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McCarthy Ousted as Speaker of the House10/04 06:12

   The House of Representatives is entering uncharted territory after a 
far-right effort to remove fellow Republican Kevin McCarthy from the 
speakership succeeded thanks to support from Democrats.

   WASHINGTON (AP) -- The House of Representatives is entering uncharted 
territory after a far-right effort to remove fellow Republican Kevin McCarthy 
from the speakership succeeded thanks to support from Democrats.

   A resolution -- titled a motion to vacate -- from Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., 
passed Tuesday with the support of eight Republicans and all the Democrats 
present and voting. The vote made McCarthy the first speaker in history to be 
removed from office, a bitter humiliation that came after less than nine months 
on the job.

   The California Republican told his conference shortly after that he would 
not run for the job again. It is a stunning outcome in the House that shocked 
lawmakers of both parties and left them wondering what the future will bring.

   Republican Rep. Patrick McHenry, now the acting speaker, declared the House 
in recess until both parties can decide on a path forward. There is no obvious 
successor to lead the House Republican majority now that McCarthy has opted not 
to run for the job again.

   Here's a closer look at what could happen next:


   Immediately after the vote, McHenry, a close McCarthy ally, was named 
temporary speaker or speaker pro tempore. The North Carolina Republican was 
picked from a list that the speaker is required to keep of members who can 
serve in this position in the event a chair is vacated.

   McCarthy turned over that private list to the House clerk in January when he 
was first elected speaker. And while McHenry can serve in the temporary role 
indefinitely, he does not have the full power of a duly elected speaker but 
only those that are deemed "necessary and appropriate" for the purpose of 
electing someone to the job, according to the rules governing the House.

   McHenry will be unable to bring legislation to the floor or take it off. He 
also does not have the power to issue subpoenas or sign off on any other 
official House business that would require the approval of the speaker.


   The first order of business for McHenry would be to elect a new speaker.

   As of now, it is unclear who House Republicans will nominate for the 
speakership. Some members left the chamber Tuesday determined to renominate 
McCarthy and vote for him for speaker until it passes. But now that he is out 
of the running, the path is clear for any Republican to jump in.

   Some members, including Gaetz, have been broaching potential consensus 
candidates like Majority Leader Steve Scalise or Whip Tom Emmer who they see as 
bringing the conference together. Other names up for discussion include Rep. 
Kevin Hern, chair of the Republican Study Committee, and Rep. Jim Jordan, the 
chair of the House Judiciary Committee and a favorite of the right flank of the 

   Once Republicans decide who to nominate for speaker, the House would have to 
vote as many times as it takes for a candidate to receive the majority of those 
present and voting for speaker. It can quickly become an arduous exercise, as 
it did in January when it took McCarthy an unprecedented 15 rounds to win the 


   Once a speaker candidate has won a majority of the vote, the clerk will 
announce the results of the election.

   During a normal speaker election, which takes place at the start of each 
Congress, a bipartisan committee, usually consisting of members from the home 
state of the chosen candidate, will then escort the speaker-elect to the chair 
on the dais where the oath of office is administered. The oath is identical to 
the one new members will take once a speaker is chosen.

   It is unclear if that is the same process that will be followed in this 
instance. It is customary for the minority leader to join the successor at the 
speaker's chair, where they will pass the gavel as a nod to the potential 
future working relationship between one party leader and another.

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