The House of Representatives voted Tuesday to vacate the office of Speaker of the House, formally ousting Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R–Bakersfield) from the post.
McCarthy, whose Speakership lowered the threshold to tender a motion to vacate to a single member, faced a blitz from Rep. Matt Gaetz (R–Fla.) over a vote to maintain government funding with a clean continuing resolution.
Driving the news: McCarthy’s post was vacated on a 216-210 vote on Tuesday afternoon.
- During the 15 rounds of voting to elect him to the Speakership in January, McCarthy initially offered to reduce the number of members required to tender a motion to vacate the Speakership to five members. Opponents in the GOP conference demanded it be lowered to one.
- McCarthy faced stiff opposition from the hard right flank over his negotiations to raise the debt ceiling earlier in 2023 and moves to keep the government funded before a 45-day continuing resolution was approved last week.
State of play: Amid rumors that he might try to regain his role as Speaker, McCarthy told the GOP conference that he will not run again, according to reports.
- McCarthy gave a speech during the meeting saying he’ll continue to work to get some of the Republicans in Congress reelected and will not forget those who stood by him on Tuesday.
What we’re watching: Who will be the next Speaker?
- Rep. Patrick McHenry (R–N.C.) has stepped in as Speaker Pro Tempore after being named by McCarthy as his temporary replacement.
- When asked by reporters who he would support for Speaker, Gaetz listed several representatives, including Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R–La.).
- Rep. Troy Nehls (R–TX) released a statement after the vote saying he will nominate former President Donald Trump for Speaker.
- House GOP members plan to hold a candidate forum for speaker next Tuesday and an election the next day.
How they voted: Valley representatives voted along party lines to support and oppose McCarthy:
- Rep. Josh Harder (D–Stockton) – YEA
- Rep. John Duarte (R–Modesto) – NAY
- Rep. Tom McClintock (R–Elk Grove) – NAY
- Rep. Jim Costa (D–Fresno) – YEA
- Rep. David Valadao (R–Hanford) – NAY
- With a slim Republican majority in the House and a few absences, including former Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D–San Francisco), McCarthy could only afford to lose a handful of Republican votes if Democrats unified against him, which they all did.
- Ultimately eight Republicans voted against McCarthy: Andy Biggs (Ariz.), Ken Buck (Colo.), Tim Burchett (Tenn.), Eli Crane (Ariz.), Gaetz, Bob Good (Va.), Nancy Mace (S.C.) and Matt Rosendale (Mont.).
What they’re saying: “Doing the right thing isn’t always easy, but it is necessary,” McCarthy told reporters. “I don’t regret standing up for choosing governance over grievances.”
- “Look, you all know Matt Gaetz. You know it was personal,” McCarthy told reporters during the post-vote press conference. “It had nothing to do about spending. Everything he accused somebody of he was doing. It was all about getting attention from you. I mean, we’re getting email fundraisers from him as he’s doing it. ‘Join in quickly.’ That’s not governing. That’s not becoming of a member of Congress. And regardless of what you think, I’ve seen the texts, it was all about his ethics.”
- McCarthy added that he has not entertained thoughts of resigning his seat in Congress after the motion to vacate vote.