Kevin McCarthy ousted as Republican rebels lead charge against House Speaker in historic vote

Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) talks to reporters following a House Republican conference meeting

Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) talks to reporters following a House Republican conference meeting

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Jack Walters

By Jack Walters


Published: 03/10/2023

- 21:59

Updated: 03/10/2023

- 22:40

Republican rebel Matt Gaetz led the crusade against the long-standing Grand Old Party Congressman

Kevin McCarthy has been ousted as House Speaker after Republican rebels defeated the Californian in a key motion.

Some 216 members, including eight Grand Old Party representatives led by Florida's Matt Gaetz, voted to remove McCarthy from the Speaker's Chair.


Another 210, all of whom were Republicans, voted to retain McCarthy.

The vote is the first time in the history of the lower chamber that representatives have chosen to remove their Speaker from office.

WATCH NOW: McCarthy calling for an impeachment inquiry

No clear successor has emerged as the Speaker's Chair is left vacant.

However, Patrick McHenry, an ally to the former Speaker, has been named as his interim.

McCarthy lost favour with firebrand members of the GOP after striking a deal with Democrats to avoid a Government shutdown over the weekend.

The House of Representatives received the announcement with audible gasps.

Arkansas Republican Steve Womack confirmed the result by saying: "The office of Speaker of the House is hereby declared vacant."

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Matt Gaetz (R-FL) leaves the U.S. Capitol after U.S. Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was ousted form his position

Matt Gaetz (R-FL) leaves the U.S. Capitol after U.S. Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was ousted form his position

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Several Republicans walked over to McCarthy and shook his hand.

Gaetz was joined by seven other GOP rebels, inckluding Arizona's Andy Biggs, Colorado's Ken Buck, Tennessee's Tim Burchett, Arizona's Eli Crane, Virginia's Bob Good, South Carolina's Nancy Mace and Montana's Matt Rosendale.

McCarthy's route to the Speaker's Chair in January was equally as chaotic.

The 58-year-old required 15 ballots to win his Speaker's election.

The number of votes marked the highest number of ballots needed to secure victory since 1859.

US Republican Representative from California Kevin McCarthy walks from the House Chamber after he was ousted as Speaker at the US Capitol

US Republican Representative from California Kevin McCarthy walks from the House Chamber after he was ousted as Speaker at the US Capitol

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Gaetz took aim at McCarthy following the historic vote, labelling him a "creature of the swamp".

He added: "He has risen to power by collecting special interest money and redistributing that money in exchange for favours.

"We are breaking the fever and we should elect a speaker who is better."

However, McCarthy defended his decision to strike a deal with Democrats.

Ahead of the vote, he said: "Keeping the Government open and paying our troops was the right decision.

"I stand by that decision and at the end of the day if I have to lose my job over it, so be it."

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