Historic removal of house speaker. In an unprecedented turn of events in the United States, Kevin McCarthy has been removed from his position as the Speaker of the House of Representatives (HOR). This marks the first instance of such an occurrence in American history.
On Tuesday, October 3, 2023, McCarthy was ousted from his role in a historic vote. This dramatic development transpired amidst internal strife within the Republican Party, causing further chaos in the US Congress.
The Vote That Made History:
McCarthy’s removal came as several Republican representatives joined forces with a majority of their Democratic counterparts in a vote to strip him of his leadership. It’s important to note that the Republican Party currently holds the majority of seats in the US House of Representatives.
The voting results were as follows: 216 members of the House of Representatives favored McCarthy’s removal from office, while 210 opposed it. Eight Republican representatives and 208 Democratic representatives were among those who supported McCarthy’s removal.
This historic vote marked the first instance of congressional members ousting their own leader. McCarthy’s removal followed the passage of a stopgap bill by the US Congress to prevent a federal government shutdown.
In a statement to reporters, McCarthy declared that he would not seek re-election as Speaker of the House. “I fought for what I believe in. I believe I can continue to fight, but perhaps in a different way,” he remarked.
As a result of McCarthy’s removal, the House of Representatives will not have a leader for at least a week. Some Republican representatives plan to convene on October 10 to discuss potential candidates to replace McCarthy. The vote to select the new Speaker of the House will take place on October 11.
What Led to McCarthy’s Ouster?
In recent weeks, McCarthy had repeatedly angered members of the Democratic Party. One of the key triggers was the Republican Party’s move to initiate impeachment proceedings against President Joe Biden.
On Saturday, September 30, McCarthy gave Democratic representatives limited time to review a temporary funding bill to avert a government shutdown. While Democrats could have potentially saved McCarthy from being removed, they made it clear that they would not assist the Republican Party in resolving its internal issues.
The rebellion within the Republican Party was also spearheaded by Matt Gaetz, a representative from Florida, who criticized McCarthy harshly. Gaetz described McCarthy as a “swamp creature” who rose to power by collecting special interest money and redistributing it in exchange for support.
This development adds to the ongoing high-stakes drama that has unfolded over the past year. The Republican-controlled US House of Representatives has brought Washington to the brink of a $31.4 trillion debt default and a partial federal government shutdown.
With a narrow majority of 221 seats against the Democratic Party’s 212, the Republican Party cannot afford to lose even five of its members in votes. McCarthy’s removal has halted legislative activity in the US House of Representatives, and the deadline for a government shutdown is rapidly approaching on November 17. The White House hopes that the House of Representatives will swiftly elect a new Speaker to facilitate legislative progress.