WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A handful of Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday ousted Republican Speaker Kevin McCarthy, as party infighting plunged Congress into further chaos just days after it narrowly averted a government shutdown.
The 216-to-210 vote marked the first time in history that the House removed its leader, with eight Republicans voting with 208 Democrats to remove McCarthy.
The rebellion was led by Representative Matt Gaetz, a far-right Republican from Florida and McCarthy antagonist who accused the party leader of not doing enough to cut federal spending or to stand up to Democratic President Joe Biden.
“Kevin McCarthy is a creature of the swamp. He has risen to power by collecting special interest money and redistributing that money in exchange for favors. We are breaking the fever now,” Gaetz told reporters after the vote.