Former Speaker Kevin McCarthy announces he’s resigning from Congress

Republican Congressman Kevin McCarthy, the first speaker to be removed from power in the midst of a congressional term this fall, announced on Wednesday his resignation from office at the end of this month. This departure deals a setback to his successor, Speaker Mike Johnson, and the House Republicans, exacerbating their already slim majority and complicating the legislative landscape for 2024.

In an op-ed published in The Wall Street Journal, McCarthy said, “Regardless of the challenges or personal sacrifices, we upheld the principles. While this may seem unconventional in today’s Washington, delivering tangible outcomes for the American people remains widely celebrated throughout the nation.”

Expressing a commitment to new endeavors in service to the country, McCarthy emphasized, “I believe my journey is just beginning.” He pledged to continue recruiting talented individuals for elected positions, asserting, “The Republican Party is growing, and I am dedicated to leveraging my expertise to support the emerging leaders of the next generation.”

McCarthy’s timeline for departure precedes the February 13 special election to replace expelled Representative George Santos, diminishing the Republican majority to 220 members compared to 213 Democrats. This tight margin implies that House Republicans can only afford to lose three votes before requiring Democratic support to pass legislation.

In a video message, McCarthy reflected on his tenure, citing accomplishments and expressing faith in the nation. Although he did not divulge specific plans for the future, he indicated a desire to pursue his passion in a new arena.

Ousted from the speakership on October 3, McCarthy faced a contentious race for his replacement. A group of eight Republican rebels, led by Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida, orchestrated the first-ever mid-session removal of a speaker. McCarthy acknowledged concerns about the institutional impact and hinted at regrets regarding his support for some of those lawmakers.

Amid speculation about the potential challenges for Republicans, McCarthy’s departure, anticipated since his removal, introduces fresh uncertainties for the party. Representing a reliably Republican district in Bakersfield, California, McCarthy’s seat is expected to remain in Republican hands when it goes to the voters again.





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