Republican House Speaker, John Boehner, took virtually everyone by surprise when he announced he would step down at the end of next month. Mississippi Congressman Bennie Thompson - a Democrat - says the deep tensions within the Republican party have been overwhelming for Boehner.
"I think he just got tired of all the hassle, trying to keep Republican members together. I think he made a decision of 'I'm not going through another shutdown, and if that means I have to resign from Congress, and resign from speaker, that's what I'm going to do,' and that's what he did," says Thompson.
Thompson says he doesn't know who will be the next speaker, but he's pretty sure of who it won't be.
"If given that opportunity again, Nancy Pelosi. Obviously, it won't happen, so I think right now it could be any number of people on the Republican side. I'm sure we'll see who surfaces," Thompson says.
Republican Congressman, Gregg Harper, says his party is already starting to rally behind a prospective candidate.
"I would anticipate that Kevin McCarthy of California will be our next speaker. He's very able, and very well-qualified, and I expect him to take over and do a great job," Harper says.
The House members will vote on their new leader by October 30th when Boehner leaves office.