WASHINGTON — For the first time in United States history, a sitting Speaker has been removed from the House.
All seven Indiana Republicans voted against the historic ousting, voting instead to keep House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in his position. A small group of hard-right conservative Republicans, led by Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, upset the balance, however, by joining with the Democrats against McCarthy.
In a 216- 210 vote, the handful of hard-right critics proved enough to shockingly topple McCarthy from his role.
Indiana Democratic representatives Andre Carson and Frank Mrvan joined the rest of the House Democrats in voting to oust McCarty. While many questioned which way Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-Ind.) would vote, due to being critical of McCarthy, Spartz ultimately voted against ousting the Speaker.
Here is how Indiana House Representatives voted:
|Rudy Yakym III||Republican||Nay|
But all seven Indiana House Republicans’ votes would ultimately be in vain as Gaetz and his hard-right contingency mustered up enough votes to make U.S. history and throw the House and its Republican leadership into chaos.
Rep. U.S. Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-Ind.) called the outcome an extremely frustrating result and blamed “an extreme minority of the House Republicans” for the toppling of House leadership.
“The only reason we are here is because a small number of House Republicans are focused on settling personal vendettas and prioritizing their own personal political ambitions rather than prioritizing conservative governance,” Bucshon said.
Stillness fell as the presiding officer gaveled the vote closed, 216-210, saying the office of the speaker “is hereby declared vacant.”
Moments later, a top McCarthy ally, Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., took the gavel and, according to House rules, was named speaker pro tempore, to serve in the office until a new speaker is chosen.
The House then briskly recessed so lawmakers could meet and discuss the path forward.
An earlier vote attempted to table the motion to vote on ousting McCarthy, but the vote failed setting up the end of McCarthy’s short reign as Speaker of the House.
“It is now the responsibility of the GOP members to end the House Republican Civil War,” said Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries, who said he was unwilling to provide the votes needed to save McCarthy.