Vote to Oust House Speaker Will Be First Since 1910

Motion to table measure against Kevin McCarthy failed
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 3, 2023 2:16 PM CDT
Updated Oct 3, 2023 2:37 PM CDT
House Debates Whether to Oust McCarthy
Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy speaks to the media on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2023, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib)

This story has been updated with new details. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy could be in serious danger of losing the gavel. A motion to block a measure to remove the Republican was rejected in a vote Tuesday, setting up a debate on the "motion to vacate," which will be followed by another vote. This is the first vote in 113 years on a measure to remove the speaker, Politico reports. Democrats joined with hardline conservative Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz and a handful of others to move the measure forward. Republican speaker Joseph Cannon survived the effort to oust him in 1910, the AP notes. If McCarthy fails to do the same, he will become the first speaker ever to be ousted in a House vote.

Gaetz and Rep. Bob Good are leading the debate against McCarthy and have around 30 minutes to make their case, the Washington Post reports. GOP Rep. Tom Cole will have 30 minutes to make the opposite case. McCarthy has said he won't cut a deal with Democrats to remain in power, the AP reports. Cole, a McCarthy ally, accused Gaetz and other dissenters of seeking to "plunge this body into chaos and ... uncertainty for reasons that only they really understand," the Guardian reports. Gaetz replied: "Chaos is speaker McCarthy. Chaos is somebody who we cannot trust with their word."

To hang on, Politico reports McCarthy will need to flip some of the 11 Republicans who voted in favor of debating his ouster. If he's removed, "his allies expect he would try to run for speaker again." (Read more Kevin McCarthy stories.)

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