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The Paw Print

The Speaker of the House Ousted


For the first time in American history, the Speaker of the House has been removed. But what does this really mean?


Well, first of all, what does the Speaker of the House do? defines the position as “the majority political party leader in the House, which is one of the most powerful jobs in Washington. In addition, the Speaker controls the order of all institutional business on the House floor.” They represent the House in matters regarding the president or Senate. They also are in control of spending and taxing citizens. 


So in summary, they are pretty important. In fact, so important that they are second-in-line, behind the Vice President. Which means they have a lot of power. But with great power comes great responsibility. And as of October 3, 2023, California Republican Kevin McCarthy cannot handle it. At least, according to the 216 members of the House that voted for his removal. 


Republican Matt Gaetz of Florida forced a motion to vacate the speaker’s office after McCarthy worked with Democrats to avert a government shutdown. He led a group of eight Republicans along with 208 Democrats. 


Obviously, the House is in a state of chaos, especially with the impending government shutdown approaching. Biden is urging the House to “quickly elect” a replacement. The question is who will assume the position now?


McCarthy does not intend to run for reelection, so several other candidates have expressed their interest. House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, a Republican from Louisiana, has officially announced that he will be pursuing the speakership. Former President Donald Trump has endorsed Republican Jim Jordan from Ohio. And Oklahoma representative Kevin Hern, who serves as chair of the Republican Study Committee that leads the largest faction of Republicans in the chamber, may also run. 


Now, according to a recent CBS News poll, 60% of U.S. adults support the removal of McCarthy. 54% of conservatives expressed approval for the ousting compared to 70% of Americans who identify as liberals backing the move. The public appears mostly appeased by the ousting. However, what will be the reaction to the new speaker? We’ll find out next Tuesday if the decision has been made as hastily as the White House is expecting. 

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