GOP Lawmakers Make Risky Demand After McCarthy’s Removal

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( – Following the historic ousting of Kevin McCarthy from the office of Speaker on Tuesday, some GOP lawmakers have been pushing to have the rule that allowed one single member to bring forward a motion to vacate repealed.

Rep. Garrett Graves, R-La., stated that the current structure was “completely dysfunctional” and that it was not possible to select a new Speaker under this structure. He added that it would be unfair to the next speaker as it is a clear conference rule that a motion to vacate cannot be brought forward without the support of the conference.

Currently, the House rules have been changed to allow a single lawmaker, either Republican or Democrat, to introduce a “motion to vacate.” This procedural tool has only been used twice in the last century, but conservatives have started to use it as a weapon against their own party’s leaders.

In January, during the lengthy Speakership race that eventually allowed McCarthy to win the Speakership, he agreed to reduce the threshold for a motion to vacate to one. This allowed a single Republican member to file a motion to have him leave his seat, despite not having the support of the entire conference.

Main Street Caucus lawmakers have argued that this change to the rules put the Speakership in a “chokehold.” In a joint statement, they noted that “personal politics” should never come above the “will of 96% of House conservatives.” They further pointed out that any future candidate for the Speaker’s office would need to be able to guarantee that what had occurred on Tuesday would not happen again.

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