Former Speaker of the House Announces Retirement

Former Speaker of the House Announces Retirement

( – Just over two months ago, Representative Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) seemed to be going places. Elected in January as Speaker of the House, he’d risen to become one of the most powerful members of Congress. Then, on October 3, that all came crashing down after fellow House Republican Matt Gaetz (R-FL) filed a motion to vacate the speakership — and eight Republicans voted with the Democrats to remove McCarthy.

With Representative Mike Johnson (R-LA) installed as Speaker, McCarthy returned to the back benches. It doesn’t look as if that role suits him anymore, though, because, on December 6, he wrote an op-ed for the “Wall Street Journal” about his brief experience as speaker — he was the only speaker ever to be forced out by a motion to vacate — and his future plans.

He was upbeat about his work as a congressman, pointing out several successes from his tenure, including cutting $2 trillion off the country’s massive budget deficit and paying the military despite the threat of government shutdowns. However, it was his reluctance to allow a shutdown that provoked Gaetz into torpedoing him, and it seems his energy has run out. In the WSJ article, he announced he has “decided to depart the House at the end of this year to serve America in new ways.”

McCarthy didn’t give any hint as to what those “new ways” might be, but his House GOP colleagues are more likely to be worried about keeping control of the lower chamber. The Republicans only had a slim majority of four House seats, and on December 1, Representative George Santos (R-NY) was expelled from the House over his manufactured resume and alleged crimes. With McCarthy now leaving too, that leaves the GOP with no wiggle room at all. Depending on how the special elections to replace the two go, Republicans could end up regretting their decision to dethrone the former speaker.

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