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Former Speaker of the House, Kevin McCarthy to Resign from Congress

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Representative Kevin McCarthy, former Speaker of the House, said Wednesday he will resign from Congress at the end of the month.

In an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, McCarthy (R-Calif) announced he would resign from Congress, writing “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. I know my work is only getting started.”

In a video on X, formerly Twitter, McCarthy said, “It is time to pursue my passion in a new arena. While I’ll be departing the House at the end of this year, I will never ever give up fighting for this country.”

McCarthy has represented California as a Representative since 2007, quickly rising the leadership ranks of the Republican caucus. He rose to Chief Deputy Whip in the 2009-2011 session before becoming the Majority Whip in 2011, holding the position until 2014. McCarthy would become the Leader of the Republican party in the House of Representatives in 2014, holding that position until becoming Speaker of the House earlier this year.

Removal from Speaker

However, McCarthy’s tenure as Speaker was short-lived, being removed by Republicans in October. Some Republicans cited the federal budget continuing resolution as the reason for the no-confidence vote. Other Republicans cited a distrust of McCarthy as the primary reason.  

Speculation has grown of McCarthy’s exit from Congress since the vote of no confidence on his tenure as Speaker of the House. Problems have continued to grow between Republicans in the House and McCarthy since his removal as Speaker. The issues boiled over in November, when McCarthy had reportedly elbowed Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN) in the kidney. Burchett was one of the votes to oust McCarthy from the Speakership.

Fallout from the Resignation

Republicans will be hurt by his resignation. Last week, Republicans voted to expel George Santos from the House, citing ethics violations. This expulsion lowered the Republican majority in the House from 4 seats to 3. Now, with McCarthy’s announcement the majority will drop to 2 going into 2024. On top of this, Ohio Representative Bill Johnson will likely resign to assume the position of President of Youngstown University. Further, lowering the majority down to 1 seat until special elections are held. 

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson’s (R-LA) tenure as Speaker has been difficult. The already slim majority has made passing legislation nearly impossible if there are any absences on the Republican side or any disagreement.

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