Kevin McCarthy’s confidence in retaining his position as speaker of the house faded yesterday as representatives voted to remove his gavel with a vote of 216-210.
The Speaker, who lasted just under 8 months after a tumultuous confirmation back in January, was ousted from his leadership position with 8 Republicans joining every Democrat in the House to seal McCarthy’s fate.
In less than a day, McCarthy went from “bring it on” and “I’ll survive,” to, “if five Republicans go with Democrats then I’m out. So it’s whether…”
“It looks likely,” Rachel Scott, an ABC reporter, interjected.
“Probably so,” replied the ex-Speaker, recognizing his fate.
Matt Gaetz, the rebel Republican from Florida responsible for bringing the motion to vacate the speaker position, claimed McCarthy didn’t keep his word to hold Democrats accountable for a budget that would significantly reduce spending.
“The Speaker did not just fail to remediate the breach of the agreement that he made with us in January, he accelerated the instances of breach,” Gaetz told the press, offering examples.
“He seems to be reverting to the very unfortunate muscle memory of Washington, D.C. that has put our nation atop of 33 trillion dollar debt that has led to two trillion dollar annual deficits in our near future and the rapid global de-dollarization of our economy.”
In his support to vote McCarthy out, Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.) stated on X:
“This was a tough decision. I voted for McCarthy as Speaker of the House back in January and I consider him a friend. However, I had to vote for what I think is best for the American people. We need leadership that will take real action to address our country’s serious financial crisis and steer us in a better direction and we shouldn’t settle for anything less than that.”
However, McCarthy believes he did what was right for the American people, not the eight Republicans who voted against him.
“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.”
Furthermore, McCarthy believes he was right.
“Doing the right thing isn’t easy, but it is necessary” he said in a post vote press conference.
“I don’t regret standing up for choosing governance over grievance. I do not regret negotiating. Our government is designed to find compromise. I don’t regret my efforts to build coalitions and find solutions. I was raised to solve problems, not create them.”
Republicans Spar On House Floor
During the debate on the House floor, tensions flared as McCarthy detractors and supporters faced off.
“Chaos is Speaker McCarthy. Chaos is somebody who we cannot trust with their word,” Gaetz said as McCarthy looked down at his lap.
The ex-Speaker’s supporters included Jim Jordan (R – Ohio), Tom Cole (R – Okla.), and Thomas Massie (R – Ky.), who, notably, back in 2015, broke from the majority of his party by opposing the reelection of Speaker of the House John Boehner.
While unprecedented is a word that commonly has been used ever since Donald Trump came into politics, the removal of McCarthy is truly historic. Never before has a Speaker in the House of Representatives been voted out of the job.
Who Will Fill McCarthy’s Spot?
McCarthy says he will not run for the position again. The Republican faction seems to be in disarray as there is no obvious successor to the vacant seat.
Some have put forth Jordan as a possibility. Also on the list are Steve Scalise from Louisiana, Tom Emmer of Minnesota, the majority whip, Elise Stefanik from New York, and Cole.
A few of the crazies in the House are apparently drafting Donald Trump to temporarily fill the vacancy.
Unprecedented and historic don’t even begin to describe what’s happening in the Republican party right now. How about insane?
If the right doesn’t get its **** together, the only other word that will describe it is losers.
Jennifer Galardi is the politics and culture editor for 19FortyFive.com. She has a Master’s in Public Policy from Pepperdine University and produces and hosts the podcast Connection with conversations that address health, culture, politics and policy. In a previous life, she wrote for publications in the health, fitness, and nutrition space. In addition, her pieces have been published in the Epoch Times and Pepperdine Policy Review. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter.
From the Vault