By Marco Valle
For the second time this year, the House of Representatives is forced to find a way to avoid a government shutdown. Amidst this crisis on Capitol Hill, new issues have risen involving House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Ca.) Speaker McCarthy has held his position since the retirement of Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca.) earlier this year. McCarthy was elected on January 7 after a lengthy election process with hopes of completing his term without too much controversy. His plans of having a smooth term were challenged earlier this week when Representative Matt Gaetz (R-Fl.) pushed to have McCarthy removed as House Speaker. Gaetz’s motion to remove Speaker McCarthy from his position succeeded on October 3, with a vote of 216 in favor and 210 against.
Reproduced with permission from Wikimedia Commons
Following an avoided shutdown of the government, Representative Kevin McCarthy has been ousted as House Speaker, leaving the position vacant for a replacement.
“Although they have their reasons to vote out their speaker, I’m not sure if they quite understand to the greatest extent how important a speaker is and how much of a challenging process it can be to find a new speaker,” freshman Anjali Kamdar said. “Going through the process of selecting and voting on a new candidate would take time that they might not have taken into consideration.”
In an attempt to stall another government shutdown late last month, Speaker McCarthy collaborated with Democrats to extend government funding for an extra 45 days. While some believe former Speaker McCarthy demonstrated his influence as speaker through bipartisan collaboration, others believe the former speaker secretly avoided the Freedom Caucus and collaborated with Democrats to prevent a government shutdown. According to the voting results of the bill, it was supported by all but one of the House Democrats, while it was opposed by 90 Republicans. Representative Gaetz and other members of the Freedom Caucus were displeased with McCarthy’s actions, leading many members of the Freedom Caucus to rally together and demand the removal of Speaker McCarthy, eventually resulting in his ousting. Though Gaetz did successfully help vacate the Speaker position, his move was seen as controversial, even within his own party.
“He made many concessions to far-right members of Congress in order to get the votes necessary to become Speaker and, when these individuals felt like McCarthy wasn’t benefiting their interests, they called to remove him,” senior Ethan Mehta said. “With a possible government shutdown looming and the house not able to meet until a new speaker is appointed, I am concerned for the future.”
The announced candidates were Steve Scalise, Jim Jordan, Tom Emmer, Tom Cole, Patrick McHenry, Mike Johnson and Lee Zeldin. As of now, the Republican Party has chosen to nominate Steve Scalise for the position. Americans all around the country are eagerly waiting for the announcement of who will be replacing the former Speaker McCarthy.
“There is an immense pressure placed on the Republican Party to find a replacement quickly,” social studies teacher Dr. D'Orsogna said. “The government cannot function without the House of Representatives and speakers allow the house to conduct business. The fact that one person could allow the entire government to come to a standstill, in a system that is supposed to stop that, is scary.”