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What Happens Next After McCarthy Ousted as US House Speaker

Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., speaks to reporters hours after he was ousted as Speaker of the House, Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2023, at the Capitol in Washington.InternationalIndiaAfricaThe US House of Representatives removed US Representative Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as Speaker of the House after a vote of 216 to 210. “It’s to the benefit of this country that we have a better speaker than Kevin McCarthy,” said US Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who began the process of bringing a motion to vacate on 2 October.The US government may have dodged a shutdown when Congress narrowly passed a last-minute stopgap deal to extend funding for another 45 days over the weekend, but more turmoil has descended upon Capitol Hill.

The US House of Representatives on Tuesday removed US Representative Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as speaker of the House. The decision came after an earlier motion to table the vote failed. The final vote was 216-210, with eight Republicans joining the Democrats to vote to remove McCarthy. This was the first time the lower chamber voted on vacating the speaker’s office in 113 years and the first time it has ever succeeded.

Now that the position of Speaker of the US House of Representatives has been vacated in an unprecedented vote by the lower chamber to oust Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), the legislative branch of the United States federal government faces more uncertainty. Although the continuing resolution (CR) was meant to offer more time to debate a series of spending bills that form the 2024 budget, these will now have to take a backseat. One of these issues is additional funding for Ukraine, which was notably excluded from the passed stopgap measure.In fact, just a day earlier, Gaetz accused McCarthy of making a “secret side deal” with President Joe Biden on Ukraine funding to get the short-term funding bill passed. The now-ousted Speaker had denied having made any such deal in exchange for Democratic votes.The urgent task at hand is to appoint a new leader for the House.

"It’s to the benefit of this country that we have a better speaker than Kevin McCarthy… The reason he went down today is because no one trusts him," said US Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who called the vote against McCarthy.

AmericasUS House Removes McCarthy From Speakership in Historic VoteYesterday, 20:49 GMT

Who Heads the House Now?

Patrick McHenry (R-NC), a member of the Financial Services Committee, has been appointed Speaker for the time being. The North Carolina former media consultant and political operative had been top of the list of members to succeed him that McCarthy submitted upon his eventual election as speaker in January, after 15 rounds of voting.

"In the opinion of the chairman, before proceeding to the election of the Speaker, it would be prudent first to recess for the relevant caucus and its conferences to meet and discuss the path forward. Accordingly, pursuant to clause 12A of Rule One, the chairman declares the House on recess, subject to the call of the chairman," McHenry said on Tuesday, as he slammed his gavel on the desk.

The recess is to last a week. Republicans will return to work on 11 October to hold internal elections to nominate a replacement, with an election possible the next day, lawmakers involved in the discussion were cited as saying.WorldWhite House Says Ukraine Could Struggle to Receive Other Aid if US Funding LapsesYesterday, 18:25 GMT

Who Could Be New Speaker?

The work of a ‘decapitated’ House of Representatives has been virtually paralyzed. So the first thing the chamber needs to come up with is viable candidates for the Speakership.McCarthy was cited as saying he would not seek to reclaim the post. McHenry, who used to be chief deputy whip under Steve Scalise, seems content with his role as chairman of the Financial Services Committee. He went on record as saying he “absolutely does not” want to be Speaker, but mooted the candidacy of Steve Scalise, the House Majority Leader, telling reporters he would make a “phenomenal Speaker.”After surviving a mass shooting at a congressional baseball practice in 2017, Scalise has suffered a number of health problems, and revealed in August that he had been diagnosed with multiple myeloma ( blood cancer ). However, he is said to be seeking support behind the scenes to become the next House Speaker, according to sources cited in a media report. Scalise has allegedly been making calls to gain support ahead of a possible vote on Wednesday.Some GOP members have indicated that they would back his bid, with Representative Austin Scott (R-GA) saying:

"Steve Scalise is our leader. If he wants it, then I think that it's likely that he will be the leader — the Speaker nominee.”

Though Scalise’s office has yet to offer any comment, the House Majority Leader himself did not rule out the bid previously, saying, “I enjoy working with Tom [Emmer] and our leadership team, and we have a lot of work to get done. But I haven’t made any formal announcements.”Other potential candidates include:Jim Jordan (R-OH), Judiciary Chairman;Representative Kevin Hern (R-OK), the head of the Republican Study Committee;Tom Emmer (R-MN), the No 3 Republican in the House, serving as majority whip;Representative Garret Graves, (R-LA); andHouse GOP Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik, (R-NY), the highest-ranking female Republican in Congress.US Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who advanced the effort to oust McCarthy, told reporters earlier that he had spoken with Emmer, but stopped short of revealing any details of their conversation. Gaetz added that he would like to hear from Scalise regarding a potential Speaker bid before nominating him. Gaetz also said that Scalise is the “type of person” he could see himself supporting.Representative Troy Nehls (R-TX), playing on the fact that the Speaker does not have to be an elected Representative, said that when the House reconvenes he would “nominate [former President] Donald J Trump for Speaker of the US House of Representatives”.”President Trump, the greatest President of my lifetime, has a proven record of putting America First and will make the House great again,” he said.Representative Greg Steube (R-FL) shared this opinion, going on X (formerly Twitter), to post that Trump would make a great Speaker.© Photo : gregsteube/XScreenshot of X post by Rep. Greg Steube, R-Fla.Screenshot of X post by Rep. Greg Steube, R-Fla.

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