J. Scott Applewhite Associated Press Republican leader of the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, speaking to reporters Tuesday
Inès Bel Aiba – Agence France-Presse and Camille Camdessus – Agence France-Presse in Washington
17 h 18
- United States
Republican leader of the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, was ousted from his post on Tuesday , victim of fratricidal quarrels within his party. Such a vote had not taken place for more than a century in the United States.
An elected official from the American hard right, Matt Gaetz, had tabled a motion to dismiss the “speaker”, yet member of his party.
He mainly criticizes Kevin McCarthy for having negotiated with elected Democrats a provisional budget to finance the federal administration which many conservatives opposed. He also accuses the Republican tenor of having concluded a “secret agreement” with President Joe Biden on a possible future package for Ukraine.
However, the right wing of the Republican Party is strongly opposed to the release of additional funds for Kiev, believing that this money should instead be used to fight the migration crisis on the border between the United States and Mexico.
This procedural impeachment maneuver, very rarely used in American parliamentary history, triggered a perilous showdown in the lower house.
The President of the House of Representatives was nevertheless confident on Tuesday. “I think I'll hold on,” Kevin McCarthy said, a few hours before the motion of censure was considered.
But it doesn't matter that the immense majority of Kevin McCarthy's parliamentary group supports him publicly: the Trumpists have a de facto veto in this institution, given the very thin Republican majority.
No speaker has ever been ousted from office in the history of the United States.
To get out of this impasse, the fifty-year-old attempted to use a series of procedural maneuvers, notably calling for adjournment of the examination of the impeachment motion. But these attempts had all failed, increasing the pressure on the California elected official.
Kevin McCarthy, 58, had already been elected by force in January, due to the very slim Republican majority.
To reach the perch, he had to make enormous concessions with around twenty Trumpists, including the possibility that any elected official would have the power to call a vote to dismiss him.
A promise that came back to haunt him on Tuesday.