House lawmakers have for the first time ousted their own speaker—and no one has a clue what comes next. In fact, some are literally crying about it.
For now, Representative Patrick McHenry will temporarily lead the House of Representatives, after being handpicked for the role of interim speaker by ousted Speaker Kevin McCarthy. But that’s about all anyone knows about what happens now.
Representative Matt Gaetz, who filed the motion to oust McCarthy late Monday evening, made clear from the very beginning that he has no idea who could possibly take over for the House speaker. After the vote to remove McCarthy as speaker, Gaetz again confirmed that he doesn’t have someone in mind for the role.
Representative Scott Perry, one of the 11 Republicans to advance the vote to oust McCarthy, also told CNN he doesn’t have a name for who he wants to see as speaker. “We’re going to see what happens now. I’m going to base my decisions on what happens.” (Perry did not, in the end, vote to oust McCarthy.)
Other lawmakers are simply confused about what to do now.
And they’re quickly turning on each other.
This is the first time in 113 years that House lawmakers have voted to oust their own speaker—and the first time in U.S. history that the vote was actually successful.
All this to say, it’s pure chaos in the Republican Party right now.