Conn. (WTNH) – Multiple lawmakers from Connecticut are reacting after the House voted Tuesday night to remove Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) as Speaker.
In a 216-210 vote, McCarthy was removed as Speaker of the House in a never-before-seen vote. Every Democrat in the chamber voted for McCarthy’s removal, along with eight Republicans.
Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) was immediately declared Speaker pro tempore after the vote and will hold that position until a new Speaker is elected.
Lawmakers from Connecticut are now reacting to the vote. Below are some reactions and statements on the vote:
Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro
“This is a solemn day for the House of Representatives. Instead of working on legislation that helps Americans deal with rising costs, raises wages, or protects vital programs like Social Security and Medicare, our chamber has once again been paralyzed by House Republican extremism.
Since January, Kevin McCarthy has allowed the extreme right-wing in his party to disrupt our work as legislators, pursue baseless investigations into President Biden, and bring an end to any work they deem too bipartisan. Week after week, this institution has endured legislative chaos and uncertainty. They brought our nation to the brink of default in May, and they brought our government to the brink of a shutdown last weekend. Time and time again, House Republicans have proven themselves incapable of governing – and that has consequences.
This level of dysfunction is unprecedented, and it prevents us from being able to do our jobs as lawmakers. For these reasons, I voted to remove Kevin McCarthy as Speaker of the House.”
Representative Joe Courtney
“Throughout my time in Congress, I have repeatedly found common ground with Republicans to get real results for eastern Connecticut.
For example, last May, I voted with Speaker McCarthy to prevent a catastrophic default on the full faith and credit of our nation, as well as a bipartisan blueprint for the 2024 federal budget that cut the deficit. The ink was barely dry on that measure and he abandoned his commitment to it, in order to placate extreme Republicans in his caucus. This fecklessness led us to the brink of a government shutdown, which once again Democrats had to intervene in order save him from himself.
In July, when the House Armed Services Committee passed the annual defense bill 58-1, extreme Republicans turned against it on the House floor, and once again, Speaker McCarthy abandoned that bipartisan path and jammed it with poison pills to satisfy the far right.
The Motion to Vacate today is the latest consequence of extreme Republicans’ choke hold on the rules of the People’s House that McCarthy endorsed last January which are feeding a civil war in the Majority caucus. It is clear that a bipartisan pathway in a closely divided House is needed to stabilize the Congress. Such a pathway would enable a center left and center right coalition to do the people’s business. Kevin McCarthy has signaled repeatedly he is unwilling to follow that solution. For that reason, I voted ‘yes’ on the Republican Motion to Vacate the Chair.”
Congressman Jim Himes
“Last week, Democrats averted a government shutdown by supporting a Republican stop-gap bill which would otherwise have failed. With that vote, we proved once again that bipartisanship, not performative infighting, is the key to strong government.
It is time for Republicans to stop catering to the radical extremes of their caucus, and instead reach across the aisle to pass moderate, thoughtful legislation that focuses on helping Americans. I hope that, after this historic vote to remove the Speaker, the House can move towards more productive pursuits with that purpose in mind.”
Representative John B. Larson
“This is a sad day for the institution of the United States Congress,” said Larson. “The last time a motion to vacate was made was 113 years ago, but that vote failed, showing the severity of the split within the Republican Conference today. Only Republicans spoke on the floor as we considered this motion, which further underscores the turmoil they face. Kevin McCarthy’s inability to keep his word with Republican members, with the President, and with Democrats, was of his own doing. Hopefully they have learned that shutting down the government and cutting vital programs for the American people like Social Security is not the direction the nation needs to go in. Democrats remain united behind Hakeem Jeffries and our agenda to solve the everyday issues facing Americans: putting people back to work, lowering costs for families, expanding Social Security, and protecting women’s reproductive rights.”
Congresswoman Jahana Hayes
“As a history teacher, an American and someone who believes wholeheartedly in government this day is chilling. For months we have witnessed the inability to govern by the House Republican majority, and now the chaos of their conference has come to a climax in the worst possible way. All of our institutions are being tested and I pray that Republicans will work with Democrats to elect a Speaker of the House and find a path forward that keeps our government working for the American people.”
Senator Richard Blumenthal
“Republicans need to end the chaos, and get back to the work of governing on behalf of the American people. We need to fund the government beyond 45 days, fight the fentanyl epidemic, and help our Ukrainian allies defeat Vladimir Putin. We have work to do.”