Lawmakers in the House of Representatives voted to remove Speaker Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from California, from his leadership position. This historic decision marks the first time in the chamber’s history that a sitting Speaker has been ousted by a House vote.
The dramatic vote occurred with a final tally of 216 in favor of McCarthy’s ouster and 210 against, with eight Republicans crossing party lines to join every present Democrat in their decision to vacate the Speaker’s chair.
The motion to vacate was introduced by Representative Matt Gaetz, a Republican from Florida, who accused McCarthy of reneging on promises made during his bid to become Speaker earlier this year.
Before the decisive vote, tensions ran high during a heated hour of debate, where 11 Republicans broke ranks with their party to advance the motion. McCarthy’s supporters dominated the microphones on the GOP side of the chamber. This forced Gatez to make his argument and case against McCarthy from the opposing seat where Democrats normally sit.
Gaetz didn’t mince words, declaring, “Chaos is Speaker McCarthy. Chaos is somebody who we cannot trust with their word.” McCarthy’s allies responded with anger, accusing Gaetz and his colleagues of using the motion for fundraising purposes, prompting chants of “shame” on the House GOP side.
The exchange escalated as Gaetz defended his actions, stating, “When it comes to how those raise money, I take no lecture on asking patriotic Americans to weigh in and contribute to this fight from those who would grovel and bend knee for the lobbyists and special interests who own our leadership.”
Throughout this political turmoil, Democrats remained firm in their stance, showing no inclination to support McCarthy. House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, a Democrat from New York, expressed their position before the vote, emphasizing that while Democrats were ready to find bipartisan common ground, their Republican colleagues had not demonstrated the same willingness. He referenced the drawn-out process it took for McCarthy to secure the Speaker’s role in January.
The root of this Republican upheaval stems from McCarthy’s recent decision to pass a short-term spending bill, known as a continuing resolution (CR), to keep the government funded for 45 days.
This move aimed to avoid a government shutdown and grant lawmakers more time to negotiate 12 separate spending bills. However, it drew backlash from 90 House Republicans who deemed it a continuation of the previous Democratic-led Congress’s policies.
According to reports from Fox News, McCarthy’s attempts to propose a CR with spending cuts were thwarted by some of the same conservative members now opposed to the clean extension. This frustration with a small faction of rebels simmered among House Republicans throughout the ordeal.
Furthermore, Main Street Caucus Vice Chair Stephanie Bice, a Republican from Oklahoma, voiced her discontent, saying, “This is a distraction from what we should be focusing on, which is the appropriations process. This is all about Matt Gaetz. It’s not about Kevin McCarthy. Matt Gaetz is using the American people as pawns in his narcissistic game of charades.”
The removal of Speaker Kevin McCarthy signals a historic moment in the House of Representatives, leaving the Republican Party facing a significant leadership challenge and raising questions about the future direction of the GOP.
DOJ says FBI informant on Biden had ‘high-level’ contacts with Russian intelligence
In a memorandum filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada to support Alexander Smirnov’s continued pre-trial detention, the Department of Justice(DOJ) wrote that he claimed to have had “contacts with multiple foreign intelligence agencies…[who] could resettle Smirnov outside the United States if he were released.”
Smirnov, a dual citizen of the United States and Israel, was arrested and charged on Feb. 14 with making false statements to the FBI about Biden’s connections to the Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings Limited, which employed his son Hunter Biden as a member of the board with a monthly salary of $50,000 during his term as vice president.
“During his custodial interview on February 14, Smirnov admitted that officials associated with Russian intelligence were involved in passing a story about [Hunter Biden],” wrote special counsel David Weiss in the filing. “Smirnov apparently attended a separate meeting with Russian Official 1, [an] individual who controls groups that are engaged in overseas assassination efforts.”
The Daily Caller News Foundation reports that Smirnov was a confidential human source who provided information that was used to prepare a report, known as an FD-1023, about Joe Biden’s alleged connections to the Burisma business partners of Hunter Biden. That report has previously served as evidence contradictingJoe Biden’s claim that he knew nothing of his son’s business dealings; a notion at the center of an impeachment inquiry against him.
The FD-1023 detailing Smirnov’s claims was released by Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa on July 20, 2023, after it was provided to him by government whistleblowers. “[The] indictment confirms several points Senator Grassley has made repeatedly. The informant behind the FD-1023 was, indeed, a long-serving, trusted FBI source used by the agency for criminal investigations since the Obama administration. In fact, he was so trusted that the FBI provided him authorization ‘to engage in illegal activity for investigative purposes’,” a spokesperson for Grassley told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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