AnalysisKevin McCarthy’s historic ouster as House speaker stuns US lawmakers, frays relationships and roils Washington
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy was voted out of the job on Tuesday in an extraordinary showdown – a first in US historyIt plunged Congress into chaos as it faces key deadlines to avert a government shutdown and approve aid for UkraineUS PoliticsAssociated PressPublished: 2:02pm, 4 Oct, 2023Why you can trust SCMP
US lawmakers who had been sitting in stunned silence gasped at the declaration: the office of speaker “is hereby declared vacant”.
For the first time ever, a House speaker had been voted out of the position, plunging Congress into a new degree of turmoil. “Now what?” someone in the chamber yelled out.
Kevin McCarthy, the California Republican who has survived decades of upheaval in Congress, had projected a sense of cool as he strolled out of his office just hours earlier, still speaker. But when he exited the House chamber on Tuesday, no longer with the gavel, he walked in silence.
He left a House roiling. Lawmakers fled the chamber after the vote, some speechless at what they had witnessed.
An essential body of American democracy no longer has an elected leader, the latest moment of testing for an institution grappling with aftermath of the Capitol siege on January 6, 2021, a Republican Party at war with itself and the United States’ contested role in global leadership.