Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell advised House Republicans to take away the rule that allows one member of Congress to call a vote to remove the speaker of the House.
GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz’s motion to vacate the chair resulted in Kevin McCarthy losing his speakership Tuesday, marking the first time a speaker lost the gavel in this fashion.
Gaetz, along with seven other Republicans, joined all the House Democrats to remove McCarthy. The final vote was 216-210.
“I think [McCarthy] has much to be proud of,” McConnell told reporters Wednesday, a day after the vote. “We avoided a government shutdown. We did the inevitable with regard to the debt ceiling, and I’m one person who’s extremely grateful for his service.”
“I have no advice to give to House Republicans except one, I hope whoever the next speaker is gets rid of the motion to vacate,” the minority leader continued.
“I think it makes the speaker’s job impossible. And the American people expect us to have a functioning government,” McConnell said.
Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) calls for the House to get rid of the motion-to-vacate rule for the position of House speaker, saying it makes governing “impossible.” pic.twitter.com/xpZbzz4yv7
— CSPAN (@cspan) October 4, 2023
On Tuesday shortly after the vote, McCarthy noted he had the backing of almost the entire Republican Caucus, but a few GOP members were able to join with the Democrats to remove him.
“In today’s world, if you’re sitting in Congress and you took a gamble to make sure government was still open, and eight people can throw you out as speaker — and the Democrats who said they wanted to keep government open — I think you’ve got a real divide,” McCarthy said.
“I think you’ve got a real institutional problem,” he added.
McCarthy recounted that after Republicans took control of the House last fall, Pelosi told him that she’d back him up, so not to worry about the one member can move to vacate the chair rule.
“I had the power to call the rule on her, but I never would,” he noted.
“Just give it to them. I’ll always back you up,” Pelosi said, according to McCarthy. “I made the same offer to [John] Boehner and the same thing to Paul [Ryan] because I believe in the institution,” she added.
“My fear is the institution fell today, because you can’t do the job if eight people — You have 94 percent or 96 percent of the entire conference — but eight people can partner with the whole other side. How do you govern?” McCarthy asked.
Apparently in response to Democrats backing Gaetz’s motion to vacate the chair, House Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry, McCarthy’s hand-picked successor, directed Pelosi, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer to vacate their private offices in the Capitol by Wednesday.
The members still have their offices in the nearby House Office Buildings.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.