Washington — Many Republican lawmakers have posed raising the threshold to trigger a no-confidence vote in the next House speaker — or ditching the rule altogether — afterfrom the role Tuesday.
What is a motion to vacate?
The California Republican paved the way for his own dismissal in January as he sought enough support to become the lower chamber’s leader,with far-right Republicans that a single member could bring a motion to vacate the chair — a vote of no confidence in the speaker. McCarthy’s ouster was the first time in U.S. history a House speaker has been removed by such a motion.
Can the House function without an elected speaker?
Without an elected speaker, legislative business in the House is now at a standstill as the federal government inches toward a mid-November deadline to avoid a government shutdown.
Why do Republicans want to change the rule?
A potential vote on the next speaker could come as soon as next week, but the divide over whether to change the rule could complicate the path to winning the gavel.
Republican Rep. Carlos Giménez of Florida said he would not support any candidate until there is a commitment to reform the rule.
“No one can govern effectively while being threatened by fringe hostage takers,” he wrote on social media.
Republican Rep. Marc Molinaro of New York called the motion to vacate a “bad precedent” and said the threshold should be “very high.”
“It is an absolute mistake to allow such a small number of folks to be able to initiate such a disruptive process, and hopefully we revisit it,” Molinaro told reporters Wednesday.
The threshold for bringing a motion to vacate was a single member until 2019, when Democrats won the majority. Then, a majority of either party had to agree to it.
As he sought to win over far-right holdouts in January, McCarthy proposed a threshold of five members, but that didn’t satisfy some of the most conservative members of his party. McCarthy ultimately agreed to give a single member the power to force a no-confidence vote.
On Tuesday, eight Republican detractors led by Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida and all Democrats voted to oust McCarthy.
Rep. Garret Graves, a McCarthy ally, said Gaetz’s move has “created so much chaos.” The Louisiana Republican indicated that he wanted to see a rule change before the election of a new speaker.
“I think one of the first things we need to do before electing a new speaker is help to solidify the position,” he told CBS News on Wednesday. “This is third in line of the president of the United States. It’s unreasonable to have this type of chaos or vulnerability.”
The Main Street Caucus, a “pragmatic” group of a dozens of conservatives, said continuance of the one-person threshold “will keep a chokehold on this body through 2024.”
“Personal politics should never again be used to trump the will of the 96% of House conservatives,” the group said in a statement. “Any candidate for speaker must explain to us how what happened on Tuesday will never happen again.”
Announcing that, McCarthy said his advice for the next speaker is to “change the rules.”
Does anyone want to keep the rule allowing one lawmaker to bring a motion to vacate?
Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado said she’s open to ditching the rule as long her preferred candidate — — wins the speakership.
Gaetz has said she would require the future speaker to keep the one-person threshold.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has also weighed in, calling on House Republicans to get rid of the motion.
“It makes the speaker job impossible,” the Kentucky Republican told reporters Wednesday.
Nikole Killion, Alejandro Alvarez and Alan He contributed reporting.