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House speaker ousted by Congressman Matt Gaetz, setting historic precedent

U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., became the primary Congressman in U.S. history to successfully push through a motion to vacate a House speaker after filing the historic motion Monday night.

In a 216-210 vote on Tuesday, Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., was faraway from the highest position within the House. Gaetz’s motion to vacate ordinarily would have needed 218 votes, but that threshold was lowered to 214 on account of absences.

Nearly 115 years have passed because the House last voted on a motion to vacate a speaker, USA Today reported. That vote was triggered in 1910 against then-Speaker Joseph Cannon, R-Sick.

In 2015, then-Rep. Mark Meadows filed a motion against Speaker John Boehner, nevertheless it never made it to a floor vote.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) answers questions outside the U.S. Capitol after successfully leading a vote to remove Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) from the office of Speaker of the House October 3, 2023 in Washington, DC. McCarthy was removed by a motion to vacate, an effort led by a handful of conservative members of his own party.

Gaetz ousts McCarthy as House speaker: McCarthy’s job as House speaker on the road as Democrats refuse to stop Gaetz push: live updates

A House speaker had previously never been removed via a motion to vacate. Boehner resigned months after Meadows’ motion amid continued dissent in his party.

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