Ousted US speaker to leave Congress at end of year

December 07, 2023

WASHINGTON: Kevin McCarthy, who was ousted as the Republican speaker of the US House of Representatives in October, announced on Wednesday that he will resign from Congress at the end of the year.

The departure of the 58-year-old congressman from California will leave Republicans with a slim 220-213 majority in the chamber. McCarthy´s announcement comes just days after George Santos, a scandal-plagued Republican representative from New York, was expelled from the House, just the sixth member to be thrown out since Congress began deliberating in 1789.

US Rep Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) speaks during a press conference in the Rayburn Room at the US Capitol in Washington, DC on October 9, 2023. — AFP

Two months ago, McCarthy become the first speaker to be ousted in the House´s 234-year history. He was removed in a rebellion by far-right members of his Republican Party furious at his cooperation with Democrats.

The former entrepreneur sparked fury among conservatives when he passed a bipartisan stopgap funding measure backed by the White House to avert a government shutdown. In a column in The Wall Street Journal announcing his resignation, McCarthy, who was elected to Congress in 2006 and whose latest two-year term had been scheduled to end in January 2025, said he would remain involved in Republican politics.

“I know my work is only getting started,” he said. “I will continue to recruit our country´s best and brightest to run for elected office. “The Republican Party is expanding every day, and I am committed to lending my experience to support the next generation of leaders.” Special elections will be held in California and New York to replace McCarthy and Santos in the 435-seat House of Representatives.