GOP Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California is resigning, 2 months after his ouster as House speaker

Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy Resigns from Congressional Seat in California

After his historic ouster as House speaker two months ago, Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy has announced his resignation from his congressional seat in California, marking a stunning end to his career. McCarthy, who once owned a deli in Bakersfield, ascended through state and national Politics to become second in line to the presidency before being voted out of the job as speaker, making him the only speaker in history to suffer that fate.

In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, McCarthy stated, “No matter the odds, or personal cost, we did the right thing. It is in this spirit that I have decided to depart the House at the end of this year to serve America in new ways.” His removal from the House speaker position was fueled by grievances from his party’s hard-right flank, particularly over his decision to work with Democrats to keep the federal government open rather than risk a shutdown.

McCarthy, who arrived in the House in 2007, served as majority whip and Republican leader before being elected speaker in January 2023. His elevation to the House’s top job foreshadowed a stormy tenure, given the deep divisions within the GOP and the party’s inability to govern.

Once installed as speaker, McCarthy’s well-known fundraising and political skills appeared ill-suited for corralling his party’s disputatious hard-right faction. His deals to become speaker, including a rules change that allowed any single lawmaker to file a motion to remove him, left him vulnerable.

McCarthy’s resignation from his congressional seat signifies the end of a turbulent and challenging period in his political career, as well as a shift in the GOP’s leadership landscape.

This development is historic as it marks the first time a speaker has been voted out of the job, signaling a significant change in the political dynamics of the Republican Party.

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