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Rep. Zeldin: Boehner's Going Out On Top

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner said he’s stepping down from his leadership position and retiring from Congress at the end of October.

Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin of Long Island said Boehner’s resignation took lawmakers in Washington by surprise.

"I can’t think of anybody in that room who was expecting that announcement to be made this morning," he said.

Zeldin said on the other hand, the timing of the announcement makes sense for Boehner.

"As a religious man, a catholic man, he sees himself going out on top," he said. "With the Pope coming to visit and speak before a joint session of congress, I don’t really find that to be any coincidence."

Zeldin said Boehner has faced challenges bringing together more than 400 representatives from different geographic and ideological backgrounds. He said passing a budget before federal funding runs out next week takes priority over deciding a new House Speaker.

Cassandra Basler, a former senior editor at WSHU, came to the station by way of Columbia Journalism School in New York City. When she's not reporting on wealth and poverty, she's writing about food and family.