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House Speaker McCarthy Out

CPR News-


House Speaker Kevin McCarthy made history: the first to be ousted from his leadership role. And Colorado Republican Rep. Ken Buck helped boot him out. Buck was the sole Colorado Republican to vote to remove McCarthy as speaker, joining seven other Republicans and all Democrats to take away McCarthy’s gavel. After the vote, Buck said he voted to remove McCarthy because he had “broken too many promises.” He added "I think the House has been dysfunctional for nine months. I think we get a new speaker and I think we move forward in unison.”


The surprise move happened after Florida GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz offered the motion to vacate on Monday night. Colorado Republican Reps. Lauren Boebert voted “no, for now” when her name was called while Doug Lamborn was a solid “no” on the motion to vacate, which passed 216-210. Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) was named interim speaker. The historic vote began after an effort to table the resolution failed and a packed chamber listened to an hour of debate on why McCarthy should or should not remain speaker. It was the first time in the history of the U.S. House that the motion to vacate succeeded.


Photo Credit: Hart Van Denburg/CPR News

The last time a motion to vacate was brought to the floor was more than 100 years ago. Gaetz brought forward the privileged motion to vacate Monday night, requiring a vote to be held within two days. However, McCarthy moved to hold it more swiftly than that. Up until the vote, both Boebert and Buck, who have been critical of McCarthy, had not said what they planned to do. McCarthy did not reach out to Democrats to help him in the vote. But if he was hoping they would, it quickly became clear after a morning caucus meeting that that would not be the case. All of Colorado’s Democratic Representatives voted to remove McCarthy as speaker.


In 2015, GOP Rep. Mark Meadows filed a motion to vacate resolution against then-Speaker John Boehner, but it was not privileged and never got a vote in the House. The last time this procedure has actually made it to the floor was in 1910, when then-Republican House Speaker Joe Cannon filed the motion against himself to quell dissent in his ranks and show his support. His gesture was successful and kept the gavel.

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