Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called on the next Speaker of the House to remove the motion to vacate from House rules.
California Representative Kevin McCarthy was removed from the office of Speaker of the House on Tuesday afternoon after Florida Representative Matt Gaetz filed a motion to vacate.
McConnell spoke with reporters Wednesday afternoon and gave advice to House Republicans.
“I hope whoever the next speaker is gets rid of the motion to vacate,” McConnell said. “I think it makes the speaker’s job impossible, and the American people expect us to have a functioning government.”
The Senate Minority Leader said the upper chamber needed to pass as many appropriations bills as possible, adding Majority Leader Chuck Schumer agreed with McConnell.
“[Schumer] will have plenty cooperation from us,” McConnell said.
“I hope whoever the next Speaker is gets rid of the motion to vacate. I think it makes the Speaker's job impossible, and the American people expect us to have a functioning government.”
— Sen. Min. Leader McConnell's one piece of advice to House Republicans on Speaker vote pic.twitter.com/pWXrVgwTry
— The Recount (@therecount) October 4, 2023
Florida Representative Anna Paulina Luna fired back at McConnell’s suggestion to remove the motion to vacate.
“We don’t take orders from the Senate,” she said. “He should stay in his lane.”
Someone let @LeaderMcConnell know (or his comms director since that’s who is writing his tweets) we don’t take orders from the Senate and he should stay in his lane.
— Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (@RepLuna) October 4, 2023
Following McCarthy’s Tuesday ousting, McConnell released a statement praising the former Speaker.
“Speaker McCarthy has my sincere thanks for his service to our nation in what is often a thankless role,” he wrote. “The Speaker’s appetite for worthy causes steered a narrow majority to seize historic opportunities for the American people and for conservative principles.”
“I am particularly grateful to the Speaker for our close working partnership,” McConnell’s statement continued. “As Congressional Republicans continue the essential work begun during his tenure, Speaker McCarthy’s unapologetic patriotism and unshakeable optimism will remain a valuable guide.”
The motion to vacate the office of Speaker of the House 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.
House Majority Leader Steve Scalise and Ohio Representative Jim Jordan officially announced bids for Speakership on Wednesday.
“You know my leadership style I’ve displayed as your Majority Leader and Whip,” Scalise wrote. “I humbly ask you for your support on this mission to be your Speaker of the House.”
Steve Scalise formally announces his candidacy for speaker in a dear colleague letter: pic.twitter.com/LiyHhkggsy
— Andrew Solender (@AndrewSolender) October 4, 2023
“We are at a critical crossroad in our nation’s history,” Jordan wrote in a letter to House Republicans. “Now is the time for our Republican conference to come together to keep our promises to Americans.”
“I respectfully ask for your support for Speaker of the House of Representatives,” he added.
Fellow House Republicans Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Texas Representative Troy Nehls have nominated former President Donald Trump for Speaker of the House.
Shortly after the House voted to vacate the office of Speaker of the House, McCarthy announced he would not run for Speaker again.
“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.