The US House of Representatives voted on Tuesday to remove Speaker Kevin McCarthy from office, as disagreements between him and his Republican colleagues plunged Congress into further chaos just days after it narrowly avoided a government shutdown.
The vote was 216 to 210 in favor of dismissing McCarthy, which is the first time in history that the House of Representatives has dismissed its speaker, which was supported by a relatively small group of right-wing Republicans.
The direction was led by Rep. Matt Gaetz, a far-right Republican from Florida and an opponent of McCarthy who accuses him of not doing enough to cut federal spending.
“Kevin McCarthy… came to power by raising special-interest money and redistributing that money in exchange for favors,” Gaetz told reporters after the vote.
These were the latest fraught moments in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives within a year, after the House pushed Washington to the brink of defaulting on its obligations and also to the brink of a partial government shutdown.
Republicans control the chamber with a simple majority of 221 seats to 212, which means they cannot lose more than five votes if Democrats unite against them.
This is what happened today, Tuesday, as eight Republicans voted with 208 Democrats in favor of removing McCarthy from office.
The vote leaves Congress in limbo as it scrambles to update farm and nutrition support programs, pass government funding bills and consider providing more aid to Ukraine.
Still, it’s not clear who will succeed McCarthy.
Other Republican leaders, such as Steve Scalise and Tom Emmer, may be candidates, but none have publicly expressed interest in the position.
Another member of the leadership team, Rep. Patrick McHenry, has been appointed to the position on an interim basis.
The last two Republican Speakers of the House, Paul Ryan and John Boehner, stepped down from Congress after disagreements with the right.
In theory, lawmakers could vote to restore McCarthy to office.
McCarthy didn’t respond to questions after the vote.
During a debate on the House floor, Rep. Gaetz and some of his allies criticized McCarthy for relying on Democratic votes to pass temporary funding that averted a partial government shutdown.
As for McCarthy’s supporters, including a number of prominent conservatives, they said that he succeeded in limiting spending and advancing other conservative priorities despite the Democrats’ control of the White House and the Senate.
They warned that their gains would be at risk if they removed their leader.
McCarthy found no support from Democrats, despite speculation that some of them might vote for him to keep the chamber balanced.
Democrats said they consider McCarthy untrustworthy after he broke a spending agreement with President Joe Biden, and they are also angry at his decision to give the green light to conduct an impeachment investigation.
Earlier on Tuesday, the US House of Representatives failed in a vote to block Representative Matt Gaetz’s efforts to oust Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
The House is preparing to begin voting on the Republican Representative’s request to dismiss McCarthy.
Republican Representative Gates pointed out that the leadership during the McCarthy era was chaotic, and Gates added that the only thing in common between the White House, Democrats in the House of Representatives, and the Republican Conservative Caucus is that they cannot rely on McCarthy.
On Monday, Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz submitted a memorandum to remove McCarthy from the position of Speaker of the House of Representatives, as Gaetz presented on the floor of the House of Representatives a memorandum published on the House’s website announcing the vacancy of the position of Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Earlier, Rep. Gaetz said after a council session that he would submit a request to impeach McCarthy this week, pledging to carry out his threats that he repeated over the past weeks, against the backdrop of the latter’s work with the Democrats in order to avoid a government shutdown.
This procedural maneuver, which has rarely been resorted to in the history of the United States, comes in the wake of Congress’ approval, last Saturday, of a temporary budget for the Democratic administration for a period of 45 days to avoid its closure, despite the opposition of many Republican parliamentarians to this step.