The Republican leader of the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, could be removed from office on Tuesday due to infighting within his party, in an unprecedented vote that has not been held in more than a century. United States.
McCarthy drew the ire of the party’s ultraconservative wing when he approved a White House-backed bipartisan stopgap funding measure on Saturday to avoid a government shutdown.
Leading the criticism is Congressman Matt Gaetz, a longtime McCarthy antagonist who on Monday introduced a “motion to vacate the presidency,” forcing a vote expected on Tuesday.
The move forces Democrats to decide whether to bail out a president who has spent much of his term opposing their agenda and recently opened an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden.
The entire House would vote, and with a small Republican majority, McCarthy would lose only four votes if all members were present and the Democrats voted against him.
“I’m confident I’ll hold on,” said a defiant McCarthy to reporters at the Capitol.
But Gaetz said he is confident he has the five Republican votes he needs to remove McCarthy, as long as Democrats don’t step in to save the speaker.
“I have enough Republicans that at this point next week, one of two things will happen: Kevin McCarthy will not be the speaker of the House, or he will be the speaker of the House working at the pleasure of the Democrats,”
“I have enough Republicans where, by this time next week, one of two things will happen: Kevin McCarthy will not be speaker of the House, or he will be speaker of the House working at the pleasure of the Democrats,” The Florida lawmaker said.
“I’m comfortable with any outcome because the American people deserve to know who’s in charge of them.”
– Republican Civil War –
The fight comes two days after the House and Senate approved a measure to avert a costly government shutdown — both with strong bipartisan majorities — by extending federal funding through mid-November.
Conservatives were angered by what they saw as a failure from McCarthy, who promised to end the rush to approve interim legislation with cross-party support, and return the budget through the committee process.
McCarthy told colleagues at a meeting of House Republicans on Tuesday that the fight would come to the House floor at noon, congressional media reported, starting with a preliminary vote designed to “introduce” Gaetz’s motion, that choked it.
There is little support for the speaker between the two parties, and many liberal lawmakers have indicated they prefer to watch the Republican civil war from the sidelines rather than participate.
McCarthy’s allies say he is opposed to cutting deals with Democrats and in any case will face a backlash if he agrees to such demands.