AFPMcCarthy speaks to journalists before the vote on his presidency
NOS Nieuws•vandaag, 22:47
Republican Kevin McCarthy has been impeached in a vote over his chairmanship of the House of Representatives. A majority was needed to impeach McCarthy. Although he was supported by most Republicans, a number of them voted in favor of impeachment.
It is the first time in US history that the Speaker of the House has been impeached. The last impeachment of a Speaker of the House was in 1910 against Republican Joseph Cannon. It survived the vote.
The motion to impeach McCarthy came from his party colleague Matt Gaetz. Gaetz filed the motion to impeach McCarthy yesterday, after McCarthy prevented a shutdown of the US federal government last weekend with an emergency funding bill in collaboration with Democrats.
The House of Representatives first voted on the impeachment motion itself, leaving a chance that the motion would be voted down. That did not happen: 208 members voted against submitting the motion and 218 voted in favor. Eleven Republicans were among those who voted in favor.
VS-correspondent Rudy Bouma:
“With the historically unique impeachment of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, chaos in Congress is complete.
Last weekend, emergency financing narrowly averted a government shutdown, but parliamentarians must still reach an agreement on the budget within a month and a half, otherwise such a ‘shutdown’ threatens again.
Amid this chaos, a new Speaker of the House of Representatives must now be elected. “Pregnant matters that need to be decided, such as financial support for Ukraine, now seem to be delayed even further.”
McCarthy succeeded Democrat Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House earlier this year. That did not go without a hitch: four days and fifteen voting rounds were needed for his election. McCarthy faced fierce opposition from a group of conservative Republicans. They accused him, among other things, of working too much with the Democrats. Gaetz was among the Republican lawmakers who voted against McCarthy.
Ultimately, McCarthy was elected, but on the condition that only one member of Congress was needed to get a vote on the chairmanship. Normally, a majority in the House is needed to initiate impeachment proceedings.
Last weekend, McCarthy proposed an emergency funding bill to prevent a shutdown, the shutdown of the federal government. A number of extremely conservative Republicans pushed for a shutdown to get their demands met. For example, they wanted far-reaching cuts in education and social assistance, among other things. They also wanted to stop support for Ukraine.
The emergency financing law passed the budget for the next 45 days. Nearly all Democrats and most Republicans voted for the package.