Kevin McCarthy Out: US House Deposed its Speaker For The First Time in History – News18

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Last Updated: October 04, 2023, 06:11 IST

Washington D.C., United States of America (USA)

Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., speaks to reporters hours after he was ousted as Speaker of the House, Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2023, at the Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo)

Kevin McCarthy: Historic Speaker ouster in US House by far-right Republicans sparks chaos and division ahead of 2024 election

Kevin McCarthy was ousted as speaker of the US House of Representatives in a historic rebellion on Tuesday by a group of Republicans furious at his cooperation with Democrats. The removal of McCarthy has exposed GOP infighting, setting the stage for the 2024 presidential election. This historic ousting, the first in the House’s 234-year history, saw Democrats aligning with eight rebel Republicans, sealing McCarthy’s fate.

His passing of a bipartisan stopgap funding measure, backed by the White House, incited conservative anger. Florida conservative Matt Gaetz orchestrated the removal vote, capitalizing on Democrats’ reluctance to rescue a speaker who had recently launched a highly politicised impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden.

Soon after he was booted out of the job, McCarthy made it clear Tuesday night that he would not try to run again for Speaker. “I will not seek to run again for Speaker of the House. 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,” McCarthy wrote on social media platform X after he was booted as House speaker.

Despite warnings from party leadership about causing chaos, Gaetz asserted, “Chaos is Speaker McCarthy,” citing a lack of trust in McCarthy due to contradictory promises. Democrats, too, criticised McCarthy for reneging on a spending limits deal with Biden, forged earlier in high-stakes budget negotiations. Biden urged a swift replacement, emphasizing the pressing national challenges.

The New Democrat Coalition labeled McCarthy as untrustworthy, while Congressional Progressive Caucus chairwoman Pramila Jayapal characterised Republicans as wallowing in incompetence rather than rescuing McCarthy.

The upheaval followed the passage of a measure by both the House and Senate, averting a costly government shutdown through mid-November, garnering substantial bipartisan support. Conservatives expressed frustration, believing their chances for significant budget cuts had been thwarted.

Democratic House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries encouraged McCarthy’s ouster, with every Democrat joining 11 rebel Republicans in rejecting a preliminary motion to block the final removal vote. With McCarthy out, the House recessed, awaiting the election of a permanent replacement. Republicans convened to discuss potential candidates for the role, leaving open the possibility of McCarthy’s return, as he retains significant party support.

The situation may lead to a showdown among McCarthy’s lieutenants, including House Majority Leader Steve Scalise and House Majority Whip Tom Emmer. However, potential Republican contenders may be hesitant to assume a role seen as challenging, given the continued influence of the hard-right faction.

Former US President Trump criticised Republicans on social media for their internal strife but notably refrained from endorsing McCarthy. Republican Presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy came in support of the US House’s decision to oust McCarthy, saying: “Yes, chaos was the point. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.”

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