Days after narrowly averting a government shutdown by striking a secret side-deal with Democrats over Ukraine funding, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) faces the biggest challenge to his Speakership by the same group of House conservatives who delayed his rise to power eight months ago.
On Monday night, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) filed a motion to formally remove McCarthy from his role as speaker – a vote for which McCarthy says he’ll get out of the way first thing today, while CNBC says the vote should begin at 2pm ET.
🚨BREAKING … MCCARTHY SAID HE WILL BRING THE MOTION TO VACATE VOTE UP IN THE FIRST VOTE SERIES
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) October 3, 2023
In short, only Democrats may be able to save McCarthy – who says he hasn’t made any deals with the Democrats who he says “haven’t asked for anything,” following a Monday night call with House Minority leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) – who will ultimately decide McCarthy’s fate.
“They haven’t asked for anything. I’m not going to provide anything” — McCarthy on CNBC on what Dems want in order to help him stay speaker pic.twitter.com/P8oDhkZyAk
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 3, 2023
While the minority party in the House typically doesn’t support the majority’s choice for speaker, motions to vacate are rare – and this situation hasn’t been seen in more than a century.
According to the Guardian, Gaetz and his allies have the votes to remove McCarthy.
In a notice to lawmakers, Democratic whip Katherine Clark’s office said votes on the motion to vacate Kevin McCarthy from his position as speaker of the House could take place “at any time after the House convenes at 12:00 p.m. today.”
Before voting on the motion itself, McCarthy’s allies may move to table the proposal, which, if successful, would block the motion to vacate, and save McCarthy’s speakership. That would need a simply majority to pass, and, the way the numbers are looking now, can’t be achieved without Democratic help.
“Members should keep their schedules flexible and be prepared to vote at the appropriate time,” reads the notice.
Gaetz and his Freedom Caucus allies were livid on Sunday after it emerged that McCarthy had made a secret side-deal with Democrats for more Ukraine funding, in exchange for passage of a continuing resolution that will keep the government running through mid-November.
Wow.@SpeakerMcCarthy made a side Ukraine deal with Democrats and didn’t tell House Republicans until after his Continuing Resolution passed.
More deceit. https://t.co/LC91laLyTp
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) October 1, 2023