The House of Representatives voted to oust Speaker Kevin McCarthy, marking the first time in U.S. history that a sitting speaker has been removed from the role. [Source]
The final vote concluded with 216 in favor and 210 against, removing McCarthy from his leadership position.
This historic vote was not a Democratic push. Rep. Matt Gaetz introduced the motion to vacate. Eight Republicans joined all the Democrats to vote in favor. Gaetz was joined by Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs, Colorado Rep. Ken Buck, Tennessee Rep. Tim Burchett, Arizona Rep. Eli Crane, Virginia Rep. Bob Good, South Carolina Rep. Nancy Mace, and Montana Rep. Matt Rosendale. [Source]
Gaetz accused the former Speaker of not living up to the promises he made to secure the leadership in January. “Chaos is Speaker McCarthy. Chaos is somebody who we cannot trust with their word.”
During the hour-long debate prior to the vote, tensions were palpable as allies of McCarthy dominated the GOP side of the chamber.
Rep. Garret Graves (R-LA) criticized Gaetz for perceived fundraising efforts tied to the motion, eliciting chants of “shame” from the GOP side of the House. “Using official actions to make money, it’s disgusting,” proclaimed Graves.
Main Street Caucus Vice Chair Stephanie Bice felt that this fiasco was more about individual ambitions than the wellbeing of the nation. “This is all about Matt Gaetz. It’s not about Kevin McCarthy. Matt Gaetz is using the American people as pawns in his narcissistic game of charades.”
This upheaval traces back to the heart of a pressing budgetary conflict. McCarthy faced criticism over a short-term spending bill, known as a continuing resolution, intended to prevent a government shutdown. The bill extended policies from the previously Democrat-held Congress, which did not sit well with some House Republicans.
While Gaetz’s measure drew significant criticism, he wasn’t entirely isolated in his sentiment. Rep. Nancy Mace remarked, after casting her vote against McCarthy, “The Speaker has not lived up to his word now how the House would operate… With the current Speaker, this chaos will continue. We need a fresh start so we can get back to the people’s business free of these distraction.
In the immediate aftermath of the vote, Rep. Patrick McHenry, chosen by McCarthy as speaker pro tempore, stepped in as acting Speaker. McHenry immediately placed the House in recess and urged members to “discuss the path forward.” [Source]
Discussions for the position of Speaker are now underway about potential successors. Names like Majority Leader Steve Scalise, Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, and Majority Whip Tom Emmer have surfaced, but no official announcements have been made.
This story is still developing…