Kevin McCarthy was ousted as US House Speaker Tuesday after a vote of 216 to 210.
Rep. Matt Gaetz on Monday filed the motion to remove McCarthy as speaker for his violations of a deal with conservative Republicans that made the Californian the GOP leader in January.
McCarthy’s fate appeared to fall in the hands of Democrats, who huddled in an extended closed-door meeting Tuesday morning to discuss strategy but ultimately decided not to save McCarthy.
“House Democrats will continue to put people over politics. We are ready to find bipartisan common ground,” House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., said in a post on X, formerly Twitter. The onus, Jeffries said, was on House Republicans to save McCarthy.
Next steps are uncertain, but there is no obvious successor to lead the House Republican majority.
Gaetz and McCarthy
Allies of embattled Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy apparently seek to ditch their guy’s chief nemesis, Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz.
Fox News reported that Gaetz’s foes among the House Republicans seek to use alleged ethics violations by him as the reason for removing him from Congress.
The House Ethics Committee has been investigating the Fort Walton Beach Republican since 2021 on accusations of campaign finance violations, taking bribes, and using drugs, according to Fox News.
Gaetz denies the allegations, and has already been cleared on one of the charges.
In the news: Rep. Matt Gaetz Of Florida Says Democrats Can “Own” McCarthy If They Want To Support Him
As the Tampa Free Press reported last month, the Federal Elections Commission tossed a complaint, filed by Gaetz’s former opponent in the Republican primary, that he wrongfully used campaign contributions to cover legal expenses related to a 2020 Justice Department investigation into sex trafficking allegations.
The FEC concluded that all available evidence indicated that roughly $200,000 Gaetz’s campaign paid to attorneys actually benefited the campaign, and not Gaetz personally.
As the Free Press had previously reported, the Justice Department dropped its probe of the sex-trafficking allegations against Gaetz in February.
Investigators never uncovered evidence of claims that Gaetz facilitated payments that involved sex with an underage girl. The case also came up empty when prosecutors determined two main witnesses were not credible.
Fox News did not identify which Republicans seek to oust Gaetz from Congress. The outlet did cite an unnamed lawmaker who confirmed that the ethics report is “mostly written” but did not know what it contained.
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This anonymous lawmaker also noted of Gaetz, “No one can stand him at this point. A smart guy without morals.”
Two-thirds of the House must vote to expel a member, meaning the pro-McCarthy forces need at least 290 votes.
As the Free Press recently reported, only five lawmakers have been booted in U.S. history.
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