December 7, 2023

Kevin McCarthy Removed as Speaker of the House 

Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., speaks to reporters hours after he was ousted as Speaker of the House, Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2023, at the Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

For the first time in American history, the speaker of the House, Kevin McCarthy has been removed from his position. An event that has never occurred before has thrown the House of Representatives into chaos and disarray. Republican Kevin McCarthy was ousted with a 216 to 210 vote with 8 Republicans voting him out. 

Kevin McCarthy getting speakership was a whole ordeal in itself. While most speakers get elected after the first ballot, McCarthy need 15 rounds of voting and a ton of concessions. Concessions to please the far-right representatives, but those decisions would later come back to haunt him. After barely 280 days in office, McCarthy’s removal was underway by the same far-right politicians he once tried to compromise with. Former speaker, Nancy Pelosi introduced the idea that a majority of either party was needed for the removal of the speaker. However, McCarthy was required to undo this and reinstate the previous law that stated only one person was necessary to call his competence into question. Republican Kevin McCarthy was betrayed by his own party member, Florida representative Matt Gaetz. The Republican party is currently in significant disorder. 

 But why did Matt Gaetz move a motion to remove McCarthy from office? This issue is rounded back to a disagreement on budget spending, which can be traced even further to a government shutdown. Republicans specifically those far right, like Gaetz want to cut spending. On the opposite side, Democrats want to extend the budget. In the eyes of the Republicans, McCarthy was wrongfully colluding and supporting the Democrats, but all he wanted was to prevent a government shutdown. A government shutdown would uproot lives everywhere as federal agencies would be forced to withhold paychecks until the shutdown ceases. Several Republicans are angered by McCarthy’s actions. The rash decision that got McCarthy into office, is the same one that got him kicked out and Matt Gaetz leads the charge. The vote, while slim, removed Kevin McCarthy from office. The search for the new Speaker of the House has commenced and hopefully, it doesn’t cause more chaos to erupt in Congress.