By Tashi McQueen,
AFRO Political Writer,
Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.-20) was ousted from his position as House Speaker shortly after a compromise with U.S. House of Representatives Democrats, made in order to prevent a government shutdown. McCarthy is now the first House speaker to be removed in American history.
“I do not regret negotiating. Government is designed to find compromise,” said McCarthy at a live-streamed press conference. “I believe I can continue to fight, maybe in a different manner. I will not run for speaker again.”
On Oct. 3, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.-01) led the charge that resulted in McCarthy being removed by a 216 – 210 vote, according to the Clerk of the United States House of Representatives. Most Republicans voted against the removal, but eight Republicans voted for it, which allowed the resolution to pass by six votes.
“Today is a sad day,” said Former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) via X (Twitter). “This just proves that Washington is hopelessly divided and broken, and it’s why people are so frustrated with Congress and both parties.”
Lawmakers are now scrambling to find a new House speaker so voting on the House floor can resume.
“His speakership was tenuous from the beginning,” Matthew Crenson, professor emeritus of political science at Johns Hopkins University, told the AFRO. “The Republican Party was so slim, he had to make deals with the Democrats to do anything, and that alienated the right wing of his party.”
“It was unprecedented, but you could see that something was going to happen,” he continued.
Some House Democrats are ready to promote Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries as speaker of the House even though it is unlikely as the chamber is Republican-controlled.
“I take seriously my oath to our Constitution and my duty to my constituents to represent and work for the people. This is a solemn and sober moment for our country. I stand with my House colleagues to move us beyond this moment of chaos and dysfunction caused by extremist Republicans,” said Rep. Steven Horsford (D-Nev.-04), chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, in a statement. “If the Republicans are not ready to govern, they can step aside and allow Democrats to elect Hakeem Jeffries as Speaker, and let us get to work on behalf of the American people.”
Crenson said it is unclear who House Republicans will promote as the next speaker.
As of Oct. 4, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio-04) have announced their run for the seat.