On Friday, former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy refuted rumors of his resignation from Congress following his unexpected removal from the speakership on Tuesday.
McCarthy firmly denied the reports from Politico that suggested he was contemplating leaving his position. In an interview with Fox’s Bret Baier, he asserted his commitment to staying in Congress, stating, “I am not leaving.”
CNN also reported McCarthy’s determination to continue his work, quoting him as saying, “We are going to keep the majority. I am going to help the people I got here, and we are going to expand it further.”
Politico’s initial report had cited anonymous sources claiming that McCarthy might stay in his seat until a new speaker was chosen next week to help the party stabilize after a significant upheaval.
McCarthy’s removal as House Speaker occurred in a close 216-210 vote on Tuesday, prompted by a motion introduced by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) to vacate the role. Several House Republicans joined Democrats in voting to remove McCarthy.
Gaetz had previously threatened such a move during McCarthy’s speakership, and the breaking point came after a dispute among Republican factions over preventing a government shutdown the previous week.
Patrick McHenry (R-NC) temporarily succeeded McCarthy as Speaker Pro Tempore until a permanent replacement is chosen next week. Three primary contenders have emerged for McCarthy’s replacement: House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA), Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), and Rep. Kevin Hern (R-OK).
Notably, their differing stances on Ukraine have become a significant issue in the race, with Jordan and Hern consistently voting against Ukraine, while Scalise has repeatedly supported funding for the embattled country.