In a historic first, the US House of Representatives voted on Tuesday to remove Rep. Kevin McCarthy as House Speaker.
The motion to dismiss McCarthy was approved by a majority of 216 to 210. Among the 216 lawmakers who voted in favor of the motion were eight members of McCarthy's Republican party.
Hours after the vote, McCarthy announced he would not run for speaker again.
“I will not seek to run again for Speaker of the House,” McCarthy wrote in a post on X. “I may have lost a vote today, but I fought for what I believe in—and I believe in America. It has been an honor to serve.”
The motion to oust McCarthy was put forward by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) on Monday. Before Tuesday’s vote, no House speaker had ever been ousted through the passage of a resolution to remove them.
In addition to Gaetz, the Republicans who voted to oust McCarthy were: Andy Biggs, Ken Buck, Tim Burchett, Eli Crane, Bob Good, Nancy Mace and Matt Rosendale.
Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) has assumed the role of temporary speaker and is now overseeing the chamber.
The House will now need to elect a new speaker, but there is no clear alternative who would have the support needed to win a vote.
Gaetz called McCarthy "a creature of the swamp" following his ouster as Speaker of the House.
"He has risen to power by collecting special interest money and redistributing that money in exchange for favors," Gaetz said, adding, "We are breaking the fever and we should elect a speaker who is better."
Asked if he would now nominate Rep. Steve Scalise for speaker, Gaetz said, "I think the world of Steve Scalise. I think he would make a phenomenal speaker."