Kevin McCarthy Resigning From Congress

Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) announced this week that he would be quitting Congress just months after the successful bid to oust him from the speakership. The news could place the fragile House majority in peril following the successful ouster of former Rep. George Santos (R-NY) last week.

The former speaker wrote about his decision in a Wall Street Journal op-ed.

He wrote that his team “did the right thing” despite “the odds, or personal cost.”

McCarthy wrote that this “may seem out of fashion in Washington these days, but delivering results for the American people is still celebrated across the country. It is in this spirit that I have decided to depart the House at the end of this year to serve America in new ways. I know my work is only getting started.”

The former speaker added that he would “continue to recruit our country’s best and brightest to run for elected office.” He argued that the Republican Party is “expanding every day” and that he would offer his experience “to support the next generation of leaders.”

McCarthy added that he started his career as a small-business owner and looked forward to “helping entrepreneurs and risk-takers reach their full potential. The challenges we face are more likely to be solved by innovation than legislation.”

The former speaker wrote that he was an “optimist. How could I not be?”

Once McCarthy exits the chamber, Republicans will have a two-vote majority in the House.

The seat recently held by Santos is no guaranteed lock for the GOP. Former Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-NY), who supports restrictions on immigration, will likely be the Democratic Party’s nominee. Suozzi exited the House seat he held for six years to unsuccessfully primary New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D).

Hochul announced earlier this week that the special election to replace Santos would occur in February.

Just last week, McCarthy traded barbs with Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who helped lead the vote that ousted him from the speakership.

McCarthy said that Gaetz “belongs in jail.” Gaetz is under investigation by the House Ethics Committee for a variety of allegations.