June 19, 2024

After an hour of speeches and a roll call vote Tuesday afternoon, Rep. Matt Gaetz’s Motion to Vacate the chair succeeded, 216-210, removing California Rep. Kevin McCarthy as Speaker of the House. Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) was immediately named Speaker Pro Tem.

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Today’s vote was historical, marking the first time in American history such a motion has succeeded.

McHenry’s first act was to gavel the House into recess, apparently at the urging of McCarthy’s staff.

Those speaking in support of McCarthy prior to the vote generally pointed to actions taken by various House committees related to China/COVID, DOJ weaponization, and Biden family bribery.

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Others thought the Gaetz wing were being too harsh with their expectations of McCarthy.

Some speakers said that Gaetz’s motion was in his own self-interest and not about the American people.

But, Gaetz countered that many Americans are sick of what he calls “failure theater.”

Earlier Tuesday House Dems joined with 11 disaffected Republicans to defeat a motion to table Gaetz’s motion filed by Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK).

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As of Tuesday morning it wasn’t clear whether Democrats would vote as a block or not on that motion to table. Squad member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was on record saying that she supported Gaetz’s motion and that she would cast a vote for the actual MTV but that some deal needed to be struck between McCarthy and Jeffries for Democrats to vote for the motion to table, as Streiff wrote.

None of that matters much at the moment, since the next item of business is voting for a new speaker.

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