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The Lead with Jake Tapper
Right Now: House Voting Whether to Remove McCarthy As Speaker; McCarthy Removed As House Speaker In Historic Vote. Aired 4-5p ET
Aired October 03, 2023 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
REP. MATT GAETZ (R-FL): Let's get on with it. Let's vacate the chair, and let's get a better speaker. I yield back.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The gentleman yields back his time. All time for debate has expired.
Without objection, the previous question is ordered on the resolution.
The question is on adoption of the resolution. Those in favor say aye.
HOUSE MEMBERS: Aye.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Those oppose say no.
HOUSE MEMBERS: No.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The no's have it. The resolution is -- the gentleman from Florida?
GAETZ: I'd request the ayes and nays.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The ayes and nays are requested. Those favoring a vote by the ayes and nays will rise.
A sufficient number risen, the ayes and nays are ordered.
Pursuant to clause 3 of rule 20, the chair directs the clerk to conduct the vote by a call of the roll. The clerk will call the roll alphabetically by surname. The House will be in order. The clerk may call the roll by surname.
REP. ALMA ADAMS (D-NC): Yes.
REP. ROBERT ADELHORT (R-AL): No.
REP. PETE AGUILAR (DCA): Aye.
REP. MARK ALFORD (R-MO): No.
REP. RICK ALLEN (R-GA): No.
REP. COLIN ALLRED (D-TX): Aye.
REP. MARK AMODEI (R-NV): No.
REP. KELLY ARMSTRONG (R-ND): No.
REP. JODEY ARRINGTON (R-TX): No.
REP. JAKE AUCHINCLOSS (D-MA): Yes.
REP. BRIAN BABIN (R-TX): No.
REP. DON BACON (R-NE): No. CLERK: Nay.
REP. JIM BAIRD (R-IN): No.
REP. TROY BALDERSON (R-OH): No.
REP. BECCA BALINT (D-VT): Yes.
REP. ANDY BARR (R-KY): No.
REP. NANETTE BARRAGAN (D-CA): Yes.
CLERK: Barragan? Yea.
Bean of Florida?
REP. AARON BEAN (R-FL): No.
REP. JOYCE BEATTY (D-OH): Yes.
REP. CLIFF BENTZ (R-OR): No.
REP. AMI BERA (D-CA): Yes.
REP. JACK BERGMAN (R-MI): No.
REP. DONALD STERNOFF BEYER JR. (D-VA): Yea.
REP. STEPHANIE BICE (R-OK): No.
REP. ANDY BIGGS (R-AZ): Aye.
REP. GUS M. BILIRAKIS (R-FL): No.
Bishop of Georgia?
REP. SANFORD BISHOP JR. (D-GA): Yes.
Bishop of North Carolina?
REP. DAN BISHOP (R-NC): No.
REP. EARL BLUMENAUER (D-OR): Aye.
REP. LISA BLUNT ROCHESTER (D-DE): Aye. CLERK: Yea.
REP. LAUREN BOEBERT (R-CO): No for now.
REP. SUZANNE BONAMICI (D-OR): Yes.
REP. MIKE BOST (R-IL): No.
REP. JAMAAL BOWMAN (D-NY): Yes.
Boyle of Pennsylvania?
REP. BRENDAN BOYLE (D-PA): Yea.
REP. JOSH BRECHEEN (R-OK): No.
REP. SHONTE BROWN (D-OH): Yes.
REP. JULIA BROWNLEY (D-CA): Yes.
REP. VERN BUCHANAN (R-FL): No.
REP. KEN BUCK (R-CO): Aye.
REP. LARRY BUCHSON (R-IN): No.
REP. NIKKI BUDZINSKI (D-IL): Aye.
REP. TIM BURCHETT (R-TN): Yea.
REP. MICHAEL C. BURGESS (R-TX): No.
REP. ERIC BURLISON (R-MO): No.
REP. KEN CALVERT (R-CA): No.
REP. YADIRA CARAVEO (D-CO): Yes.
REP. SALUD CARBAJAL (D-CA): Yes.
CLERK: Yea. Cardenas?
REP. TONY CARDENAS (D-CA): Yes.
REP. MIKE CAREY (R-OH): No.
REP. JERRY CARL (R-AL): No.
REP. ANDRE CARSON (D-IN): Aye.
Carter of Georgia?
REP. EARL CARTER (R-GA): No.
Carter of Louisiana?
REP. TROY CARTER (D-LA): Yes.
Carter of Texas? Carter of Texas?
REP. MATT CARTWRIGHT (D-PA): Yes.
REP. GREG CASAR (R-TX): Yes.
REP. ED CASE (D-HI): Yes.
REP. SEAN CASTEN (D-IL): Yes.
Castor of Florida?
REP. KATHY CASTOR (D-FL): Aye.
Castro of Texas?
REP. JOAQUIN CASTRO (D-TX): Yes.
REP. LORI CHAVEZ-DEREMER (R-OR): No.
REP. SHEILA CHERFILUS-MCCORMICK (D-FL): Yes.
REP. JUDY CHU (D-CA): Aye.
REP. JUAN CISCOMANI (R-AZ): No.
Clark of Massachusetts?
REP. KATHERINE CLARK (D-MA): Aye.
Clarke of New York?
REP. YVETTE D. CLARKE (D-NY): Yes.
REP. EMANUEL CLEAVER (D-MO): Aye. CLERK: Yea.
REP. BENJAMIN LEE CLINE (R-VA): No.
REP. MICHAEL CLOUD (R-TX): No.
REP. JAMES CLYBURN (D-SC): Yes.
REP. ANDREW CLYDE (R-GA): Negative.
REP. STEVE COHEN (D-TN): Yes.
REP. TOM COLE (R-OK): No.
REP. MIKE COLLINS (R-GA): No.
REP. JAMES COMER (R-KY): No.
REP. GERRY CONNOLLY (D-VA): Yea.
REP. LOU CORREA (D-CA): Yes.
REP. JIM COSTA (D-CA): Aye.
REP. JOE COURTNEY (D-CT): Aye.
REP. ANGIE CRAIG (D-MN): Yes.
REP. ELI CRANE (R-AZ): Yes.
REP. RICK CRAWFORD (R-AR): No.
REP. DAN CRENSHAW (R-TX): No.
REP. JASMINE CROCKETT (D-TX): Yes.
REP. JASON CROW (D-CO): Aye.
Cuellar? REP. HENRY CUELLAR (D-TX): Yes.
REP. JOHN CURTIS (R-UT): No.
Davids of Kansas?
REP. SHARICE DAVIDS (D-KS): Yes.
REP. WARREN DAVIDSON (R-OH): No.
Davis of Illinois?
REP. DANNY DAVIS (D-IL): Davis of Illinois, yea.
Davis of North Carolina?
REP. DONALD DAVIS (D-NC): Aye.
Dean of Pennsylvania?
REP. MADELEINE DEAN (D-PA): Aye.
REP. DIANA DEGETTE (D-CO): Yes.
De La Cruz?
REP. MONICA DE LA CRUZ (R-TX): No.
REP. ROSA L. DELAURO (R-CT): Yes.
REP. SUZAN DELBENE (D-WA): Yes.
REP. CHRISTOPHER DELUZIO (D-PA): Yes.
REP. MARK DESAULNIER (D-CA): Yes.
REP. SCOTT DESJARLAIS (R-TN): No.
REP. ANTHONY D'ESPOSITO (R-NY): No.
REP. MARIO DIAZ-BALART (R-FL): No.
REP. DEBBIE DINGELL (D-MI): Aye.
CLERK: Yea. Doggett?
REP. LLOYD DOGGETT (R-TX): Yes.
REP. BYRON DONALDS (R-FL): No.
REP. JOHN DUARTE (R-CA): No. CLERK: No, nay.
REP. JEFF DUNCAN (R-SC): No.
Dunn of Florida?
REP. NEAL DUNN (R-FL): No.
REP. CHUCK EDWARDS (R-NC): No.
REP. JAKE ELLZEY (R-TX): No.
REP. TOM EMMER (R-MN): No.
REP. VERONICA ESCOBAR (D-TX): Yes.
REP. ANNA ESHOO (D-CA): Aye.
REP. ADRIANO ESPAILLAT (D-NY): Yes.
REP. RON ESTES (R-KS): Nay.
REP. DWIGHT EVANS (D-PA): Yes.
REP. MIKE EZELL (R-MS): No.
REP. PAT FALLON (R-TX): Nay.
REP. RANDY FEENSTRA (R-IA): No.
REP. DREW FERGUSON (R-GA): No.
REP. BRAD FINSTAD (R-MN): No.
REP. MICHELLE FISCHBACH (R-MN): No.
REP. SCOTT FITZGERALD (R-WI): No.
REP. BRIAN FITZPATRICK (R-PA): No.
REP. CHARLES FLEISCHMANN (R-TN): No. CLERK: Nay.
REP. LIZZIE PANNILL FLETCHER (D-TX): Yes.
REP. MIKE FLODD (R-NE): No.
REP. BILL FOSTER (D-IL): Yes.
REP. VALERIE FOUSHEE (D-NC): Aye.
REP. VIRGINIA FOXX (R-NC): Nay.
REP. LOIS FRANKEL (D-FL): Yes.
C. Scott Franklin?
REP. SCOTT FRANKLIN (R-FL): No.
REP. MAXWELL FROST (D-FL): Yes.
REP. RUSSELL FRY (R-SC): No.
REP. RUSS FULCHER (R-ID): No.
REP. MIKE GALLAGHER (R-WI): No.
REP. RUBEN GALLEGO (D-AZ): Aye.
REP. JOHN GARAMENDI (D-CA): Yes.
REP. ANDREW GARBARINO (R-NY): No.
REP. MIKE GARCIA (R-CA): No.
REP. ROBERT GARCIA (D-CA): Yea.
Garcia of Illinois?
REP. JESUS GARCIA (D-IL): Yea.
Garcia of Texas?
REP. SYLVIA GARCIA (D-TX): Garcia of Texas, yes. [16:15:01]
REP. CARLOS GIMENEZ (R-FL): No.
Golden of Maine?
REP. JARED GOLDEN (D-ME): Yes.
Goldman of New York?
REP. DAN GOLDMAN (D-NY): Aye.
REP. JIMMY GOMEZ (D-CA): Aye.
Tony Gonzales? Tony Gonzales?
REP. VICENTE GONZALEZ (D-TX): Yea.
Good of Virginia?
REP. BOB GOOD (R-VA): Yes.
Gooden of Texas? Gooden of Texas?
REP. PAUL GOSAR (R-AZ): No.
REP. JOSH GOTTHEIMER (D-NJ): Yes.
REP. KAY GRANGER (R-TX): No.
Graves of Louisiana?
REP. GARRET GRAVES (R-LA): No.
Graves of Missouri?
REP. SAM GRAVES (R-MO): No.
Green of Tennessee?
REP. MARK GREEN (R-TN): No.
Green of Texas?
REP. AL GREEN (D-TX): (INAUDIBLE) the right to vote yeah.
Greene of Georgia?
REP. MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE (R-GA): No.
REP. MORGAN GRIFFITH (R-VA): No.
REP. RAUL GRIJALVA (D-AZ): Yes.
REP. GLENN GROTHMAN (R-WI): No.
REP. MICHAEL GUEST (R-MS): No. CLERK: Nay.
REP. BRETT GUTHRIE (R-KY): No.
REP. HARRIET HAGEMAN (R-WY): No.
Harder of California?
REP. JOSH HARDER (D-CA): Aye.
REP. ANDREW HARRIS (R-MD): No.
REP. DIANA HARSHBARGER (R-TN): No.
REP. JAHANA HAYES (D-CT): Yes.
REP. KEVIN HERN (R-OK): Nay.
Higgins of Louisiana?
REP. CLAY HIGGINS (R-LA): No.
Higgins of New York?
REP. BRIAN HIGGINS (D-NY): Yes.
REP. FRENCH HILL (R-AR): No.
REP. JIM HIMES (D-CT): Yes.
REP. ASHLEY HINSON (R-IA): No.
REP. STEVEN HORSFORD (D-NV): Aye.
REP. ERIN HOUCHIN (R-IN): No.
REP. CHRISSY HOULAHAN (D-PA): Yes.
REP. STENY HOYER (D-MD): Yea.
Hoyle of Oregon?
REP. VAL HOYLE (D-OR): Aye.
REP. RICHARD HUDSON (R-NC): No.
REP. JARED HUFFMAN (D-CA): Yes. CLERK: Yea.
REP. BILL HUIZENGA (R-MI): No.
REP. WESLEY HUNT (R-TX): No.
REP. DARRELL ISSA (R-CA): Nay.
REP. GLENN IVEY (D-MD): Yes.
Jackson of Illinois?
REP. JONATHAN JACKSON (D-IL): Yes.
Jackson of North Carolina?
REP. JEFF JACKSON (D-NC): Yes.
Jackson of Texas?
REP. RONNY JACKSON (R-TX): No.
REP. SHEILA JACKSON LEE (D-TX): Aye.
REP. SARA JACOBS (D-CA): Yes.
REP. JOHN JAMES (R-MI): No.
REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL (D-WA): Yea.
REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES (D-NY): Aye.
Johnson of Georgia?
REP. HANK JOHNSON (D-GA): Yes.
Johnson of Louisiana?
REP. MIKE JOHNSON (R-LA): Nay.
Johnson of Ohio?
REP. BILL JOHNSON (R-OH): No.
Johnson of South Dakota?
REP. DUSTY JOHNSON (R-SD): No.
REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): No.
Joyce of Ohio?
REP. DAVID JOYCE (R-OH): No.
Joyce of Pennsylvania? REP. JOHN JOYCE (R-PA): No.
REP. SYDNEY KAMLAGER (D-CA): Yes.
REP. MARCY KAPTUR (D-OH): Aye.
Kean of New Jersey?
REP. THOMAS KEAN (R-NJ): No.
REP. BILL KEATING (D-MA): Yea.
Kelly of Illinois?
REP. ROBIN KELLYT (D-IL): Yea.
Kelly of Mississippi?
REP. TRENT KELLY (R-MS): No.
Kelly of Pennsylvania?
REP. MIKE KELLY (R-PA): Absolutely not.
REP. RO KHANNA (D-CA): Yes.
Kiggans of Virginia?
REP. JENNIFER KIGGANS (R-VA): No.
REP. DAN KILDEE (D-MI): Yes.
REP. KEVIN KILEY (R-CA): No.
REP. DEREK KILMER (D-WA): Yes.
Kim of California?
REP. YOUNG KIM (R-CA): No.
Kim of New Jersey?
REP. ANDY KIM (D-NJ): Yes.
REP. RAJA KRISHNAMOORTHI (D-IL): Yes.
REP. ANNIE KUSTER (D-NH): Yes.
REP. DAVID KUSTOFF (R-TN): No.
REP. DARIN LAHOOD (R-IL): No.
LaLota? REP. NICHOLAS LALOTA (R-NY): No.
REP. DOUG LAMALFA (R-CA): No.
REP. DOUG LAMBORN (R-CO): No.
CLERK: Lamborn? Nay.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: As the clerk collects the yeas and nays, we should take a moment to pause. While we do not know for certain the final outcome of this vote, reading the tea leaves and doing the basic math, six House Republicans have already voted to remove Kevin McCarthy as speaker. If the House continues to vote the way we expect them to, based on the last vote, this likely means that Kevin McCarthy will lose this vote, which means that for the first time in the history of the United States of America, a speaker will have been removed from his leadership position.
That has never happened. There was a vote similar to this in 1910, but it did not succeed, Dana Bash. The moment of this cannot be underlined enough how historical and shocking it is, and in a few minutes, if everything goes according to what we think is going to happen, there will not be a House speaker.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: It's very easy to sort of get caught in toing and froing, and the he said-she said within the Republican conference right now, but that really is. This is a banner headline moment. The constitutional office of speaker, second in line to the president of the United States, as you said, if this goes as it's going right now will be vacant. It is a motion to vacate. It will be vacant. There will not be somebody in that role.
TAPPER: So, let's go back because we expect a seventh House Republican, and then we'll continue to discuss this.
CLERK: Luna? Luna?
REP. MORGAN LUTTRELL (R-TX): Nay.
REP. STEPHEN LYNCH (D-MA): Yes.
CLERK: Yea. Mace?
REP. NANCY MACE (R-SC): Aye.
REP. SETH MAGAZINER (D-RI): Yes.
CLERK: Yea. Malliotakis?
REP. NICOLE MALLIOTAKIS (R-NY): No.
REP. TRACEY MANN (R-KS): No.
TAPPER: So that's Congresswoman Nancy Mace of South Carolina who is the seventh House Republican to vote nay, further sealing the fate of Kevin McCarthy.
David Chalian, a remarkable moment. This truly is historic.
I mean, I know it seems as though journalists are always saying things are historic, especially since Donald Trump came down that escalator. But this has never happened in the history of the entire United States, from 1776 until now, this has never happened.
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: That kind of defines what a historic moment, right? If it's never happened before.
And it's hugely significant because I think it tells us where we are in our politics today. Clearly, for everyone to see, there is something broken in our politics. And I don't know that we've seen how it's all going to get fixed yet, but this is the example that is being shown to the American people today of how it's not functioning the way it was designed to function.
And in that I mean anybody who looks at this, remember, the House is a majority rule body. I mean, much more so than the Senate in its design. And yet I don't know, seven we're up to? You know, eight members of the majority conference are clearly asserting their will here to rid the speaker of the House, who has the support of the vast majority of his conference.
But that's -- that is where the trajectory of the Republican Party over the last 20 years has landed us right now. And it has reverberations beyond just the Republican Party. I think for the country at large.
TAPPER: Let's listen in, because Cory Mills from Florida is also somebody we're listening to hear how he votes.
REP. MARIANNETTE MILLER-MEEKS (R-IOWA): No.
REP. MARCUS MOLINARO (R-NY): No.
REP. JOHN MOOLENAAR (R-MI): No.
REP. ALEXANDER MOONEY (R-WV): Nay.
Moore of Alabama?
REP. BARRY MOORE (R-AL): No.
Moore of Utah?
REP. BLAKE MOORE (R-UT): No.
Moore of Wisconsin?
REP. GWEN MOORE (D-WI): Aye.
REP. JERRY MORAN (R-KS): No.
TAPPER: So, Cory Mills, Republican of Florida did not vote. He can always go back and vote on the floor or in the well later on. The next one we're looking for is Congressman Rosendale from Montana.
So we have some time.
What is interesting, Kasie Hunt, about all of this? Obviously, and literally history will decide, but Kevin McCarthy tried to appease this group, this MAGA caucus.
KASIE HUNT, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Yep.
TAPPER: And maybe a different approach would have worked. Maybe a different approach wouldn't have gotten him the speakership. I don't know. But he tried to appease this caucus and it did not work.
HUNT: Well, I think there are some lessons in history on appeasement, Jake, and where you end up when you pursue that. And I don't -- I guess it feels like ancient history now, World War II. But it wasn't. And, you know, I think that this shows that he tried as hard as he could, and he made this pivot at the very last second, right? That sound bite that came out yesterday that sounded like a complete change in tone.
I'm doing this for the institution, trying to suddenly appeal to Democrats, because I think he realized that he was out of options. And where that leaves us is in a moment, as we've been discussing, that we've never experienced before as a nation. A U.S. House of representatives, which while it's technically -- the Senate likes to call it the lower chamber.
It is the people's House. It is considered the speaker. It is the speaker who is second in line to the presidency. Not a member of the Senate. It is an extraordinarily important piece of our government. They have decided summarily to essentially remove their own head and not put anything in charge of it.
And that -- if we wake up tomorrow morning and there is no speaker of the house, that's going to be a real seminal moment for all of us. We'll see what happens, which seems to be on track to remove McCarthy for the moment as speaker. We're still reporting what happens next.
It sounds like they'll probably get together in a conference and talk about it. They could potentially try to put somebody else up. McCarthy could try to put himself back up and just vote over and over and over again until somebody gives.
But I just -- you know, I think it is worth, as you have been doing, sitting with this for just a moment. And realizing what it represents in terms of our politics as a whole and how we got here.
TAPPER: Yeah. No, obviously, just two notes on that. We do not expect that they'll get rid of McCarthy and then adjourn for the night. We expect there will be an effort to name a new speaker and vote on a new speaker.
HUNT: We think.
TAPPER: Well, I mean, obviously, one never knows with the nihilism -- with the nihilist caucus as to what they're going to do. But one presumes they will try.
Matt Gaetz has already mentioned Congressman Tom Cole and Congressman Tom Emmer as a possible replacement that would be acceptable to him, although who knows. And then also for anybody wondering what happens then in the case of an emergency, the speaker of the House not existing, what happens if they need one, or if in the line of succession, the absolute worst thing happens, a meteor hits earth and they need a speaker of the House, do not worry. The parliamentarian has a list of people that Speaker McCarthy gave to the parliamentarian when he became speaker of individuals who could fill that role, members of Congress, should he be incapacitated for any reason.
HUNT: That's a real helpful list, maybe for past speakers who had more control.
TAPPER: It's a secret list.
HUNT: Yes, but it's a list he knew he'd have to use based on the deal he made, frankly, at the beginning of this process. So while this is a breaking news story, it's also the world's longest unfolding story, as we have been asking many times, Speaker McCarthy, will this hurt your speakership? Will that hurt your speakership? We've been hearing a lot.
You know, the other thing, Doug, I wanted to ask you, lawmakers, you either fund raise really well or legislate really well or find the camera really well. And the balance is shifting over which one of those talents is most useful.
DOUG HEYE, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Oh, absolutely. And some of that is symbiotic. If you're raising a lot of money you probably do TV very well. It's why some of the second or third members of Congress --
TAPPER: Let me interrupt. I'm sorry. We're in the R's and listening for Congressman Rosendale. I'll come back to you, Doug. Hold on one second.
HUNT: We see those graphics.
REP. JOHN ROSE (R-TN): No.
REP. MATT ROSENDALE (R-MT): Aye.
REP. DEBORAH ROSS (D-NC): Yea. CLERK: Yea.
REP. DAVID ROUZER (R-NC): No.
REP. CHIP ROY (R-TX): Nay.
REP. RAUL RUIZ (D-CA): Yes.
TAPPER: That was the eighth vote from a House Republican in favor of removing House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, this one from Congressman Matt Rosendale of Montana, really, quite stunning turn of events. I guess we knew this was coming because of how they voted on proceeding to this vote itself.
But still, Doug, I'm sorry I interrupted. Please proceed.
HEYE: I first met McCarthy on a Friday night in May of 1996. I've known for a long, long time. Gotten on with him very well. Had big fights with his staff, good conversations with his staff, government shutdowns working with his staff.
And a lot of the feedback that I'm hearing is about the larger questions that we're on. It's not really what happens to Kevin now and all those kind of human instincts that you would have. It's we need to have a functioning government. We also need to have a functioning Republican Party.
And what we've seen essentially since 2010, if not the 2010 takeover is we keep shooting ourselves in the foot and getting higher and higher and higher. Now it's the head of the House. Where does it stop?
PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, it began with Kevin McCarthy when he made that deal on the 15th or 16th ballot to become speaker. And it's a little wonky, but it's really important. We gave the Congress the power to remove the speaker on the motion of one person. Before that rule change, it required a majority of one of the two parties, which today would be 106 people.
He gave it. It was like the frog and the scorpion. He is the frog who led a scorpion ride its nose and he is surprised that the scorpion has stung him and drowned them both. As the scorpion said to the frog, I couldn't help myself. It's just my nature. That's Matt Gaetz's nature. TAPPER: Let me throw it to my colleague Anderson Cooper in New York.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Jake, thanks very much.
Here with Alyssa Farah Griffin, Jamal Simmons, Abby Phillip, S.E. Cupp as well as we continue to watch the counting of these votes.
Let's talk a little bit about the Democrats' decision not to throw a lifeline to Kevin McCarthy.
JAMAL SIMMONS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I've been talking to Democrats all day, and really all week about this. And no stomach whatsoever, no appetite to save Kevin McCarthy. You think about what happened in terms of the impeachment process that started with the president. They just find him to be unreliable, that you can't cut a deal with Kevin McCarthy and think it's going to stuck. So why would you cut a new deal with Kevin McCarthy? Because if things got tight, you can't count on him to actually show up and do what he committed to do.
COOPER: House Minority Leader Kim Jeffries wrote it's now the responsibility of the GOP leaders to end the Republican House civil war given their unwillingness to break from MAGA extremism, and in authentic and conference nd manner, House Democratic leadership will vote yes on the pending Republican.
Let's listen in.
REP. LLOYD SMUCKER (R-PA): No.
REP. ERIC SORENSEN (D-IL): Yes.
REP. DARREN SOTO (D-FL): Yes.
REP. ABIGAIL SPANBERGER (D-VA): Yeah.
REP. VICTORIA SPARTZ (R-IN): No.
REP. MELANIE ANN STANSBURY (D-NM): Aye.
COOPER: Sorry, what was that, S.E.?
S.E. CUPP, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Oh, yeah, I was just listening for Spartz out of Indiana. She had said that she was going to vote not to vacate Kevin McCarthy. But that was an interesting one to listen to.
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, despite last night I spoke to her, and she was considering it.
PHILLIP: Because she is not too thrilled with Kevin McCarthy either, but decided ulti -- she decided to go forward with the vote to vacate, but then decided not to actually vacate. So, some people, we will probably see them doing that. To your earlier question about what Democrats decided just a few minutes ago, our colleague Annie Grayer speaking to Jim Clyburn on the floor tonight, says that a lot of Democrats were upset with McCarthy because of what he said on "Face the Nation" this nation, blaming Democrats for bringing the country to the brink of a government shutdown.
To me, that is not just about that particular moment. For Democrats, it clearly signified that McCarthy is not reformed. He is not interested in doing the right thing for the right reasons. He still has his deeply partisan political hat on. And I think that as Democrats looked at the situation and said is this someone we can work with, is this someone who has the best interests of the body at heart, those comments really cut against that, and clearly hurt him according to Clyburn.
Some Democrats that might have even considered voting present, they all rank and file went with the entire group's consensus, which was to not bail McCarthy out in this moment. And it probably didn't have to be quite like this if he had played it a bit of a different way.
ALYSSA FARAH GRIFFIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think it goes back even further than that. If you think of how Kevin McCarthy assumed the speakership, it was by making tremendous concessions to the far right flank, from giving video footage to Tucker Carlson of the January 6th insurrection to the Capitol, to putting Freedom Caucus members on the Rules Committee, to changing threshold for the motion to vacate.
He set up a speakership that at that time people were saying would likely be one of the shortest in history. And surely enough, the same agents of chaos who made it very difficult 15 rounds for him to become speaker are pulling what they are now. The problem is this is kind of a strategic miscalculation by McCarthy. I'm shocked that there is no bigger effort to try to whip some Democratic support today, even on the margins to try to cut some deals and see if you can pull over even half a dozen of them could have gotten him over the line to vote present.
COOPER: What sort of deal would have done that?
GRIFFIN: Well, it could be promises on legislation he would bring up on the House floor. The speaker and the leader control the House floor.
PHILLIP: Or even procedural concession about how the House even works. That's some of the things that you were starting to hear whispers of from Democrats that if McCarthy made the Congress a more functional body in a bipartisan way, maybe they could consider it.
But that also, one of the things that this also shows, it's not -- we shouldn't underestimate the power of Hakeem Jeffries to keep his caucus together. He has Democrats united. That is no easy task. They are not all on the same page.
Plenty of moderates are not on the far left either. But he has them unified. And they were able to get to a consensus point on this, with really no exceptions. That's extraordinary.
CUPP: And I think in addition to the partisanship that Democrats are diagnosing with Kevin McCarthy and just being unreliable, they're also identifying a lack of competence and ability to get anything done. I talked to Eric Swalwell, congressman from California today, who said this is a battle between competence and chaos. And that framing, that's good politics and great alliteration, but that framing is motivating some of this too.
Like if you can't figure out your caucus and your House, maybe you don't deserve to be speaker. And we're not going to help you keep the chaos continuing. So you figure that part out. We're going be over here getting stuff done I think is the attitude on the left.
SIMMONS: S.E. just mentioned a word that we should not ignore in this process, which is politics. And as Democrats are thinking about going into an election year, here you have a House of Representatives that is chaotic, it's dysfunctional, that can barely get anything done. And I got to tell you, a lot of Democrats say why should we rescue them from this chaos?
Let the American people see what it looks like when they have Republican control. And when we go out there and make our case, it will give us a stronger hand about turning the House back over to Democrat control.
PHILLIP: Let it play out is the strategy. As a political one, it makes a lot of sense.
Republicans want to run on the Biden administration not doing anything, Democrats not doing anything. Now they're the ones in the headlines for all the wrong reasons.
COOPER: Let's listen in to the votes.
REP. ROBERT WITTMAN (R-VA): No.
REP. STEVE WOMACK (R-AR): No.
REP. RUDY YAKYM (R-IN): No.
REP. RYAN ZINKE (R-MT): No, nay, never.
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): No.
CLERK: I've got to go through these.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: House will be in order. The clerk will now call the names of members that have not already been recorded alphabetically.
REP. JIM BANKS (R-IN): No.
REP. KAT CAMMACK (R-FL): No.
Carter of Texas? Carter of Texas?
REP. TONY GONZLES (R-TX): No.
Gooden of Texas? Gooden of Texas?
REP. CORY MILLS (R-FL): No.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are there other members -- are there other members in this body who have not been recorded or who wish to change their vote?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you got the tally?
TAPPER: Hold on. They just gave him a piece of paper.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On this vote, the yeas are 216. The nays are 210. The resolution is adopted. Without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table.
The Office of Speaker of the House of the United States House of Representatives is hereby declared vacant.
TAPPER: An historic moment. For the first time in the history of the United States, the speaker of the House has been removed. For those paying attention at home and trying to understand why it's not a 218 vote count, it requires a majority of those present and voting. There are 200 -- I'm sorry 426 people present and voting, 426. Which means that you need half plus, and that would be 214 votes. And they have the yeas to remove Speaker McCarthy, or 216. It is a resounding defeat for speaker McCarthy with 8 of his fellow House Republicans, including Congressman Matt Gaetz, who led this effort, leading the charge to join the Democrats to remove him from power.
Let's listen in if they are -- are they talking right now?
CLERK: Pursuant to clause 8B3B of Rule 1, is the Honorable Patrick T. McHenry of North Carolina, signed sincerely Kevin F. McCumber, acting clerk. REP. PATRICK T. MCHENRY (R-NC): Pursuant to clause 8B3B of Rule 1,
I'll now act as speaker pro tem.
The chair will inform the members of the House the following: The office of the speaker was rendered vacant pursuant to the adoption of House Resolution 757. Upon a vacancy in the office of speaker, clause 8B3 of Rule 1 provides that the next member on a list submitted by the speaker, pursuant to the rule acts as speaker pro tem until the election of a new speaker, and bestows the authority of the office of speaker on the speaker pro tem to the extent necessary and appropriate to that end.
In the opinion of the chair, prior to proceeding to the election of a speaker, it will be prudent to first recess for the relative caucus and conferences to meet and discuss the path forward.
Accordingly, pursuant to clause 12A of rule 1, the chair declares the House in recess, subject to the recall of the chair.
TAPPER: An angry gaveling down by the man named as speaker pro tem, meaning he is the temporary speaker of the house, that is Congressman Patrick McHenry, a Republican from North Carolina, a close ally of Kevin McCarthy who is no longer the speaker of the House.
Let us go to Manu Raju, who is outside the House chamber.
Manu, a devastating day for former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who told reporters that the 15 rounds he went through of balloting in January taught him how to govern, apparently not so much.
MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, he thought he was able to get these various warring factions together, through that whole process.
But as we saw it devolved over a number of just a handful of members within his own conference were furious at his decisions, including to keep the government open by relying on Democratic votes. They have a sharp agreement over spending levels and personality conflicts as well.
But given the narrowness of this House Republican majority, Kevin McCarthy was essentially isolated within his own conference, given the opposition within his right flank. He knew full well that a handful of members could upset his plans at any given time, on any party line vote. He had initial calculated to try to align himself with those members on the far right, but at times when simply needing to do the basic essence of governing, raising the national debt limit or keeping the government open, he needed Democratic support.
There's a Democratic Senate and Democratic White House. That is something the members on his far right of his conference simply would not accept, which is why he has met this fate, a historic vote, first time ever, removed from speakership. Now the House is in a complete state of paralysis. There will be a vote eventually, either tonight, maybe tomorrow, to name a new speaker.
That is a bit unclear at the moment. Also unclear, what Kevin McCarthy will do. Will he put himself up as a candidate for speaker? He has said for some time that he will fight -- he's ready to fight. But does that mean he'll actually be a candidate?
That is a major question at the moment. Can anyone get 218 votes in this bitterly divided House and this bitterly divided Republican conference? A lot of these members on the -- who are aligned themselves with McCarthy want him to fight. They don't want Matt Gaetz to win this round right here. So there are a lot of questions about all of the next steps here, Jake.
But one thing is clear, this is an historic moment here in the House, and a very, very angry members of the Republican conference here emerging, wanting to know how to go forward and worried about their own political hides, worried that they could lose the House given the leadership crisis they are now facing, Jake, as they try to pick up the pieces.
TAPPER: Manu, are we expecting to see Congressman McCarthy come out any time soon?
RAJU: We are. We are expecting him. He's expected to walk out this way towards his office. We'll try to ask him a question as he does come out. So we'll see, Jake, in just a matter of minutes whether or not the speaker, now former speaker, wants to weigh in and whether he will detail his plans in the days ahead, Jake.
TAPPER: And then, of course, before congressman, the Speaker Pro Tem McHenry angrily gaveled that to a close, I thought he was going to hurt himself, he gaveled so furiously, he basically suggested that now the Republican caucus -- I'm sorry, the Republican conference and the Democratic caucus would now meet, they would huddle.
Congressman Gaetz, who led the charge for this, told me -- Congressman Gaetz is talking right now. Let's listen in.
REP. MATT GAETZ (R-FL): The benefit of this country that we have a better speaker of the House than Kevin McCarthy. Kevin McCarthy couldn't keep his word in agreement in January regarding the way Washington would work, and he violated that agreement.
We are $33 trillion in debt. We are facing $2.2 trillion annual deficits. We face a de-dollarization globally that will crush Americans, working class Americans.
Kevin McCarthy is a feature of the swamp. He has risen to power by collecting special interest money and redistributing that money in exchange for favors. We are breaking the fever now and we should elect a speaker who is better.
REPORTER: You said last night that Steve Scalise was a name that you floated to potentially be speaker. Where do things stand right now? If not McCarthy, then who? GAETZ: Well, you know, the stages of grief, I think, are in progress right now with some of my colleagues. I think there was a stage of denial and I've certainly experienced a good amount of their anger. Now we appear to be headed toward bargaining. I think the world of Steve Scalise. I think he would make a phenomenal speaker.
REPORTER: Are you afraid of getting expelled?
GAETZ: I'm afraid of $33 trillion in debt crushing the working people in my district. I'm afraid of the dollar losing its status as a global reserve currency. If they want to expel me, let me know when they have the vote.
REPORTER: Less than 45 days left before you have to pass a budget, something you've been wanting to do. Doesn't this completely paralyze the House?
REPORTER: Will you be a candidate?
TAPPER: It does not look as though Kevin McCarthy is cooperating, so let us go back to Matt Gaetz, if we can, to listen in to what he has to say.
GAETZ: What paralyzed the House of Representatives was not taking up appropriations bills. We left for a six-week vacation while the appropriations process hung in the balance.
And because I forced these people to take a few votes, you think I'm paralyzing the House of Representatives? I think the House of Representatives has been paralyzed for the last several decades as we've refused to pass a budget governed by continuing resolution and omnibus bill. So, I think this represents the ripping off of the band- aid and that's what we need to do to get back on track.
REPORTER: What do you say to your colleagues who argue you tonight have another name right now? You don't have someone else who would get 218 votes. What do you tell them?
GAETZ: Well, I would tell them for certain, Kevin McCarthy can't get 218 votes, so let's try the next person.
REPORTER: Would you be okay with McHenry?
GAETZ: There would have to be a real meeting of the minds there. I'm sorry, you had a question.
REPORTER: Are you going to ask for a guarantee from whoever is floated as a candidate for them to move the appropriations process along at a speed that satisfies you?
REPORTER: So, will you be putting yourself forward for the speakership?
GAETZ: Absolutely not. I have no desire to be speaker of the house.
GAETZ: I think the world of Tom Emmer. He would make a great speaker.
REPORTER: Have you spoken with Scalise? Have you spoken with Emmer?
GAETZ: I've spoken with him but I'll keep our conversations between us.
REPORTER: What was going through your head when the vote gaveled down?
GAETZ: We've got to move to the next step. We are not at the end of this process, okay? At most, we're approaching halftime. We're got to be able to assemble a governing coalition. We have to build from a place of trust.
The reason Kevin McCarthy went down today is because nobody trusts Kevin McCarthy. Kevin McCarthy has made multitude contradictory promises, and when they all came due, he lost votes of people who maybe don't even ideologically agree with me on everything.
Take, for example, my colleague from South Carolina, Ms. Mace. She has different views than I do on a variety of subjects. What we had in common, Kevin McCarthy lied to all of us.
REPORTER: You're saying that nobody trusts Kevin McCarthy. You're talking about, including yourself, about seven Republicans, compared to about 200 and some odd Republicans who do trust him. Can you kind of explain that?
GAETZ: Well, as it turns out, getting 200 Republicans to trust you isn't enough to stay speaker.
REPORTER: Have you spoken to former president Trump about this since the ousting? Was he supportive of what you were doing?
GAETZ: I have spoken to President Trump over the last several days. The ousting only occurred several minutes ago. So, we haven't spoken during that time.
TAPPER: All right. So let me break away from this press conference with Congressman Gaetz, who led the charge against now former Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
We are joined now by Republican Congressman Tim Burchett of Tennessee. He's one of the eight Republicans who voted to remove Kevin McCarthy as speaker.
Congressman, thank you so much for joining us. First of all, I want to get some clarity on something you said as you were going into the house chamber. You said you were deciding on how to vote, whether to side with your friend, Kevin McCarthy, or your conscience, but that he called you and he said something that, in your view, belittled your faith because you were praying on how to vote. Can you explain how that conversation went?
REP. TIM BURCHETT (R-TN): Yeah, he just basically said something that I thought belittled me and my belief system. And, you know, I -- that pretty much sealed it with me right there. I thought that showed the character of the man.
Yeah, I want to listen to him. I wanted to talk to him. I wanted to do it a long time ago, I was wanting to do it while we were -- in Congress, the six weeks we were on break, from august until the first two weeks of September, and I said to him, I wish you hadn't waited until right now to call me.
TAPPER: Yeah, that's odd.
Members of Congress or political leaders, Americans in general, saying that they're going to pray on something is a fairly common thing to say. It's not -- what did he say?
BURCHETT: It's not just me. You know, I'm not just saying that. I mean, I do. I sweat over these issues. I worry about --
BURCHETT: -- the single moms working two jobs in my district and that we're taking in $5 trillion and don't have the discipline and we spend $7 trillion. I worry about that and the decreasing value of the dollar.
I talked about how the shutdown of three or four days would have been terrible on working folks, but it would have been worse if our whole system collapsed. I just can't get this conference to understand that we are going off a cliff financially. We were downgraded for the first time -- or second time, I think, and the agency said, really, two reasons. One was leadership and one was fiscal maturity.
Over the last 20 years. It cuts both parties.