Matt Gaetz Succeeds In Motion To Oust McCarthy
In what would be the first time a House Speaker would be voted out, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) has successfully orchestrated the ousting of Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) from his position, leaving the Republican Party in a state of division and uncertainty.
In a narrow decision, the motion to remove McCarthy prevailed with a vote of 216-210 after the momentous vote took place via roll call, with representatives casting their ballots in alphabetical order.
A coalition of Republican representatives, including Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Ken Buck (R-CO), Tim Burchett (R-TN), Eli Crane (R-AZ), Bob Good (R-VA), Nancy Mace (R-SC), Matt Rosendale (R-MT), and Gaetz himself, stood in favor of McCarthy’s removal.
Explaining the rationale behind his controversial move to oust McCarthy, Gaetz expressed concerns over the direction of the party and its leadership under McCarthy’s guidance.
However, not all Republicans were on board with this move. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) stood firmly behind McCarthy, praising his leadership and stating that he has remained steadfast in his commitments to the party.
Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY), while acknowledging the turmoil within the party, criticized the attempt to oust McCarthy as “terrible” and called it a “referendum” on regular order. He also voiced concern that if this attempt fails, it may discourage future efforts of this nature.
Massie credited McCarthy for making the majority more “fair and even” while House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) commended the Speaker for promoting greater engagement among House members and facilitating a more open legislative process.
For Rep. Garret Graves (R-LA), a staunch McCarthy ally, Gaetz’s move is a fundraising opportunity. He decried the use of official actions for financial gain, resulting in a chorus of “shame” from fellow Republicans.
Rep. Ashley Hinson also stood against the move, urging her fellow lawmakers to refocus on their legislative duties. Cautioning against becoming “chaos agents,” she emphasized the need to “get back to work.”
With the ousting, the House now faces the obligation to elect a new speaker. While the possibility of McCarthy’s re-election looms, he has stated that he has no intentions of running again, marking a historic moment in U.S. history.
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. https://t.co/4EMpOuwtzy
— Kevin McCarthy (@SpeakerMcCarthy) October 3, 2023
In a closed-door GOP meeting, McCarthy reportedly expressed his desire for party unity, placing his trust in God and urging members to vote together in selecting the next House Speaker. He emphasized the importance of a swift and cohesive decision, contrasting it with his own challenging 15-round battle for the position.
Making it clear that he chose not to collaborate with House Democrats to save his speakership, as that it did not align with the best interests of House Republicans, McCarthy criticized the eight Republicans who voted alongside House Democrats, including Gaetz, for what he perceived as a betrayal of the Republican Conference.