Following a tumultuous week at Capitol Hill, Speaker Kevin McCarthy of the lower house of Congress was ousted from his position on Tuesday, making history with a 216-210 vote.
This unprecedented action was led by a group of conservative Republicans who were dissatisfied with McCarthy’s leadership, causing confusion among House Republicans.
Representative Matt Gaetz from Florida, McCarthy’s primary rival, initiated a “motion to vacate,” bringing together several conservative Republican critics of the speaker and many Democrats who believed he was unfit for the role.
Now, the House of Representatives is in recess following this historic vote, which has never occurred before in the history of the House. The House must now select a new speaker, but there isn’t a clear alternative with sufficient support to assume the position.
This confrontation exacerbates the tensions within the House GOP, which has been grappling with internal disputes. It transpired shortly after McCarthy successfully coordinated a bipartisan effort to avert a government shutdown.
As a result of McCarthy’s removal, Republican Representative Patrick McHenry from North Carolina, a close ally of McCarthy, will temporarily preside over the House. He holds the title of “speaker pro tempore,” granting him the authority to manage House recesses, adjournments, and speaker nominations.