House Ousts Speaker McCarthy

McCarthy

In unprecedented, paralyzed territory, fractured Republicans must find a way forward, as the U.S. House of Representatives just voted to boot Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA): 216 to 210.

The leadership position now stands vacant.

“We are headed toward the world of bargaining,” conservative hardliner U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla) told reporters in the disarrayed aftermath.

McCarthy won’t run for speaker again.

“I will not seek to run again for Speaker of the House,” said the California Republican. “I may have lost a vote today, but I fought for what I believe in—and I believe in America. It has been an honor to serve.”

He lost his job – a first in the history of the speakership in this fashion – as a consequence of cutting a deal with Democrats and refusing to shut down the federal government, infuriating Gaetz and seven other GOP reps on the right:

  • Rep. Gaetz (R-Fla.) …
  • Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) …
  • Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.) …
  • Rep. Eli Crane (R-Ariz.) …
  • Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.) …
  • Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Mont.) …
  • Rep. Dan Bishop (R-N.C.) …
  • Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.)

From USA Today:

“House Speaker [Kevin] McCarthy lost the fight for his political life after lawmakers decided to oust the California Republican from the speakership.

“The rebellion, led by [Gaetz] has roiled the House in chaos. The move to oust McCarthy – known as a motion to vacate – had the support of a handful of hard-right lawmakers who have expressed anger at McCarthy for working with Democrats to avert a government shutdown. 

“With House Republicans’ razor thin majority, McCarthy’s fate appeared to fall in the hands of Democrats, who huddled in an extended closed-door meeting Tuesday morning to discuss strategy, but ultimately decided not to save McCarthy.”

Refusing to stand by McCarthy, U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-9) and other Democrats this afternoon said the embattled speaker had jumped in bed with the devil.

“If the Republican Conference is a circus, why would I go into the tent and step in elephant dung?” said Pascrell. “In less than a year, Kevin McCarthy has proven himself to be the weakest House Speaker in modern history. Every decision Mr. McCarthy has made was with eyes only on the Speaker’s gavel. Governance and trust have been secondary. Mr. McCarthy made corrupt bargains with right-wing extremists to seize power. He handed these misfits the tools they now wield against him so let him negotiate with these wolves. All Americans should watch this latest spectacle and know House Republicans have no business running a lemonade stand let alone the Congress. The House Republican majority can decide who they want to be Speaker of the House. But the Speaker cannot count on me to save him from the inmates he empowered in the Republican asylum.”

Said U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-11):

“This is a sad day for the House of Representatives. After a Republican motion, I voted to remove Speaker Kevin McCarthy. As a Member of Congress, it is my duty to uphold the Constitution, govern responsibly and effectively, and deliver results for the people of New Jersey.

“I have always sought to find common ground between both parties to get things done for New Jersey. But as Speaker of the House, Mr. McCarthy consistently broke his word and showed no interest in bipartisanship or governing responsibly. Instead, Mr. McCarthy empowered right-wing extremists at every turn — bringing us to the brink of defaults and shutdowns, failing to uphold the debt-ceiling agreement he made with the President, relentlessly attacking women’s reproductive freedom, blocking votes to prevent gun violence, and launching a baseless impeachment inquiry built on lies and conspiracy theories. And after saying January 6 was ‘atrocious and totally wrong’ and that President Trump ‘bears responsibility for his words and actions,’ he almost immediately went to Mar-a-Lago, abjectly apologized, and begged for Trump’s forgiveness.

“I’m eager to work with both parties on solutions to bring costs down and make life better for New Jersey families, and to make the House accountable to the needs of the American people instead of right-wing extremists. New Jerseyans deserve better than this dysfunction from the majority — House Republicans need to finally muster the courage and stand up to extremism in their party.”

 

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