Historic Ousting of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy

  • by AGD Washington Advocacy Representative
  • Oct 11, 2023
On October 3, 2023, the House of Representatives voted to vacate the seat of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) in a historic 216-210 vote. This marks the first time in history that a House speaker has been removed in this manner. Eight Republicans, led by Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL), joined all Democrats present in voting against Representative McCarthy. Representative Patrick McHenry (R-NC) has been named "speaker pro tempore," the interim speaker. He was chosen by Representative McCarthy to fill the seat of the speakership if the seat was vacated by a death or a vote to vacate. The scope of his authority includes "necessary and appropriate" actions until the election of a new Speaker of the House. This means that his authority is likely limited to administrative responsibilities related to election of the Speaker. As of the time of publication for this Capitol Connections, the leading candidates are Representative Steve Scalise (R-LA) and Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH). 
Impact on General Dentistry: The total impact of this historic ousting remains unclear, however much Congressional business, including voting on legislation such as spending bills, will be halted until a new Speaker is in place. This could delay the process of addressing the necessary appropriations bills to avert a government shutdown once the continuing resolution expires as well as legislation the AGD supports and is advocating for that directly impacts general dentistry.