McCarthy dares detractors to remove him as Speaker

In the face of threats to vacate the Speaker position, McCarthy challenges his own party to take action and try to remove him as tensions heat up over spending bills.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R–Bakersfield) is daring opponents in his own party to try to oust him, telling them to get on with it instead of just making threats. 

In a closed door meeting last week, McCarthy told fellow Republicans, “If you want to file a motion to vacate, then file the f—ing motion,” according to Rep. Brian Mast (R–Fla.). 


The backstory: As part of his deal in January when he ascended to Speaker, McCarthy agreed to rules that any member of the House can call for a vote to vacate the Speaker’s chair. Such a vote would require a majority of the House to oust him. 

Driving the news: Last week Rep. Matt Gaetz (R–Fla.) threatened to call a motion to vacate over the spending battle as a possible government shutdown looms at the end of the month. 

  • Specifically, Gaetz and other members of the GOP are calling for spending cuts and will not vote for a continuing resolution to put off a shutdown for the time being. 

What they’re saying: Speaking to the press, McCarthy said he is frustrated that there has been a holdup in passing defense appropriations legislation. 

  • “I showed frustration in here because I am frustrated – frustrated with some people in the conference,” McCarthy said. 
  • McCarthy added, “We had the DoD appropriations bill yesterday, couldn’t put it on the floor. I don’t have one complaint by any member of what’s wrong with this bill.”
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