The House just took one step closer to firing Kevin McCarthy

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy at a press conference on Capitol Hill on September 30, 2023.

Tom Brenner for The Washington Post via Getty Images

Republicans just tried to kill Matt Gaetz’s motion to vacate, which would kick McCarthy out of his job.
The effort failed. Democrats joined a small group of hard-right Republicans to vote against it.
A final vote on ousting McCarthy could take place as soon as Tuesday.

The House just moved one giant step closer to firing the GOP’s Kevin McCarthy as speaker of the House.

A Republican-led effort to table the “motion to vacate,” originally offered by fellow Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz on Monday night, failed by a 208-218 vote, allowing Gaetz’s effort to proceed.

Every House Democrat, along with 11 House Republicans, voted against the effort, ensuring a vote on McCarthy’s future will take place shortly.

The House immediately began one hour of debate on the motion to vacate after the vote.

Those 11 Republicans included:

Rep. Andy Biggs of ArizonaRep. Ken Buck of ColoradoRep. Tim Burchett of TennesseeRep. Eli Crane of ArizonaRep. Warren Davidson of OhioRep. Matt Gaetz of FloridaRep. Bob Good of VirginiaRep. Nancy Mace of South CarolinaRep. Cory Mills of FloridaRep. Matt Rosendale of MontanaRep. Victoria Spartz of Indiana

In a “Dear Colleague” letter ahead of the vote, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries said that Democrats would support Gaetz’s effort, arguing that the chamber has been rife with dysfunction under McCarthy’s tenure.

Jeffries also criticized McCarthy for turning the yearly defense authorization bill into a “right-wing wish list full of highly partisan poison pills” while launching an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden without a House vote.

But while Democrats hold most of the cards here, they weren’t the ones that launched this effort.

Gaetz, a hard-right Republican and close political ally of former President Donald Trump, has been dissatisfied by McCarthy’s leadership for months. Most recently, he has accused the speaker of striking a secret deal with Democrats to authorize more aid to Ukraine, which McCarthy has denied. 

With the motion to table failing, the House is required to hold a vote on the motion to vacate in the next two days, and is likely to do so this afternoon.

The procedural move tees up a historic showdown: the first House vote to remove a speaker since 1910. Should it succeed, it will be the first time in American history that the House ousts its own speaker.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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