After a lengthy day of arguments and spirited political sentiments, the House of Representatives has voted to remove Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., as the Speaker of the House. After holding the speakership for just a few months, and in the wake of Rep. Matt Gaetz’s, R-Fla., move to file a motion to vacate the speakership on Monday, the House will now have to conduct a search for the next Speaker.
The resolution was adopted in a vote of 216 (yeas) to 210 (nays).
This marks the first time in American history that a Speaker of the House has been successfully removed from his seat. According to the Washington Post, the last motion to vacate was brought forth in 1910 against then-Republican Speaker Joseph G. Cannon from Illinois, and it failed on the floor.
RSBN reported on Tuesday that the House had voted against tabling the motion to vacate, forcing Congress to make a decision on whether they wanted to keep Speaker McCarthy in his seat.
McCarthy won the speakership by a slim margin in January, capturing victory on the 15th ballot. The battle for the speakership lasted for several days, and it was only won after he reportedly made deals with House Republicans who wanted to see the California congressman hold Democrats’ feet to the fire on spending and legislation.
Per RSBN, Gaetz’s decision to file a motion to vacate comes after he expressed frustration and disappointment that the speaker had reportedly made a “side deal” with Democrats to keep the federal government from shutting down amidst tense continuing resolution negotiations.
Rep. Gaetz explained on the House floor preceding the final vote, “Chaos is Speaker McCarthy. Chaos is someone who we cannot trust with their word…I don’t think voting against Kevin McCarthy is chaos.”
McCarthy’s removal from the speakership has been controversial among conservatives, with many split on whether the motion to vacate will benefit the operations of the House of Representatives amidst such turbulent political times in Washington, D.C.
At this time, the speakership is now vacant, and the House will be forced to search for a new speaker.
Rep. Gaetz explained to reporters immediately after the vote, “It’s to the benefit of this country that we have a better Speaker of the House than Kevin McCarthy…[he’s] a feature of the swamp. He has risen to power by collecting special interest money and redistributing that money in exchange for favors. We are breaking the fever NOW and we should elect a speaker that’s better.”