Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) accused each other of not adhering to conservative values after the Florida congressman led the ultimately successful effort to remove McCarthy.
Hours after McCarthy was removed from his position following the successful motion to vacate the chair — which calls a vote on the Speaker position if just one member of the majority calls for a vote — the longtime House GOP leader confirmed that he would not be seeking the gavel again at a press conference.
After wishing the conference well and thanking the American people for the opportunity to serve as House Speaker, McCarthy took aim at the eight Republicans who voted in favor of the motion to vacate. Democrats voted as a conference in favor of the motion, meaning that McCarthy could only afford to lose support from five Republicans.
The former House speaker stated his belief that the motion to vacate is damaging to the institution, arguing that it allowed Democrats to dictate terms to the Republican-led House. “You need 218. Unfortunately, four percent of the Republican conference can join all the Democrats and dictate who can be the Republican speaker in this House,”