The ousting of McCarthy represented the first time in US history that a speaker of the House has been removed from office, marking an ignominious end to a short and fraught tenure for the California Republican. It comes as Americans’ approval ratings of Congress and the federal government remain near historic lows, with a majority saying they have little or no confidence in the future of the US political system.
The infighting between Republicans effectively puts a halt to all business in the House of Representatives until the House, which has only a narrow Republican majority, elects a new speaker. McCarthy said Tuesday night that he would not run for speaker again, clearing the way for a new Republican speaker if the party members can reach a consensus.
Republicans plan to hold a vote for a new speaker next Wednesday, following a closed-door meeting on 10 October to discuss different candidates, Reuters reported.
Florida Republican congressman Matt Gaetz said, “Chaos is Speaker MacCarty, chaos is someone we can not trust”.
“The resolution is adopted,” Congressman Steve Womack, the Arkansas Republican who presided over the session, announced after the vote. “The office of speaker of the House of the United States House of Representatives is hereby declared vacant.”
McCarthy had said: “They wanted to challenge me because I worked with the other side so America could go forward and the government could stay open. You know if you have to lose for something, I will always lose for the country”.
Some Republican leaders condemned McCarthy’s removal, with former vice president and current presidential candidate Mike Pence suggesting it would undermine the GOP in the eyes of voters. “Chaos is never America’s strength and it’s never a friend of American families that are struggling,” Pence said at an event in Georgetown.
Tuesday’s vote was the first to remove a House speaker in more than 100 years and the first successful such vote in American history. Other recent House speakers, including former Republican leader John Boehner, had previously been threatened with a motion to vacate but never had to endure a full effort to remove them.
The referendum starkly illustrated McCarthy’s tenuous grasp on the gavel since needing 15 rounds of voting to secure the House speakership in January.Follow TKG on Twitter & Facebook