The House passed the motion to remove Republican Speaker Kevin McCarthy, plunging the Capitol into chaos and uncertainty. It is the first time in US history. The motion was proposed by his party’s MP Matt Gaetz, a Donald Trump loyalist and member of a parliamentary branch in the Chamber linked to the tycoon. The vote ended with 216 votes in favor and 210 against. Eight Republicans voted against McCarthy. The latter will now have to indicate his provisional replacement until the election of a new speaker, a step that will certainly not be easy and which risks paralyzing Congress just when it has to negotiate the next spending law.
The tensions in recent months
Gaetz, a far-right Republican from Florida, has for months threatened to use this procedural tool – called a vacate motion – to try to strip McCarthy of his office. Those threats intensified over the weekend after McCarthy relied on Democrats to provide the votes needed to fund the government. The tug-of-war within the Republican Party between traditional conservatives and the ex-president’s loyalists has been going on for some time, but this time the conflict has reached the top levels of the institutions.