US House Votes on Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s Removal – U.S. legislators are set to determine whether U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy will maintain his leadership role following an unusual challenge from a fellow member of his party. Republican Representative Matt Gaetz initiated a motion on Monday to compel a vote on McCarthy’s removal, citing dissatisfaction with McCarthy’s leadership.
This is due to his inability to secure the passage of a government funding bill aligned with conservative spending priorities last week. It’s worth noting that no House Speaker has ever been ousted from their position. “If I counted how many times someone wanted to knock me out, I would have been gone a long time ago,” McCarthy told reporters Tuesday morning.
To oust McCarthy from his position, a straightforward majority vote is needed among the 435 members of the House of Representatives. The Republicans currently hold a majority in the chamber, with 221 seats compared to the Democrats’ 212. If we consider the attendance and participation of representatives in the House chamber, McCarthy can only withstand losing up to six votes from fellow Republicans in order to retain his role as speaker.
House Democrats delayed their scheduled weekly press briefing on Tuesday. Similar to their recent negotiations aimed at preventing a federal government shutdown, the narrow Republican majority in the House allows Democrats to wield their numerical advantage when it comes to influencing the vote concerning McCarthy. McCarthy spoke with House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries Monday night. McCarthy said he told Jeffries, “You guys do whatever you need to do.”
“I get politics. I understand where people are. I truly believe though the institution of the House at the end of the day – if you throw a speaker out that has 99% of their conference, that kept the government open and paid the troops, I think we’re in a really bad place for how we’re going to run Congress.” Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar declined comment Tuesday outside a weekly meeting of House Democrats, saying, “We’ve got to vote as a caucus together.”
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Gaetz issued the challenge shortly after McCarthy secured passage of a short-term funding bill with the support of Democratic votes to prevent a government shutdown. McCarthy assumed the role of House speaker in January, despite opposition from Gaetz and fellow Republicans in multiple voting rounds. One significant compromise that led to McCarthy’s eventual election was his agreement to permit any individual member to initiate a vote for the removal of the speaker