By: Matthew Ortega Edited By: Ashlyn Bi November 20, 2023
Politicians and Americans alike were concerned about who would become Speaker of the House of Representatives following Kevin McCarthy's vindication from the Speaker of the House as there were so many Republican Speakers of the House. Although Congressman Mike Johnson would fill his role on October 25, 2023, it is pivotal to understand what led up to Kevin McCarthy's situation.
Kevin McCarthy was an American politician and the House’s 55th speaker until his firing in October 2023. The firing of Kevin McCarthy did not come with much surprise as he had been angering various members of the republican party, who proposed him as speaker, most notably, Matt Gaetz. Moreover, in January of 2023, the country saw the House struggle following Nancy Pelosi’s retirement of the speaker seat, leaving the House of Representatives in what seemed like a clash between the Democrats and Republicans for power as Hakeem Jeffries and Kevin Mccarthy battled for 15 rounds of votes until Kevin McCarthy secured the votes necessary to win his election to speaker of the House of Representatives. His election did not come without controversy as McCarthy negotiated with Representatives such as Lauren Boebert and Andy Biggs, who received concessions to flip their vote in his favor. The Democrat Representatives of the House have established that Hakeem Jeffries will continue to be the supported candidate for Speaker of the House, but the Republican party has not yet decided who will be their speaker. Kevin McCarthy’s removal from his position as speaker is unparalleled and made history as the first time a speaker of the House of Representatives has been fired, highlighting the vulnerabilities and instability within the Republican Party as Representatives within the party plot on each other in part of personal grudges and power.
As news surrounding Kevin McCarthy’s removal as speaker of the House grows popular, Republican politician from Florida, Matt Gaetz, is a name that often pops out. He was blamed by Republicans and Democrats alike, especially Kevin McCarthy creating instability within the House in part of his hold up of Kevin McCarthy’s election versus Hakeem Jeffries and because he refused to maintain McCarthy in his position as speaker of the House. It can be assumed that Matt Gaetz has some form of grudge against Kevin McCarthy and it has been reported by CNBC that McCarthy believes the reason that Gaetz has been so disruptive in his election to speaker of the House is because McCarthy assisted in a House investigation of Gaetz’s alleged misconduct, specifically an alleged sex-trafficking ring which Matt Gaetz was allegedly apart of, but the House’s investigation concluded and Gaetz was released from all charges. Although Kevin McCarthy declared his belief in Gaetz’s sabotage, the exact reason for Matt Gaetz’s sabotage of the American government’s House of Representatives is unsure.
What is next for the House of Representatives following Kevin McCarthy’s removal from speaker of the House on October 5, 2023? As of October 21, the House of Representatives could not continue creating legislation without a speaker, but both the Republican and Democratic parties are quickly attempting to elect a new speaker of the House. Furthermore, specific Representatives running are Jack Bergman, Byron Donalds, Tom Emmer, Kevin Hern, Mike Johnson, Gary Palmer, Austin Scott, and Pete Sessions. Many find that right-wing extremism is plaguing the House of Representatives in the sense that most of the Republican candidates voted to decertify the 2020 election, and even out of the two candidates, Representative Emmer and Scott, who did not vote in this way, one of them supported a lawsuit seeking to overturn the 2020 election. The American people already dislike Congress as seen by the legislative institution’s 72% disapproval rate. Unless the Republican or Democrat party can find a suitable candidate it seems that the House of Representatives is in huge trouble.
The vindication of Kevin McCarthy’s seat as speaker of the House is unprecedented and has exposed the Republican and Democratic parties to problems never faced before. Kevin McCarthy has stated that he will not be rerunning for election. The American people are recovering from some of the most chaotic years of our lives following the COVID-19 pandemic, Joe Biden’s controversial election victory, and the insurrections that arose following his win. Our legislative branches must do better and finally serve America.