Some House Democrats celebrated the motion to vacate Speaker Kevin McCarthy from the House, while others described it as a “solemn” day in America.
All 208 House Democrats who were present voted to oust McCarthy Tuesday afternoon. Five Republican votes were needed to boot McCarthy, and eight ultimately voted with Democrats to put the nail in the coffin.
“This is a solemn day in the U.S. House of Representatives,” Democratic Whip Katherine Clark said in a statement Tuesday. “Through his duplicitous misuse of power, profound disregard for the needs of the American people, and disloyalty to anyone but himself, Kevin McCarthy has proven unworthy of presiding over the House.”
She added: “But the Republican civil war is bigger than one man. Right-wing MAGA extremism has enveloped the Republican Party and taken over the business of the People’s House.”
House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., echoed the sentiment, deeming the vote a “solemn” moment in America.
“House Democrats will continue to put people over politics and work together in a bipartisan way to make life better for everyday Americans. It is our hope that traditional Republicans will walk away from MAGA extremism and join us in partnership for the good of the country,” he said.
“Republicans, you’re welcome to join us and vote for Hakeem Jeffries for Speaker of the House,” Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., a progressive “squad” member said on X.
Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., another member of the squad, called McCarthy a “threat to our democracy” in a lengthy statement posted to X.
“He literally voted to overturn the 2020 election results, overthrow the duly elected President, and did nothing to discourage his Members from doing the same,” Omar said of McCarthy.
Omar added McCarthy is a “weak politician.”
Rep. Chuey Garcia, D-Chicago, also said on X he has “no interest in bailing out Team Extreme.”
Hardline conservatives and progressive Democrats locked arms across the aisle to seal the deal on Tuesday, as the vote to vacate commenced after an hour of passionate debate with McCarthy supporters and dissenters.
Both parties pointed fingers at McCarthy, as Gaetz introduced a motion to vacate on Monday night, accusing him of breaking the promises he made to win the speaker’s gavel in January. Meanwhile, Democrats condemned his “lack of interest in bipartisanship” and Republicans jabbing his failure to pass a government spending patch with additional border security provisions and not enough budget cuts.
Democrat Rep. Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey said McCarthy “empowered right wing extremists” and “consistently broke his word.”
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