After a very dramatic past week at Capitol Hill (the highest law making body in the United States), Speaker Kevin McCarthy of the lower house of Congress was voted out of his job on Tuesday, making history with a 216-210 vote.
This unprecedented move was led by a group of conservative Republicans who were unhappy with McCarthy’s leadership, causing confusion among House Republicans.
Representative Matt Gaetz from Florida, McCarthy’s main rival, initiated a “motion to vacate,” uniting several conservative Republican critics of the speaker and many Democrats who believed he was unfit for the position.
Now, the House of Representatives is in recess after this historic vote, which has never happened before in the history of the House. The House must now choose a new speaker, but there isn’t a clear alternative with enough support to take over the role.
This showdown intensifies the tensions within the House GOP, which has been dealing with internal disputes. It occurred shortly after McCarthy successfully orchestrated a bipartisan effort to prevent a government shutdown.
As a result of McCarthy’s removal, Republican Representative Patrick McHenry from North Carolina, a close ally of McCarthy, will temporarily preside over the House. He holds the title of “speaker pro tempore,” allowing him to manage House recesses, adjournments, and speaker nominations.