What’s Next? Kevin McCarthy Is Out as House Speaker. Could It Lead to a Rise in Power for Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries?

Kevin McCarthy has just been ousted from his position as Speaker of the House after an effort by hard-right House Republicans led to a historic removal, the first of its kind to date.

So, what could this mean, considering a pivotal seat in Congress is up for grabs, and both parties are scrambling to appoint a new House Speaker?

Well, Democrats believe that Rep. Hakeem Jeffries has a solid shot at the title.

Minority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives, Hakeem Jeffries (Photo: Getty Images)

For some background, McCarthy was already facing intense scrutiny and criticism from his fellow GOP congressmen, especially hardline conservatives who worked to undermine his agenda, which reportedly wasn’t aligned with the party at large.

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Donald Trump loyalists like Rep. Matt Gaetz and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene gave him a hard time for not taking measures that would impede the proceedings of Trump’s various criminal indictments, support efforts to fund the war in Ukraine, or even support articles of impeachment against President Joe Biden. They deemed his oversight of the legislation needed to keep the federal government open as shaky after working with House Democrats.

Gaetz introduced the motion to vacate his seat, which was met with a 216-210 vote, making McCarthy the first-ever House Speaker to be dismissed from his post in the middle of a term.

House Democrats signaled their support for the removal effort early on, according to a letter written by House Minority Leader Jeffries, detailing their overwhelming dissatisfaction with McCarthy’s work as Speaker:

Now, Democrats are moving to make Jeffries speaker of the House, which is quickly gaining support among Democratic congressional members and the public.

So, what’s next?

The House is now in recess after the vote, but the rules of the 118th Congress state that “in the case of a vacancy in the office of Speaker, the next member” named on a list submitted by McCarthy to the Clerk of the House in January will become Speaker pro tempore until a Speaker is elected, as reported by CBS News.

“Pending such election, the member acting as Speaker pro tempore may exercise such authorities of the Office of Speaker as may be necessary and appropriate to that end,” the rules state.

The first person on McCarthy’s list was Rep. Patrick McHenry of North Carolina, who was announced and appointed Speaker pro tempore.

It’s still uncertain who could win the approval of enough House members to become the next official House Speaker, but McHenry will serve in the role until a new Speaker is elected.

Even if Jeffries garners enough support from his party, Republicans still hold a majority in the House of Representatives, with 221 to 212 seats.

It’s also unclear how long it might take to elect McCarthy’s successor. It took 15 rounds of voting over a span of four days just to elect McCarthy, and that was only after McCarthy conceded to comply with their demands.

Read the original story here.

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