The U.S. House of Representatives voted to remove Kevin McCarthy from his position as Speaker of the House on Tuesday. This is the first time in its history that the House has done so.
The chamber removed Kevin McCarthy, R-California, from his post in charge of the House on a 216-210 vote. Eight House Republicans voted to remove McCarthy.
Note: This is a breaking news story and will be updated.
Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Florida, introduced the motion to vacate because McCarthy negotiated with Democrats to produce the stopgap bill that kept the government from shutting down on Saturday.
A motion to vacate is a procedural motion to remove the Speaker of the House.
All three New Mexico representatives voted for the motion; all are Democrats.
“As a Member of Congress entrusted by New Mexicans to serve in their best interest, I have a responsibility to uphold good governance and deliver positive results to our communities,” Rep. Gabe Vasquez said in a statement after the vote. “My constituents deserve better than a Speaker who took us to the brink of a debt default, a government shutdown and who has brought chaos and complete dysfunction to Congress.”
During a press call Monday, Rep. Melanie Stansbury, D-New Mexico, said that Democrats at that time were waiting to see what would happen next before saying how they would vote.
“My message has been very clear on this: It’s not our circus, he is not our clown and it’s not our responsibility to bail out the GOP on their own internal dysfunction,” Stansbury said.
Cracks in the GOP’s veneer have been showing more often than not this year, beginning with the House taking 15 votes to finally get enough members to name McCarthy as Speaker. McCarthy gave up significant concessions to far-right Republicans, like Gaetz, to hand him the gavel.
House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-New York, issued a letter to his Democratic colleagues Monday stating that House Democrats would vote for the motion to vacate.
“Democrats remain willing to find a common ground on an enlightened path forward, ” Jeffries’ letter stated. “It is now the responsibility of the GOP members to end the House Republican Civil War.”
The next step is for the House to name an interim speaker and then hold another speaker election. Until there is a new Speaker, the House will be essentially paralyzed, with just weeks until the new deadline to avert a government shutdown.
The House is expected to be back in session tomorrow morning to take votes on the next House Speaker, Stansbury said in a press call Tuesday.
She said that the House Democratic caucus is “100 percent united behind Hakeem Jeffries to be the next Speaker of the House.”
Update: This story has been updated with comments from Rep. Gabe Vasquez and information from a press call from Rep. Melanie Stansbury.