A few days into the shutdown, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) prayed and asked God why he was put in charge of coralling the House Republican caucus toward a deal to open the government, according to National Review.
Boehner, as he was praying, thought “there must be a reason” he was in his position, according to sources close to the speaker.
Boehner reportedly shared the story with a small group of lawmakers, who urged him to be more vocal about it, but Boehner quickly dismissed the idea.
“I’m a Catholic — not a Baptist!” Boehner reportedly said.
The moment of prayer was a turning point and Boehner began to rally his caucus behind him, according to National Review’s Jonathan Strong.
Boehner proceded with optimism toward a comprehensive deal, something Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH) said Boehner has chased for a while.
“[Boehner] has said for a long time, as long as I’ve known him, long before he was back in leadership, that the reason why he was here is to do the ‘big deal,'” Tiberi told the National Review.
Two weeks later however, Boehner was back to giving up, attempting a deal with only minor wins for Republicans.
“I’d rather throw a grenade than catch a grenade,” Boehner reportedly told his fellow lawmakers, calling the plan the GOP’s “last chance to retain any shred of dignity.”