Former Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy will not run for Speaker again.
In a historically unprecedented move, Congress voted to remove McCarthy as Speaker Tuesday afternoon.
The former Speaker reportedly announced he will not run for Speaker again in a closed GOP meeting, per Fox News. McCarthy confirmed the report in a press conference following the House’s vote to remove him from the seat.
“Unfortunately, 4% of our conference can join all the Democrats and dictate who can be the Republican Speaker in this House,” McCarthy said after his removal. “I believe I can continue to fight, maybe in a different manner.”
“I will not run for Speaker again. I’ll have the conference pick somebody else,” he added.
McCarthy is the first Speaker in U.S. history to be vacated from the seat.
MCCARTHY: "Unfortunately, 4% of our conference can join all the Democrats and dictate who can be the Republican Speaker in this House. I don't think that rule is good for the institution but apparently I'm the only one. […] I will not run for Speaker again." pic.twitter.com/7ZB8gLzZ3a
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) October 3, 2023
During the press conference, McCarthy said the House rule allowing for the motion to vacate was not “good for the institution.”
The motion was in place from 1801 until its removal by former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in 2018. The rule was reintroduced, per demands of House Republicans critical of McCarthy, during January’s historically contested Speaker vote.
Discussions to vacate McCarthy’s seat have been raised in recent weeks after a potential government shutdown was averted when Congress passed a short-term funding bill late Saturday. The bill did not include funding for Ukraine, which has been a priority for Democrats and some Republicans in Congress.
Shortly after the bill’s approval, it was revealed McCarthy had made a secret deal with Democrats in the House to allocate future aid for Ukraine.
Florida Representative Matt Gaetz, who had been an outspoken critic of the Speaker, said he would file a motion to vacate the office of Speaker of the House during a Monday morning appearance on CNN. McCarthy initially insisted he would survive a motion to vacate and claimed contention from Gaetz was “personal.”
“Matt voted against the most conservative ability to protect our border. … He’s more interested in securing TV interviews than doing something,” McCarthy said of the Florida representative. “He wanted to push us into a shutdown, even threatening his own district with all the military people there who would not be paid, only because he wants to take this motion.”
“So be it,” McCarthy said. “Bring it on. Let’s get over with it, and let’s start governing.”
— Nicole Silverio (@NicoleMSilverio) October 1, 2023
Gaetz introduced a motion to vacate the office of Speaker of the House on Monday evening.
Tuesday morning, McCarthy acknowledged his Speakership was in jeopardy.
“If five Republicans go with Democrats, then I’m out,” he said.