In an unprecedented move, Kevin McCarthy was ousted from his position as Speaker of the House on Monday, marking the first time in U.S. history a sitting speaker has been forcibly removed.
The motion to vacate, led by Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., culminated in a 216 to 210 vote against McCarthy. Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., has temporarily taken the helm as Speaker Pro Tempore. Following the ouster, a reflective McCarthy confirmed his decision not to seek the speaker’s position again, though he expressed gratitude for having had the opportunity to serve.
The vote against McCarthy was backed not only by Democrats but also by a faction of eight Republicans, including Gaetz, who cited breaches in prior agreements as a primary cause for their lack of trust in McCarthy’s leadership.
The discord within the Republican Party became evident when a bipartisan agreement, spearheaded by McCarthy, to raise the debt ceiling sparked controversy among conservative members. These concerns intensified when hard-right congress members voted against a GOP-endorsed bill on gas stove regulations, signaling growing discontent with McCarthy’s approach. Elections for the new Speaker of the House are set to begin next Wednesday, while the House will remain in recess until next Tuesday.
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