Who Is Kevin McCarthy? Why Was He Voted Out as a Speaker

The US House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy was recently ousted. A group of Republicans in the U.S. House, along with Democrats, voted to remove him as speaker. This was a big deal because it happened only nine months after he became the speaker. It took a lot of discussions and voting rounds for this decision to be made. Here are all the details you need to know. 

Nikhil Batra
Oct 4, 2023, 18:58 IST
Who Is Kevin McCarthy? Why Was He Voted Out as a Speaker
Who Is Kevin McCarthy? Why Was He Voted Out as a Speaker

In a historic move, the speaker of the US House, Kevin McCarthy was voted out before the presidential elections. 

This happened because the Republicans were arguing among themselves, and it made Congress even more confused, right after they barely avoided a government shutdown.

This vote, which had 216 people for it and 210 against it, is the first time ever that the House has removed its leader. 

Eight Republicans joined 208 Democrats in voting to remove McCarthy from his position.

Who Is Kevin McCarthy? 

Kevin Owen McCarthy is an American politician. He was in charge of the United States House of Representatives for a little while in 2023. He's a member of the Republican Party and currently represents a part of California.

He was born in Bakersfield, California, and went to California State University there. He started working in politics in California and then got elected to the U.S. House in 2006.

McCarthy has had important roles in the U.S. House before. He helped the Republican Party as a leader. 

He also became the leader when the previous one, Eric Cantor, lost his job in a primary election. Kevin stayed in this role even when a new speaker, Paul Ryan, took over in 2015. In 2019, after Paul Ryan left, McCarthy became the leader of the House Republicans.

In the 2020 U.S. presidential election, when Joe Biden won, McCarthy didn't believe the results and supported Donald Trump's claims of cheating. But when the U.S. Capitol was attacked during the vote count, McCarthy changed his mind and blamed Trump for what happened. By 2022, he was friends with Trump again.

In 2022, McCarthy and his party did well in the elections, and they got more seats in the U.S. House.

In January 2023, McCarthy wanted to become the speaker again, and he eventually gained the position after a lot of voting. While he was the speaker, there was a big fight between his group and President Biden's team about the country's debt. They worked it out and made a new law.

But then, in October 2023, the other members of the House voted to remove McCarthy as the speaker. This was a big deal because it was very rare. He had one of the shortest times as the speaker in U.S. history, and he's the first one to be kicked out during their time in charge.

Why was Kevin McCarthy removed?

Kevin McCarthy, a leader of the Republicans, made Democrats upset. He started an investigation against Biden and rushed a bill without giving Democrats enough time to read it, which they needed to prevent a government shutdown. 

Democrats could have helped him, but they decided not to because they felt it wasn't their job to solve the Republicans' issues.

Now, there might be new leaders for the Republicans, like Steve Scalise and Tom Emmer, although they haven't said they want the job publicly. For now, Patrick McHenry is temporarily in charge.

The last two Republican leaders, Paul Ryan and John Boehner, left their jobs after disagreements with their own party members.

During a discussion in the House, some Republicans criticised McCarthy. They wanted a leader who fought for something, not just the position of speaker. 

Representative Nancy Mace said she voted against McCarthy because he didn't keep his promises about women's health issues.

On the other side, McCarthy's supporters, even some strong conservatives, said he controlled spending and worked on conservative goals, despite Democrats being in control of the White House and the Senate. They warned about the chaos that might come if there were more changes in leadership.

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