GOP in Disarray After McCarthy Ouster
Uncertainty looms over Capitol Hill after the House of Representatives voted Tuesday to remove Kevin McCarthy from his leadership role. The ouster is the first time in history that members have voted to fire a House Speaker. Just eight Republicans joined Democrats in voting against McCarthy. Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz led the charge with a motion to vacate earlier this week.
McCarthy had faced criticism from Republicans for passing a temporary government funding bill last weekend, which received greater support from Democrats than Republicans. He had also been accused of making a “side deal” with President Joe Biden ahead of the vote to secure more funding for Ukraine. In a speech before Congress, Gaetz referred to McCarthy as “somebody we cannot trust with their word.”
The response by Congressional Republicans has been severe, with most House members condemning the vote and some even calling for Gaetz to be expelled from Congress.
“A handful of House members just want to blow up the institution and themselves in the process,” Texas Senator John Cornyn posted to X. Cornyn quoted a separate post reacting to comments he reportedly made, calling the vote “disgraceful” and accusing Gaetz of perpetrating a “terrorist attack.”
Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio called the vote “very unfair” to McCarthy. Several outlets reported that Rep. Ann Wagner of Missouri could be seen crying after the vote.
Patrick McHenry, who is now serving as the interim House Speaker, appeared to slam his gavel in anger after declaring the Speakership vacant.
Rep. Garret Graves (R-LA) explodes on Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) for fundraising off effort to oust Speaker McCarthy: "Texts messages saying, 'Give me money, I filled a motion to vacate.' Using official actions to raise money. It’s disgusting. It is what is disgusting about D.C." pic.twitter.com/RwlUKrmTrr
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) October 3, 2023
Patrick McHenry, the new acting House Speaker, slams the gavel after taking over pic.twitter.com/QiPZkrH3fg
— BNO News Live (@BNODesk) October 3, 2023
Incredible after McCarthy saved @NancyMace in a tough race back in 2020.
And her beef with McCarthy has been about "womens issues" – curious how working with Matt Gaetz to bring the house to a standstill advances her goals any further. https://t.co/Q1fryJVy2Y
— Matt Whitlock (@mattdizwhitlock) October 3, 2023
McCarthy has said he will not run again for House Speaker, after already enduring 15 rounds of voting for the position last January. After conceding defeat, he told reporters,
“In today’s world, if you’re sitting in Congress and you took a gamble to make sure government was still open and eight people can throw you out as speaker, and the Democrats who said they wanted to keep government open — I think you’ve got a real divide. I think you have a real institutional problem.”
Gaetz, however has stood by his decision, saying that McCarthy paved the way for his downfall by working with Democrats and ignoring the Republican base.
“We should get to electing a new, more conservative, more trustworthy speaker immediately,” he said in a Fox News interview Tuesday.
“We should stay and elect a new speaker — that’s the path ahead…
As far as the criticism that I worked with Democrats, the Yellow Brick Road of working with Democrats was paved by Kevin McCarthy whether it was the debt limit deal, whether it was the continuing resolutions.”
With each vote they cast, Members of Congress should ask themselves, “do I want to end up like Kevin McCarthy?”
The removal of the Speaker will prove to be the single greatest exercise in government accountability in our lifetime.
— Eric Matheny 🎙️ (@ericmmatheny) October 4, 2023
Despite the outrage from elected Republicans, voters appear to be rallying around the Florida Republican and cheering on McCarthy’s ouster.
“The removal of the Speaker will prove to be the single greatest exercise in government accountability in our lifetime,” said one commentator on X.
“Good morning to everyone except the RINOs in Congress crying big crocodile tears because they lost their precious sellout swamp creature – Kevin McCarthy. Good riddance liar. You won’t be missed by We The People.” ~ Catturd [@catturd2]
“McCarthy was removed on the terms he agreed to,” another commenter wrote. “He was removed for not keeping the promises he made in order to get the coveted speakership.”
The House of Representatives will remain at a standstill until a new speaker is successfully seated. House Majority Whip Tom Emmer, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, and former President Donald Trump have all been floated as possible nominations.
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