WASHINGTON – Kevin McCarthy was removed from the speakership of the US House of Representatives on Tuesday in a historic vote prompted by a revolt from the top Republican's right flank.
The 216-210 vote saw eight Republican lawmakers and all present Democrats vote to remove him from the post.
The House adjourned shortly after the vote concluded.
Republican Rep. Patrick McHenry was appointed interim speaker until a leader is officially selected.
A vote will now need to be held to elect a successor. It is unclear who will ultimately take that role, and McCarthy could mount another bid to resume his post, but it is unlikely that he would be able to secure enough votes from within his caucus given the stalwart opposition evidenced during Tuesday's vote.
A simple majority was needed in the chamber to force McCarthy's removal. The House Republican Conference is expected to meet later Tuesday evening.
Rep. Matt Gaetz introduced the "motion to vacate" the chair on Monday and took to the House floor on Tuesday afternoon to launch a broadside against McCarthy, accusing him of failing to live up to his word.
"The one thing that the White House, House Democrats, and many of us on the conservative side of the Republican caucus would argue is the thing we have in common: Kevin McCarthy said something to all of us at one point or another that he didn't really mean and never intended to live up to," he said.
"I don't think voting against Kevin McCarthy is chaos. I think USD33 trillion in debt is chaos. I think that facing a USD2.2 trillion annual deficit is chaos. I think that not passing single-subject spending bills is chaos."
In addition to Gaetz, Republican Representatives Andy Biggs, Ken Buck, Tim Burchett, Eli Crane, Bob Good, Nancy Mace, and Matt Rosendale voted to end McCarthy's speakership.
Tuesday's no-confidence vote is the first in US history to result in the removal of a House speaker.
McCarthy earlier this year lowered the threshold needed to bring a motion to vacate to the House floor in a concession to Gaetz's wing of the Republican Party that saw him assume the speakership. (Anadolu)