It is an extremely unusual step and very rare in US history: a Republican representative has introduced a motion to remove the chairman of the US House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy. The radical Republican Matt Gaetz announced his initiative in the plenary session of the Congressional Chamber. In this way he wants to remove his party colleague McCarthy from the top office. However, it is questionable whether this will succeed.

Gaetz accused McCarthy of colluding with Democratic President Joe Biden instead of working for the Republican faction. The reason is the budget dispute in the USA. The hardliner Gaetz does not agree with how McCarthy used the votes of Democrats to avert an impending government shutdown at the last moment over the weekend. On Saturday, Congress passed an interim budget until mid-November.

Historic step with an uncertain outcome

Gaetz’s proposal does not mean that McCarthy will automatically lose his job. This would require a majority in the House of Representatives. A vote could also be prevented with motions. The Chamber of Congress will have to deal with this in the coming days. No chairman of the House of Representatives has ever lost his office as a result of such a move, and such a motion has only occurred sporadically in recent decades.

McCarthy had recently appeared confident of victory and assured that he would never give up and would overcome this resistance. It is unclear how many MPs could ultimately join Gaetz and vote against McCarthy. So far there is no opposing candidate that the different wings of the deeply fragmented faction could agree on. However, Gaetz has already announced that, if in doubt, he would submit such a request against McCarthy several times in order to achieve his goal.

McCarthy was only elected to office in the 15th ballot in January and is considered to have been severely weakened by the initial shake-up. At that time, he had to go a long way toward accommodating the radical right in his group in order to be elected to his position with the help of their votes – among other things, under their pressure, the threshold for a motion for removal was significantly lowered. The radical MPs have been relentlessly pushing McCarthy ever since.