Kevin McCarthy was ousted from his position as the speaker of the US House of Representatives after a rebellion by far-right Republicans who were angry at his cooperation with Democrats.
The removal of McCarthy highlights the intense infighting within the Republican party as they prepare for the 2024 US presidential election.
This ousting of McCarthy is a historic event, as it marks the first time a speaker has been removed in the House's 234-year history. While only a few right-wing Republican hardliners supported the move, the House is evenly divided, and with Democrats joining the rebel Republicans, McCarthy had no chance of survival.
McCarthy, a 58-year-old former entrepreneur, faced criticism from conservatives when he passed a bipartisan stopgap funding measure to avert a government shutdown.
Florida conservative Matt Gaetz took a gamble by forcing a removal vote, hoping to oust Speaker McCarthy with the support of a few Republicans and Democrats who were unhappy with McCarthy's highly politicised impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden.
Despite warnings from Republican leadership about causing chaos within the party, Gaetz, who has been vocal about McCarthy's failure to honor agreements with conservatives, responded by saying that McCarthy himself is the embodiment of chaos.
After the vote, Gaetz stated that McCarthy lost because nobody trusts him.
McCarthy had made multiple contradictory promises, and when the time came to fulfill them, he faltered, according to Gaetz.
Democrats also had grievances against McCarthy, citing his decision to backtrack on a spending limits deal with Biden that had been agreed upon earlier in the year during crucial talks over the federal budget.
The New Democrat Coalition, a group of Democratic lawmakers who support business interests, criticized McCarthy for being untrustworthy.
Meanwhile, Pramila Jayapal, chairwoman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, a leading leftist group, stated that she would not come to the aid of McCarthy and would instead let Republicans deal with their own incompetence.
The recent conflict arose just two days after both the House and Senate passed a measure to prevent a costly government shutdown.
This measure, which received strong bipartisan support, extended federal funding through mid-November.
Conservatives expressed anger and disappointment as their hopes for significant budget cuts were dashed.
McCarthy was accused of a flip-flop as he had promised to end hastily prepared stopgap legislation and instead focus on budgeting through the committee process.
The ousting of McCarthy became inevitable when Democratic House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries urged his members to remove him from his position. In a show of unity, all Democrats joined forces with 11 rebel Republicans to reject a preliminary motion that would have prevented the final ouster vote.
Following McCarthy's removal, a temporary speaker was appointed, and the House was placed in recess until a permanent replacement could be elected.
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