In an unprecedented move in the House’s 234-year history, Speaker Kevin McCarthy was ousted following a 216-210 vote, triggered by dissatisfaction from both far-right Republicans and Democrats.
This upheaval indicates deep divisions within the Republican Party as the 2024 presidential race looms, with Donald Trump, under numerous criminal charges, possibly leading.
The 58-year-old McCarthy, previously a businessman, faced criticism from conservatives for backing a bipartisan funding agreement to prevent a government shutdown.
Florida’s Matt Gaetz led the charge against McCarthy, citing his unreliability. Democrats also expressed mistrust, especially after McCarthy reneged on a financial deal with President Biden.
Prominent Democratic groups, including the New Democrat Coalition and the Congressional Progressive Caucus, were vocal in their critique.
This turmoil surfaced after the House and Senate, with bipartisan agreement, extended federal funding to mid-November.
Many conservatives felt betrayed by McCarthy’s approach to this decision. The ousting gained momentum when Democratic House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries encouraged the move.
With McCarthy’s role vacant, the House awaits a new speaker. Although he could be reconsidered, contenders like Steve Scalise or Tom Emmer might emerge.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump, facing legal battles, criticized the party’s discord but didn’t support McCarthy.