A handful of House Republicans led to the ousting of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) from his position Tuesday in what will likely have a rippling effect on American politics. The effort, led by Rep. Matt Gaetz, pulled the Republican House caucus into two major directions, with enough defectors to lead to McCarthy’s ouster.
Gaetz and seven other Republican holdouts voted alongside 208 Democrats to force McCarthy from his role, which he had just taken in January. The battle for McCarthy to enter into the speaker’s gavel came with multiple votes, with Gaetz and other holdouts demanding concessions prior to the final, successful vote.
Overall, 210 Republicans voted against the measure, representing all of the ‘no’ votes.
In the aftermath of the vote, it is unclear who will take the mantle of House leadership. The chamber will convene next week. McCarthy said that he “wouldn’t change a thing” following the vote.
During the debate, Gaetz said that “Chaos is Speaker McCarthy” following a statement from Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) who accused Gaetz and his allies of possibly placing the House “into chaos.”
McCarthy said that he would not seek the chair another time.
Gaetz had previously expressed displeasure over the way that McCarthy recently handled negotiations over a budget bill that prevented a government shutdown. Gaetz sharply disapproved of reports that McCarthy had worked with Democrats to assure a future aid package to Ukraine.
Gaetz had previously stated that if McCarthy had attempted a ‘clean’ budget bill that he would introduce a motion to have the House Speaker removed from his role.
The toppling already had one major effect, with the new Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry (R-NC) evicting former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) from her office in the House.
McHenry ordered that Pelosi leave her private office in the House by Wednesday via email. He wrote that the office would now be used for “speaker office use.”
🚨 Acting Speaker Patrick McHenry Orders Pelosi To Vacate Her Office: ‘The Room Will Be Re-Keyed’https://t.co/OZrLlLHcRJ
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) October 4, 2023
McHenry could be seen sharply striking the gavel to close the session Tuesday.