US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy Voted Out Of Office

US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy was deposed in a historic vote on Tuesday, October 3, following a mutiny by far-right members of the Republican Party over his collaboration with Democrats to avert a government shutdown.

In the 216-210 vote on Tuesday, eight Republicans joined all Democrats in voting to oust McCarthy. It is the first time a House speaker has been deposed by a vote of no confidence.

“The office of speaker of the House of the United States House of Representatives is hereby declared vacant,” said Republican Rep. Steve Womack of Arkansas, who was presiding over the chamber.

 

Rep. Patrick McHenry of North Carolina, a close McCarthy ally and member of the Financial Services Committee, was then named speaker pro tempore. The rules of the 118th Congress say that “in the case of a vacancy in the office of speaker, the next member” designated on a list submitted by McCarthy to the clerk of the House in January will become speaker pro tempore until a speaker is elected.

 

McCarthy can be renominated and reelected as speaker, but only if he makes concessions to conservative Republicans or forms a coalition with Democrats.

“The reason Kevin McCarthy went down today is because nobody trusts Kevin McCarthy,” Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida told reporters after the vote.

“Kevin McCarthy has made multiple contradictory promises, and when they all came due, he lost votes of people who maybe don’t even ideologically agree with me on everything.”

“This represents the ripping off of the Band-Aid and that’s what we need to do to get back on track,” the Florida Republican added.

 

Reps. Andy Biggs of Arizona, Ken Buck of Colorado, Tim Burchett of Tennessee, Eli Crane of Arizona, Bob Good of Virginia, Nancy Mace of South Carolina, and Matt Rosendale of Montana voted with Gaetz to remove McCarthy.

 

McCarthy was accused a day earlier by Gaetz of arranging a “secret side deal” with President Biden on Ukraine aid in order to get a short-term funding package enacted hours before the government was slated to shut down. The California Republican denied making any bargain in exchange for Democratic votes.

 

The speaker of the House is not only the chamber’s leader, but also the next in line for the presidency. It is unusual in history for a sitting speaker to be removed by vote in the middle of a congressional term.

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