History was made on Tuesday when the House of Representatives voted 216 to 210 to remove Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) from the role of Speaker of the House. After Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) acted to force a vote on a motion to vacate the office of the speaker on Monday evening, a total of eight Republicans joined Democrats to oust McCarthy during a roll call vote on Tuesday.
On Wednesday’s show, Megyn was joined by Chris Stirewalt, contributing editor at The Dispatch, to discuss the unprecedented move and what comes next for the House and the GOP.
History Is Made
While former speakers of the House have resigned amid a loss of support from their caucus, McCarthy became the first speaker of the House in U.S. history to ever be voted out of the job.
In an effort to win the speakership earlier this year, McCarthy agreed to a rules change that allowed any single lawmaker to file a so-called ‘motion to vacate.’ That was used against him on Monday when Gaetz followed through on his ongoing threat to oust McCarthy from office by introducing a motion to vacate in response to the stopgap funding agreement the former Speaker and Republicans reached with House Democrats on Saturday to temporarily avert a government shutdown.
A roll call vote followed on Tuesday afternoon. The final tally was 216 to 210, with eight Republicans – Gaetz, Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona, Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado, Rep. Tim Burchett of Tennessee, Rep. Eli Crane of Arizona, Rep. Bob Good of Virginia, Rep. Nancy Mace of South Carolina, and Rep. Matt Rosendale of Montana – joining 208 Democrats to oust McCarthy.
Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) was named speaker pro tempore and will serve in the office until a new speaker is chosen. McCarthy has said he will not run again and a vote is planned for October 11.
‘They Find a Way to Lose’
On a day in which First Son Hunter Biden was at a Delaware courthouse entering a not guilty plea to federal gun charges (a first for a sitting president’s son) and poll after poll shows decreasing support for President Joe Biden and his handling of issues like the economy and immigration, the House GOP turned the spotlight on themselves. “Even when they’re winning, [Republicans] will find a way to lose,” Megyn said. “We’ve always said, never underestimate the Republicans’ ability to screw it up.”
In Stirewalt’s view, what happened to McCarthy is reflective of a shift that has been underway in the GOP for about a decade. “Starting with the 2010 election, there’s been a revolution inside the Republican conference and it has intensified over time,” he explained. It is responsible, he noted, for the downfall of former Speakers of the House John Boehner (R-OH) in 2015 and Paul Ryan (R-WI) in 2019 and now McCarthy.
Stirewalt believes “the problem with revolutions” like this one is that “they burn themselves out” because a movement that starts with “we all want something different” never quite lands on what that “something different” actually is. “The answer continues to be, ‘Well, not that. I just don’t want that,’” he said.
Both Megyn and Stirewalt agreed that narrative has now shifted out of the Republicans’ favor. “They could have had headlines about Hunter Biden, and Joe Biden, and the impeachment inquiry, and instead we have headlines about the meltdown inside the House GOP and how they can’t even run the one body that they now control,” Megyn concluded. “The Democrats… get in line when they have to… and the Republicans just wind up killing each other in the circular firing squad.”
You can check out Megyn’s full interview with Stirewalt by tuning in to episode 640 on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you like to listen. And don’t forget that you can catch The Megyn Kelly Show live on SiriusXM’s Triumph (channel 111) weekdays from 12pm to 2pm ET.