Monday 11 December 2023

McCarthy Gives Parting Advice To Speaker Johnson

 As he prepares to retire from Congress, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) shared advice for Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA), who succeeded him in the role after McCarthy was ousted from it in October.

In an interview with CBS News, clips of which aired during “Face the Nation” on Sunday, McCarthy encouraged Johnson not to fret over the rule by which a single member can propose a no-confidence vote in the speaker — the very mechanism by which McCarthy was removed.

“I think the best advice I could give to him: you’re the speaker of the House. Do not — do not govern in the idea that you’re afraid somebody’s going to make a motion to vacate,” McCarthy said.

Citing frustrations with McCarthy’s leadership, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) filed a “motion to vacate the chair” in early October after the House passed a short-term spending bill to avert a government shutdown. In the no-confidence vote that followed, Gaetz and seven other Republicans joined with Democrats to remove McCarthy from the speakership. McCarthy had only been serving as speaker since January.

“When I made the decision to pay our troops and not shut down, I knew they were going to make a motion to vacate on me. I didn’t even know the Democrats would go along with it. But what I did know is, I had been in that room before. I had watched what had failed,” McCarthy said.

“And I knew, at that moment, that when I thought before I ran for office, you would always tell yourself, would you do what you think was right? Would you literally risk your job and do it? You say you would, but when you came to that moment, I hope history writes that I actually did what I said I would do before I ever got elected when that moment came,” he added. “And I would do it all again, because I hope others would look at that and do the exact same thing. It was right.”

The House elected Johnson as its 56th speaker in late October, ending a weeks-long stalemate that ensued after McCarthy got voted out of the role. Last week, McCarthy announced that he will retire from the House by the end of the year — about one half of the way through the current session of Congress.


In the interview, McCarthy quipped that he would “still be in it” if he was the “best to give advice.” He also opined that Johnson is “doing fine” so far despite the abrupt turn of events.

Pressed on the GOP’s shrinking majority in the House following the expulsion of Rep. George Santos (R-NY), Johnson shared his view on what it will take for Republicans to get anything done.

“We have to keep the team together and I think everybody understands the importance of the job that we have to do. We have to demonstrate we can govern well,” Johnson told Fox News. “When we do that, I think we’ll expand the majority and we’ll be in a much better situation in the next round.”

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