USA. The House of Representatives voted to impeach Speaker Kevin McCarthy, a first in history


The US House of Representatives voted to remove Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, leaving the position vacant. This is the first such case in US history.

216 congressmen voted to remove Kevin McCarthy at the request of a handful of far-right Republicans, with 210 voting against. All current Democratic politicians and eight Republican “rebels” voted in favor.

This is the first successful attempt to deprive a speaker of his function in the history of the US Congress. As a result of the vote, the office will be temporarily taken over by McCarthy-designated congressman Patrick McHenry, one of the ousted speaker’s leading allies. However, his powers are limited, and the House’s work will be paralyzed until a new chairman is elected. After taking office, McHenry called a recess so the two parties could confer on next steps.

“Because our nation’s urgent challenges cannot wait, the president hopes the House will quickly elect a new speaker,” White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement.

The House of Representatives voted to recall Speaker Kevin McCarthySHAWN THEW/PAP/EPA

Dispute over the provisional budget

According to the author of the motion to recall Speaker Matt Gaetz, the reason was McCarthy’s failure to honor the terms of an agreement he made with a group of far-right congressmen when he was first elected in January.

The immediate cause was allowing Congress to adopt a provisional budget, thanks to which it was possible to avoid the closure of most functions of the federal administration, without the deep budget cuts demanded by the right.

Additionally, Gaetz accused the ousted party leader of making a “secret agreement” with Democrats and President Biden to pass additional aid funds. Ukraine.

McCarthy’s difficult term

Kevin McCarthy’s position was uncertain from the very beginning of his term, which he secured only after 15 rounds of voting and thanks to significant concessions and the transfer of influence to reluctant fringe politicians. This concession was to facilitate the removal of the announcer. As a result, political opponents repeatedly threatened McCarthy with removal when he opposed their demands.

Democrats also refused to help McCarthy on Tuesday because, as their leader in the House, Hakeem Jeffries, said, it was up to their opponents to “end the Republican civil war.” Jeffries also assured that Democrats are ready to reach an agreement with Republicans.

However, the future course of events is uncertain because there is currently no candidate who enjoys the support of a majority of the House. Many of McCarthy’s supporters emphasized during the debate before the vote that the result of McCarthy’s removal could be to hand power to Democrats, who are in the minority, and who, together with a handful of moderate Republicans, will choose a speaker who is ideologically closer to them.

– If this motion passes, we will throw everything we have achieved into the trash, and the direction adopted will be more liberal, not conservative. So I understand why the left stands where it stands (…) And I can’t blame them for it, said new interim speaker Patrick McHenry.

A prolonged deadlock in Congress may pose, among other things, inability to adopt a budget or funds to help Ukraine. These were not included in the provisional budget voted last week, including: due to pressure from McCarthy’s opponents.

Main photo source: SHAWN THEW/PAP/EPA

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