US: Congress Speaker McCarthy’s stunning downfall

Washington: Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) — yes, former — made history in January when he survived a grueling 15 ballots to secure the gavel he had dreamed of wielding for his entire career.

· “This is the great part,” McCarthy told reporters at the time. “Because it took this long, now we learned how to govern.”

Flash forward: Nine months later, McCarthy has again made history — this time, as the only speaker ever to be voted out of office through a “motion to vacate” on the House floor.

Why it matters: McCarthy’s ouster was a stunning moment — only to be topped two hours later by the shocking revelation that he would not run for speaker again.

· The decision blindsided McCarthy allies who were gearing up to re-nominate him, opening the floodgates for a competitive speakership race that will dominate Congress for at least the next week.

· Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), the interim speaker, told Republicans that he intends to host a candidate forum next Tuesday and the speaker election on Wednesday.

What they’re saying: Oscillating from candid to jovial to angry, McCarthy took over a dozen questions in a lengthy press conference tonight in which he insisted he “wouldn’t change a thing” about his tenure.

· McCarthy had harsh words for Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) — the chief architect of his ouster — as well as the seven other Republicans who joined with Democrats to remove him from office.

· “They are not conservatives,” he argued, unleashing on his GOP colleagues. “Look, you all know Matt Gaetz. You know it was personal.”

· “Unfortunately, 4% of our conference can join all the Democrats and dictate who can be the Republican speaker,” McCarthy said. “I don’t think that rule is good for the institution, but apparently I’m the only one.”
House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) is the likely front-runner for speaker, but other potential candidates — including Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Kevin Hern (R-Okla.) — could also attract significant support.

(Courtesy : The hill)