Such a vote has not taken place for more than a century in the United States: the Republican leader of the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, risks being ousted from his post on Tuesday, the victim of fratricidal quarrels within his left.
• Read also: A Trumpist elected official files a motion to impeach the Republican leader of the House of Representatives
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An elected official from the American hard right, Matt Gaetz, tabled a motion to dismiss the “speaker”, despite being a member of his party, which will be examined in Congress this afternoon.
He mainly criticizes Kevin McCarthy for having negotiated with elected Democrats a provisional budget to finance the federal administration which many conservatives opposed. He also accuses the Republican tenor of having concluded a “secret agreement” with President Joe Biden on a possible future package for Ukraine.
However, the right wing of the Republican Party is strongly opposed to the release of additional funds for kyiv, believing that this money should instead be used to fight the migration crisis on the border between the United States and Mexico.
This procedural impeachment maneuver, very rarely used in American parliamentary history, will trigger a perilous showdown in the lower house.
The President of the House of Representatives, however, wanted to be confident on Tuesday: “I think I will hold on,” declared Kevin McCarthy, a few hours before the examination of the motion of censure.
To be adopted, this motion requires a majority vote in the House, where 435 members sit.
But it doesn’t matter that the vast majority of Kevin McCarthy’s parliamentary group supports him publicly: the Trumpists have a de facto veto in this institution, given the very thin Republican majority.
“I will support the impeachment motion because we have more than $33,000 billion in debt,” Tennessee lawmaker Tim Burchett said Tuesday. “We either need to change course or change leadership,” he said.
An impeachment of Kevin McCarthy would be completely unprecedented: no “speaker” has ever been ousted from his post in the history of the United States.
To get out of this impasse, the fifty-year-old tried to use a series of procedural maneuvers, notably calling for adjournment of the examination of the impeachment motion. But these attempts have so far all failed, increasing the pressure on the elected official from California.
Kevin McCarthy will also not be able to count on the Democrats coming to his rescue with their votes.
“It is up to the Republican Party to end the Republican civil war in the House,” Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries said in a letter after a long meeting with his parliamentary group.
He urged his party members to vote in favor of the impeachment motion.
Kevin McCarthy, 58, had already been elected by force in January, due to the very slim Republican majority.
To reach the perch, he had to make enormous concessions with around twenty Trumpists, including the possibility that any elected official would have the power to call a vote to remove him.
A promise that comes back to haunt him on Tuesday.