WASHINGTON D.C. - Florida congressman Matt Gaetz has successfully ousted Kevin McCarthy from the Speakership of the House of Representatives, a first in United States history. Gaetz, who represents Florida's 1st congressional district, was upset that McCarthy brokered a spending deal with House Democrats to prevent a government shutdown last week.
All Democratic representatives supported the motion to oust McCarthy, joined by eight Republicans to form a majority. The following Republicans broke ranks with their party:
The move was divisive amongst leading Republicans, but not entirely shocking given the historic 15 votes it took before McCarthy was confirmed as Speaker earlier this year. Though he currently is a mere representative from California's 20th district, McCarthy could theoretically regain the speakership if he's nominated by a fellow congressperson and re-elected to the position by his peers. It would likely take key policy concessions to the Republicans who joined Democrats to remove him.
"Why is it that Republicans are always fighting among themselves, why aren't they fighting the Radical Left Democrats who are destroying our Country?" said former president and current candidate Donald Trump after the vote.
Less critical but still skeptical was Ron DeSantis, former GOP congressman and current Governor of Florida and presidential candidate. "You're in a situation where they haven't produced results, and that's just the reality," he said in a Fox News interview Tuesday. "There's not a plan to go forward with whatever Matt Gaetz is doing."
The vote to oust McCarthy is undoubtedly Gaetz's most impactful act as a congressman since he was first elected in 2016. An interim speaker is to be appointed before a new permanent choice is voted in by Congress.