Dec 19, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Kevin McCarthy formally submits his resignation from Congress

Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images.

Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Tuesday submitted his formal letter of resignation from Congress, which will take effect on Dec. 31.

Why it matters: It caps off a nearly two decade career in which the Californian steadily climbed the ranks of GOP leadership to become speaker in January, before his ignominious ouster just eight months later.

Driving the news: "I hereby submit my resignation, effective on Dec. 31, 2023," McCarthy wrote in a letter read out by the House clerk during the chamber's pro forma session on Tuesday.

  • McCarthy said it has been "the honor of a lifetime to represent the great people and communities of Kern, San Luis Obispo, Los Angeles, Tulare, Fresno and Kings County over the past 17 years, and especially my home town of Bakersfield and the Central Valley of the great state of California."

The backdrop: McCarthy overcame stubborn opposition from 20 Republican hardliners to become speaker after 15 grueling ballots in January.

  • However, after the House passed a bipartisan bill to avoid a government shutdown, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) forced a vote on removing McCarthy as speaker.
  • McCarthy was the first speaker ever removed from office through a motion to vacate.
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