House to decide McCarthy’s fate this afternoon

By Manuel Quiñones | 10/03/2023 01:15 PM EDT

Critics of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy may have enough votes to oust him. What happens next is an open question.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) speaking with reporters Tuesday at the Capitol about efforts to remove him from power. Francis Chung/POLITICO

The House is expected to vote Tuesday afternoon on whether to remove Kevin McCarthy as speaker of the House.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), a McCarthy antagonist, is moving forward with a motion to vacate the speakership. A handful of hardline conservatives are likely to back the effort.

“If five Republicans go with Democrats, then I’m out,” McCarthy, a California Republican, told reporters at the Capitol on Tuesday.


Reps. Andy Biggs of Arizona, Eli Crane of Arizona, Bob Good of Virginia and Tim Burchett of Tennessee are among the Republicans who have either said or suggested they will vote to dethrone McCarthy.

Some Democrats may yet step in to help save McCarthy’s speakership. For weeks, there was talk of a potential deal between members calling for stability.

“They haven’t asked for anything. I’m not going to provide anything,” McCarthy said during an interview on CNBC.

Democrats — from progressives to centrists — have been expressing their unwillingness to save McCarthy because they perceive the speaker as untrustworthy.

“We are ready to find bipartisan common ground,” Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) said on social media. “Our extreme colleagues have shown no willingness to do the same. They must find a way to end the House Republican Civil War.”

Rep. Dan Bishop (R-N.C.), who has been critical of McCarthy, announced on X, formerly known as Twitter, that he would not support the move to change speakers.

“One person’s play call with toughly 5-7 potential supporters portends no path toward success, only chaos,” said Bishop.

Arkansas Rep. Steve Womack was among the many Republicans who expressed concern Tuesday morning about the instability following McCarthy’s removal.

“I think it’s a huge distraction, takes away from the focus that we need to have on a lot of other pressing issues facing our country,” said Womack.

Reporters Andres Picon, Anthony Adragna, Olivia Beavers, Sarah Ferris and Meredith Lee Hall contributed.