Representative Kevin McCarthy from California was ousted as the Speaker of the House in a major development Tuesday as a small number of Republicans accompanied Democrats to remove him from the post with 216-210 votes, according to US media reports.
It was a historical moment for the politics of the United States as an incumbent speaker was removed for the first time, sparking a race to ascend to the empty position.
The chamber of the ousted Kevin McCarthy will be run by an acting Speaker or Speaker pro tempore.
Representative Patrick McHenry from the Republican party — who is a close ally of the ousted leader of the house — was named as acting Speaker from a list designated by McCarthy and shared with the House clerk.
Representative Matt Gaetz called Kevin McCarthy "a creature of the swamp" following his ouster.
"He has risen to power by collecting special interest money and redistributing that money in exchange for favours," Gaetz said Tuesday adding that "we are breaking the fever and we should elect a speaker who is better."
The Republicans who voted to oust the fellow party member McCarthy were: Andy Biggs, Ken Buck, Tim Burchett, Eli Crane, Matt Gaetz, Bob Good, Nancy Mace and Matt Rosendale.
Members in both parties expect that the Speaker pro tempore has the chief responsibility of presiding over a new Speaker election.
McCarthy's eight fellow Republicans were incongruent with his handling of fiscal issues as the ousted Speaker averted the government shutdown Saturday putting a "clean" stopgap funding bill on the House floor. He did so with the help of Democrats.
According to The Hill, the move was the last option for McCarthy, who tried to pass a Grand Old Party (GOP) funding plan but was blocked by a number of fellow party members — including those who voted to remove him.
According to his allies, the move is also personal. Gaetz had been threatening to remove him via vote for weeks.
McCarthy had said he would not join hands with Democrats to save his post but intended to appeal to them by arguing that a successful motion to vacate would be bad for the institution of the House.
House Minority Leader Democrat Hakeem Jeffries sent a "dear colleague" on Tuesday that Democratic leadership would support the effort to oust McCarthy as the party earlier hinted that they would not be able to save the Speaker from his own party uprising.
"House Democrats remain willing to find common ground on an enlightened path forward. Unfortunately, our extreme Republican colleagues have shown no willingness to do the same," Jeffries wrote.
"It is now the responsibility of the GOP members to end the House Republican Civil War. Given their unwillingness to break from MAGA extremism in an authentic and comprehensive manner, House Democratic leadership will vote yes on the pending Republican Motion to Vacate the Chair."
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