Kevin McCarthy won’t run for speaker again


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Washington — Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said Tuesday he would not run for the leadership position again after he was ousted from the role Tuesday.

“I may have lost the vote today, but as I walk out of this chamber I feel fortunate to have served the American people,” McCarthy told reporters. “I leave the speakership with a sense of pride, accomplishment and, yes, optimism.”

House Republicans met Tuesday night to discuss the next steps. It’s unclear who has enough support to win the gavel.

Rep. Patrick McHenry of North Carolina, who was appointed speaker pro tempore, told lawmakers in the meeting that a candidate forum is expected Oct. 10, and a potential vote would be Oct. 11, according to Rep. Bob Good of Virginia.

In an unprecedented vote removing the speaker, eight Republicans voted with all Democrats to dismiss the California Republican after he had expressed confidence for days that he would remain in the job.

The no-confidence vote was brought by Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, who 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. In order to win over far-right Republicans, 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.

After McCarthy was ousted, Gaetz told reporters that he would require the future speaker to keep the one-person threshold to bring a motion to vacate.

He floated House Majority Leader Steve Scalise of Louisiana to be the next speaker, telling reporters he would make a “phenomenal speaker.”

“The best way to advance the conservative agenda is to move forward with a new speaker,” he said.

Jack Turman contributed reporting. 

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