Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) will resign as Speaker of the House and leave Congress at the end of October, Fox News confirmed this morning.

Boehner has spent 24 years in the House of Representatives representing southwest Ohio. He has served as Speaker since Jan. 2011.

Boehner, 65, has been facing pressure from more conservative Republicans to shut down the government in order to defund Planned Parenthood.

The news comes one day after Boehner, a Catholic, welcomed Pope Francis for an address to a joint meeting of Congress.

In a statement, Boehner said: 

"My mission every day is to fight for a smaller, less costly, and more accountable government.  Over the last five years, our majority has advanced conservative reforms that will help our children and their children.  I am proud of what we have accomplished.

"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.

"Today, my heart is full with gratitude for my family, my colleagues, and the people of Ohio’s Eighth District.  God bless this great country that has given me - the son of a bar owner from Cincinnati - the chance to serve."