WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives voted to oust Rep. Kevin McCarthy in a historic vote on Tuesday, becoming the first Speaker of the House in U.S. history to lose his power by a motion to vacate.
The final vote was 216-210 with eight Republicans joining the Democrats in voting to remove McCarthy from the speakership.
Andy Biggs, Ken Buck, Tim Burchett, Eli Crane, Matt Gaetz, Bob Good, Nancy Mace and Matt Rosendale all joined the Democrats in voting out McCarthy.
Republican Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) was appointed speaker pro tempore.
“After eight months of a failed speakership and after removal in this historic manner. I think we should move on and find somebody else. What’s paralyzed the House of Representatives has been the failure of Speaker McCarthy,” Gaetz said after the vote.
“It’s to the benefit of this country that we have a better Speaker of the House than Kevin McCarthy. Kevin McCarthy couldn’t keep his word,” he added.
McCarthy’s time as speaker lasted just 267 days, the third-shortest for a speaker in the country’s history.
The White House called on the House Republicans to “quickly” elect a speaker and resume work in the chamber.
“President Biden has demonstrated that he is always eager to work with both parties in Congress in good faith on behalf of the American people,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement Tuesday. “Because the urgent challenges facing our nation will not wait, he hopes the House will quickly elect a Speaker.”
Biden will deliver remarks on Wednesday on continued efforts to forgive student loans, offering a split screen of sorts between the drama in the House and the work of the administration.
“I don’t regret standing up for choosing governance over grievance. It is my responsibility, it is my job. I do not regret negotiating. Our government is designed to find a compromise. I don’t regret my efforts to build coalitions and find solutions. I was raised to solve problems, not create them,” McCarthy said of his ouster.
“Look, you all know Matt Gaetz. You know it was personal,” McCarthy added.
The California Republican went on to say that he would not be running for speaker again.