NY lawmakers react as McCarthy ouster leads to bitter divisions amid search for next House speaker

Lauren Glassberg Image
Wednesday, October 4, 2023
McCarthy's ouster triggers heated speaker battle
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The historic decision to oust Republican Kevin McCarthy as US Speaker of the House now raises questions over who will fill the seat. Lauren Glassberg has the latest.

With the historic vote to oust Republican Kevin McCarthy as Speaker of the House of Representatives, the leadership fight is now another headache.

There's not a lot of positive talk after Tuesday's ouster, an overthrow led by Florida congressman Matt Gaetz and his small band of rogue lawmakers.

The move was accomplished with the help of democrats, who voted with Gaetz against McCarthy.

Congressman Mike Lawler from Hudson Valley expresses disappointment in his fellow New York lawmakers.

"That New York democrats aligned themselves with someone who they've derided for years speaks volumes to how bad it is in our body politic," says Lawler.

RELATED | With Kevin McCarthy ousted as speaker of the House, what's next for Republican leadership?

The move has since ignited a spin over who could take over the other.

On Wednesday, Rep. Anthony D'Esposito said House Republicans hope to have the next speaker selected Tuesday or Wednesday morning, so the House can "get back to work" Thursday.

D'Esposito, who last year flipped a Nassau County district long held by Democrats, backed McCarthy as he gets ready for his own battle in NY-4 next year, which President Biden won in 2020.

The state's Republican congressional delegation is also disappointed because a decisive eight Republicans voted with Democrats.

The question now remains, who would want to take over the fractured house?

"A lot of blunt direct conversations need to be had," said Lawler. "But we're elected to do the job on behalf of the American people, and that needs to be the focus."

Many doubt that anyone can get the 218 votes needed to become speaker. Voting for McCarthy in January took 15 excruciating rounds even though he was the consensus choice of the GOP conference.

House Republicans plan to meet next Tuesday evening at the Capitol for a first round of internal party voting.

It is shaping up to be wide-open battle just as Congress faces a new deadline to fund the government by mid-November. Work on that legislation in the House is on hold due to the vacancy in the speaker's office, creating the potential for extended paralysis.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called it a "dangerous situation."

At the White House, President Joe Biden said the American people still expected the government to get its work done in a timely fashion. McCarthy was ousted because he worked with Democrats to keep the government open and avoid a shutdown, and the Democratic president said, "We need to stop seeing each other as enemies."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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