Enough Republicans joined Matt Gaetz’s effort in a pair of floor votes.
Rep. ’s efforts to oust Speaker of the House
were successful Tuesday as the GOP civil war continues to rage in Congress. It was the first time in U.S. history that a House speaker was voted out of the position.
Gaetz, the outspoken Florida Republican who’s dealt with a barrage of scandals since being elected in 2016, has been a consistent antagonist of McCarthy. On Monday night, Gaetz announced he would be filing a “motion to vacate” that, if successful, would remove McCarthy from his post.
McCarthy and his allies could have handled Gaetz’s motion in a few ways, but they chose to hold a vote to “table” it on Tuesday afternoon. If it had been successful, it would have killed Gaetz’s motion and allowed McCarthy to retain his speakership. It failed, with 11 Republicans defecting.
Later that afternoon a final vote passed, ending McCarthy’s speakership. Eight Republicans joined with 208 Democrats in support of the measure. To close out the proceedings, Rep.of Arkansas, who was presiding over the House, said, “The office of Speaker of the House of the United States House of Representatives is hereby declared vacant.”
Gaetz defended his actions in a speech prior to the final vote, saying, “Chaos is Speaker McCarthy. Chaos is somebody who we cannot trust with their word.”
McCarthy could run again for the now vacant speakership, something his allies have suggested is likely.