The United States House of Representatives has voted to remove Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, the result of infighting within his own party and persistent challenges from its rightward flank.
McCarthy was expelled from his role in a 216-210 vote on Tuesday evening, the first time in US history that the House has voted to remove its leader.
“Speaker McCarthy has failed to take a stand where it matters,” far-right Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz, who launched the effort to remove McCarthy, said in a social media post before the vote. “So if he won’t, I will.”
The unprecedented vote underscores growing turmoil in the Republican Party, also known as the GOP, with its hard-right faction sparring with McCarthy on several occasions since he first became the speaker in January. There is no clear choice within the party to replace him.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said President Joe Biden hoped the House would quickly select a new speaker, saying the “urgent challenges facing our nation will not wait”.