forensics experts hired by a consultant paid for by Planned Parenthood concluded the group behind the videos, the Center for Medical Progress, heavily edited and manipulated them to suggest wrongdoing.
Investigations in five states where the videos were shot determined Planned Parenthood acted within the bounds of the law. A 1993 law allows abortion providers to be reimbursed for the cost of handling and transporting fetal specimens donated for medical research.