House Speaker Kevin McCarthy confirmed the House will vote Tuesday afternoon on whether he will remain speaker, after Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz introduced a“declaring the office of Speaker of the House of Representatives to be vacant” on the House floor Monday night.
McCarthy expressed confidence to reporters Tuesday morning that he’ll prevail, although if five Republicans join all of the Democrats in voting against him, McCarthy would be removed. He spoke with Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries Tuesday morning, but when he was asked whether he would have to rely on the votes of Democrats to retain the speakership, he replied, “No, I personally am not.”
McCarthy may first move to table Gaetz’s resolution, known as a motion to vacate the chair, in an effort to kill it. However, GOP Rep. Brian Mast, of Florida, said he thinks there will be a direct vote on the motion around 2 p.m.
If there is a vote to table Gaetz’s resolution and it wins, McCarthy will remain speaker. If it fails, a vote on the move to vacate the chair would follow. If a majority of the members present support the resolution, McCarthy will be removed, and a new speaker would have to be chosen.
Gaetz’s campaign to remove McCarthy comes after he relied on the votes of House Democrats on Saturday tofor 45 days to avoid a shutdown. More Democrats than Republicans supported the measure.
Gaetz has consistently opposed McCarthy’s speakership, and was among those who helped draw out the process of electing him speaker to a record 15 rounds of voting.McCarthy agreed to a condition making it possible for a single member to motion to oust the speaker. That deal has come back to haunt him. McCarthy said Gaetz’s challenge to his speakership is “personal.”
“He’s more interested in securing TV interviews,” McCarthy said of the Florida Republican.