McCarthy's Historic Ouster Provokes Calls For Revenge On Gaetz
Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has been ousted as the elected Speaker of the House of Representatives after a weeks-long campaign by his fellow Republican, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL). The Republican Florida lawmaker vowed over the weekend to put a “motion to vacate” on the House floor, which he did Monday night. On Tuesday afternoon McCarthy lost the support of the majority in a full House vote.
No Speaker of the House has ever been ousted by a motion to vacate, according to the Associated Press, until McCarthy.
“The Office of the Speaker of the House of the United States House of Representatives is hereby declared vacant,” the presiding Republican lawmakers declared. The final vote was 216-210.
No Democrats voted to support McCarthy as Speaker.
Overall House Republicans are furious with Gaetz, with some vowing to expel him should the House Ethics Committee submit a negative report on their investigation into his alleged possible sexual misconduct, unlawful drug use, and public corruption.
In addition to Gaetz, other House Republicans who voted to oust McCarthy include Reps. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Ken Buck (R-CO), Tim Burchett (R-TN), Eli Crane (R-AZ), Bob Good (R-PA), Nancy Mace (R-SC), and Matt Rosendale (R-MT).
“After talking to a few House Republican lawmakers and aides,” during the vote to oust McCarthy as Speaker, Punchbowl News’ Jake Sherman reported he “would not be surprised to see someone move to have Gaetz expelled from the House Republican Conference.”
Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) in a profane rant slammed Gaetz, in a recorded video, saying, “You want to come at me and call me a RINO you can kiss my ass! You go around talking your big game and thumping your chest on Twitter. Come in my office and have a debate mother —!”
Rep. Sam Graves (R-LA) held up his phone while delivering remarks against Gaetz, chastising him for fundraising off his efforts to oust McCarthy.
“Using official actions to raise money. It’s disgusting!” he told his colleagues.
What happens next? According to The New York Times, “If McCarthy is removed, the House would be paralyzed.”
“A vacancy in the speaker’s chair would essentially paralyze the House until a successor is chosen, according to multiple procedural experts. An interim speaker would be chosen from a list prepared by Mr. McCarthy and his staff at the beginning of the year, but staff intimately familiar with House rules say the role of that person would be to oversee a speaker election and little more.”
As for McCarthy, he has said if removed as speaker he would not resign from Congress. On Tuesday evening he said he would definitely not run again for Speaker.
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Reprinted with permission from Alternet.
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