House Speaker McCarthy ousted

House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy has been ousted after a right-wing backbench revolt.

McCarthy was removed as leader of the Republican majority in the lower chamber of Congress in a 216-210 vote.

Ultra-conservative frustration over his leadership boiled over at the weekend when he struck a deal with Senate Democrats to fund government agencies.

It is the first time ever that a US House Speaker has been removed via a motion to vacate.

Florida Republican Matt Gaetz, a Trump ally who filed the procedural tool on Monday night to oust the California congressman, has accused him of making a secret deal with the White House to continue funding for Ukraine.

Ahead of Tuesday’s debate, the Speaker defended his decision to forge a pact with Democrats to avert a partial government shutdown late on Saturday.

McCarthy said: “Keeping the government open and paying our troops was the right decision.

“I stand by that decision and at the end of the day if I have to lose my job over it, so be it.”

He only became Speaker in January after a gruelling 15 rounds of voting in the chamber as Gaetz and other right-wingers refused to support him.

Eight Republicans voted to oust McCarthy in Tuesday’s vote. Another 210 – all Republicans – voted to keep McCarthy in the role.

But Democrats joined with the Speaker’s Republican critics to topple him.

Earlier on Tuesday, Democratic House Leader Hakeem Jeffries said in a letter to colleagues that he would not provide the votes needed to rescue McCarthy.

“At the end of the day, the country needs a Speaker that can be relied upon,” said Democratic California Representative Adam Schiff.

“We don’t trust him. Their members don’t trust him. And you need a certain degree of trust to be the Speaker.” (BBC)

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