The US House of Representatives is in chaos following the removal of Rep. Kevin McCarthy as House Speaker, with the chamber halted for a week for potential candidates to make their bids. Resentment had been growing against McCarthy, who had made numerous concessions to right-wing colleagues, and was eventually ousted after a motion to vacate his position was made by Rep. Matt Gaetz. Members of the Republican caucus are set to reconvene on October 10 for a closed-door candidate forum, with a new speaker planned to be elected on October 11.
US House in Chaos After Ousting of Speaker Kevin McCarthy
After the historic removal of Rep. Kevin McCarthy as House speaker, the U.S. House of Representatives is in a state of uncertainty. The chamber came to a standstill following a vote on Tuesday to oust McCarthy, R-Calif. The House members then took a week break to allow potential candidates for the speaker’s position to present their bids.
Following this, they plan to elect a new speaker on Wednesday, Oct. 11. Several House members, including Reps. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Steve Scalise, R-La., are vying for the speaker’s position.
A growing resentment towards McCarthy led to his downfall. He was elected speaker on Jan. 7, but it took multiple voting rounds and several concessions to his right-wing colleagues to secure the position. His concessions, including permitting the introduction of a motion to vacate to remove the speaker of the House, would ultimately lead to his removal.
Avoiding a Government Shutdown
On Sep. 30, a government shutdown was narrowly averted after McCarthy made a deal with House Democrats to pass a stopgap bill to extend the budget deadline to Nov. 17. However, this deal angered many right-wing Republicans pushing for massive spending cuts.
Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., was particularly incensed by McCarthy’s actions and called a motion to vacate, leading to McCarthy’s removal. Gaetz filed the motion to vacate McCarthy on Oct. 3, which required two roll-call votes from the entire House.
With all Democrats voting against him and eight Republicans voting with the Democrats, McCarthy was removed as speaker.
Arizona Representatives’ Involvement
Reps. Andy Biggs and Eli Crane, R-Ariz., were among the eight Republicans who successfully voted against McCarthy. All three of Arizona’s Democratic representatives also voted to remove McCarthy.
Arizona’s Ousters: Get to Know Andy Biggs, the Arizona Republican Who Voted to Oust McCarthy
Until a new speaker is elected, the House cannot proceed with its business. Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., is currently acting as speaker. The House Republicans will meet on Tuesday, Oct. 10, to discuss the candidates and elect the new speaker the next day.
Candidates for House Speaker
Reps. Scalise and Jordan, both further right politically than McCarthy, have announced their intent to run for the speaker’s position. A potential third candidate is Rep. Kevin Hern, R-Okla., a leader among fiscal conservatives in the House.
Potential Impact on Government Shutdown
A new deadline is approaching following a narrowly avoided government shutdown at the end of September. The House now needs to pass the budget by Nov. 17 to prevent a shutdown.
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