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The Racquet Press

The student news source of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

The Racquet Press

The student news source of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

The Racquet Press

Kevin McCarthy ousted, Steve Scalise Nominated as Speaker of the House

Image received from NBC News.

On Tuesday, Oct. 3, members of the House of Representatives voted to remove the Speaker of the House, Kevin McCarthy. This marked the first time in United States history that the Speaker of the House had successfully been ousted, with previous attempts in 1910 and 2015 having failed. 

The motion to vacate was initiated by Florida Republican Matt Gaetz, the House then voted on the issue. The result was 216 in favor and 210 against, with eight House Republicans joining 208 Democrats in voting to remove Kevin McCarthy from the position of Speaker of the House, leaving the seat vacant. 

At a press conference at the Capitol, McCarthy told reporters that, “I may have lost this vote today, but as I walk out of the chambers today, I feel fortunate to have served.” 

Gaetz, told Reuters after the vote that, “McCarthy is a creature of the swamp. He has risen to power by collecting special interest money and redistributing that money in exchange for favors. We are breaking the fever now.” 

According to BBC News, this vote to remove McCarthy from his position was the conclusion of a year-long series of events, culminating when McCarthy needed Democratic votes to pass a short-term spending deal in September, in order to avoid a government shutdown. 

The change in rules earlier in the year allowed a single member to initiate a motion to vacate, previously requiring a majority agreement within a party, conference or caucus. As described by the New York Times.

AP News reported that Democratic Representative (Rep.) from California Adam Schiff said, “At the end of the day, the country needs a speaker that can be relied on. We don’t trust him. Their members don’t trust him. And you need a certain degree of trust to be Speaker.”

U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal said, “Let them wallow in their own pigsty of incompetence,” referring to the House Republicans according to Reuters.

Another member of the House, Rep. Nancy Mace from South Carolina, who voted to remove McCarthy, stated, “I’ve made deals with Kevin McCarthy, with the Speaker, that he has not kept to help women in this country. We have done nothing for them.”

While some Democrats expressed positive sentiments about McCarthy’s removal, certain Republicans raised concerns about the future. 

According to Reuters, Republican Rep. Tom Cole shared his thoughts before the vote to oust McCarthy, saying, “Think long and hard before you plunge us into chaos, because that’s where we’re headed.” 

With the Speaker’s position left vacant, Rep. Patrick McHenry, a Republican from North Carolina, was appointed as the interim Speaker of the House until a new speaker could be elected. 

Notable differences exist between the Speaker of the House and the interim position, the Speaker pro tempore. As the Speaker pro tempore, McHenry had limited powers and could only act on matters related to the election of a new Speaker, such as gaveling in and out and presiding.

In comparison, a fully elected Speaker of the House is responsible for the legislative agenda, committee assignments, the vote and work calendar, as well as keeping their party members unified and working together as explained by BBC News

On Wednesday, Oct. 11, House Republicans convened to nominate the next Speaker of the House. Steve Scalise, a Republican from Louisiana, was officially nominated for the position.

Steve Scalise represents the First Congressional District of Louisiana. He was elected to Congress in 2008 after serving in the Louisiana State Legislature from 1996 to 2008. During the 118th Congress, the House Republican Conference elected Scalise to serve as Majority Leader, where he ran unopposed.

According to Rep.Darrell Issa, a Republican from California, the vote between Scalise and House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan was 113-99.

As it stands now, Republicans hold a majority in the House, with a vote count of 221 to 212. Scalise needs 217 votes on the floor in order to become the Speaker of the House.

Rep. Max Miller, a Republican from Ohio, and Rep. Lauren Boebert, a Republican from Colorado, stated that they would continue to vote for Jordan on the floor.

Jordan will back Scalise for House Speaker and has offered to give a nominating speech on Scalise’s behalf. Jordan told reporters, “The conference is divided. I hope that we can come together.” If no single candidate can win a majority, the House will continue to hold votes until one does. The most recent example of this was when McCarthy’s vote went to 15 ballots.

It is currently unclear as to when the vote will take place.


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About the Contributors
Jackson Skarp, Student Government Reporter
  • Year at UWL: Sophomore
  • PGPs: He/Him/His
  • Hometown: Cottage Grove, MN
  • Major: Communication Studies
  • Minor: Legal Studies and Philosophy
  • Other Campus Involvement: Pre-Law Society Member
  • Future Plans after Graduation: I plan on attending law school after graduation
  • Favorite activity in La Crosse: Finding new coffee shops to study at.
Easton Moberg, Multimedia Editor
Year at UWL: Senior PGPs: He/Him/His Hometown: Sheboygan Falls, WI Major: Political Science Minor: Communication Studies with an emphasis in Interpersonal Communication Other Campus Involvement: NSO Eagle Guide, Student Association CASSH Senator Future Plans after Graduation: Working at the Capitol in Madison Favorite Place to Eat in La Crosse: Super Street Taco
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