Oct 3, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Kevin McCarthy won't run again for speaker after House ouster

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) announced to House Republicans on Tuesday that he won't run again for speaker after becoming the first in history to be removed by a motion to vacate.

Why it matters: The California Republican's initial speaker election took 15 ballots, the most since before the Civil War. Eight of his fellow Republicans voted for his removal on Tuesday, a group that could have blocked his return to leadership.

  • McCarthy's predecessor, former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, has stayed in Congress after relinquishing her leadership role to Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.).
  • McCarthy's announcement comes in the wake of a gr0up of conservative hardliners arguing he failed to live up to the agreement he struck with conservative lawmakers in order to get the gavel in January.
  • McCarthy was first first elected in 2006 and quickly rose in the leadership ranks.

The big picture: Republicans face a razor-thin majority, creating difficulties for his successor.

  • The acting speaker is now Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), a close McCarthy ally who is chair of the Financial Services Committee.
  • Republicans will be tasked with tapping a new speaker, with an array of names being floated, but it remaining unclear if they want or can obtain the votes needed to secure the position without the help of Democrats.

Go deeper: What happens next after McCarthy ouster

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