Kevin McCarthy became the first Speaker of the House to lose his position during a legislative session in American history, and Rep. Patrick McHenry of North Carolina was chosen as the position's interim Speaker Pro Tempore. Following the historic recall vote on Tuesday, in which the House voted 216–210 to remove McCarthy from his leadership position, a motion was made to have him ejected from the third-highest position in the country.
McHenry was named the new acting speaker by the House Clerk following the recall vote, according to Politico and ABC News. McHenry, 47, was chosen for the position in January by McCarthy, 58, according to Politico. The role of the North Carolina Republican wasn't made public at the time.
McCarthy as a speaker
McHenry, who is 29 years old and has spent 10 terms in Congress, was chosen in 2004. The 10th District of North Carolina, which encompasses the counties of Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, and Rutherford, is represented by the Denver, North Carolina, resident who is originally from Gastonia.
McCarthy's longtime backer McHenry stated on X just before the California Republican's removal that McCarthy has provided steady, conservative leadership. To keep our word to America, we require his firm hand.
Right-wing Florida Representative Matt Gaetz submitted a long-shot motion to vacate the night before the historic recall. With the aid of House Democrats, the Florida Republican's motion received the simple majority of votes necessary to pass. The proposal to table the recall vote was made by Republican leaders to give them more time to court defectors. However, on Tuesday afternoon, the motion to table was defeated.
McCarthy's declaration that he would not strike a deal with Democrats to win their support allegedly prompted House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries to ask the Democratic caucus to vote for new leadership. This is when the decision was made.
Removed McCarthy from the speaker position
The vote happened amid McCarthy's speakership being challenged, which started before he was even elected in January. McCarthy won the part after 15 difficult vote rounds. McCarthy made significant concessions to far-right members at the time, including creating a rule allowing any Republican to petition for his removal if they were unhappy with him. This move ultimately resulted in McCarthy's departure.
The House Republicans have had trouble cooperating since January. The right-wing Freedom Caucus was led by McCarthy and frequently challenged the party's agenda, particularly persistent resistance to fiscal issues.
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What did Gaetz say about McCarthy
The one thing the White House, Democrats, and many of us on the conservative side of the Republican caucus have in common, Gaetz said, is that McCarthy said something to that he didn't truly mean and never planned to live up to, which was all of us at one point.
Wanting a speaker of the house who tells the truth is not selfish, he claimed. Gaetz said that after working with Democrats to approve a stopgap funding package to avert a government shutdown over the weekend, McCarthy no longer represents the interests of the GOP caucus.
Earlier on Tuesday, House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-New York, declared that his party's members will vote yes on Gaetz's motion to remove McCarthy and they did so.
The GOP lawmakers must now put a stop to the House Republican Civil War, according to Jeffries. Since he collaborated with Democrats on a debt ceiling agreement in the spring, Gaetz has been threatening McCarthy with a move to resign.
McCarthy mentioned Gaetz's personal things in his life that he has challenges with on Squawk Box on Tuesday morning. McCarthy agreed to amend the rules in January to receive enough support to become speaker, lowering the need for a motion to remove a speaker from five to one.
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