It’s confirmed. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), booted as the Speaker of the House of Representatives today, will not run again for his former office. The gavel will be passed onto someone who can obtain 218 votes at some point within the next few days without going multiple rounds with Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and his posse. Gaetz successfully filed a motion to vacate after McCarthy’s allies failed to block the Florida Republican’s ploy.
Gaetz was incensed that the recent spending bill passed on September 30, which averted a government shutdown, was agreed upon only after McCarthy promised a separate vote on a Ukraine aid package. There was no Ukraine aid in the stopgap measure, which led to the Senate dragging its feet for hours until Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), of all people, withdrew his hold upon hearing news about a stand-alone vote for Ukraine funding. This whole drama seems to be more centered on Gaetz’s personal animus toward McCarthy than honoring conservative action items and pledges.
There was a meeting among House Republicans at 6:30 p.m. this evening to discuss a course of action. McCarthy announced he would not “sell his soul to Democrats” when announcing he would take a step back. He vowed to work with most members of the caucus in helping them get re-elected next year.
The question now is who the new consensus nominee will be. Time is ticking because the House GOP is currently dealing with a Chernobyl-level political disaster, and the fallout could cost them the House. Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is set to speak at 7:30 p.m.