SC Republican Mace, joined by Clyburn, votes to fire McCarthy as House speaker
The U.S. House voted 216-210 to remove Rep. Kevin McCarthy as speaker on Oct. 3, 2023.
In a historic move, Kevin McCarthy was removed on Tuesday as U.S. House speaker — a vote backed by a bipartisan pair in South Carolina's congressional delegation.
House Reps. Nancy Mace, a Republican, and Jim Clyburn, a Democrat, joined the chamber's McCarthy critics to remove the gavel from the California Republican.
Mace was one of eight Republicans to oust McCarthy in a 216-210 vote.
The eight were joined by Democrats, who voted as a bloc.
"This isn't about left vs right. This isn't about ideology. This is about trust and keeping your word. This is about making Congress do its job,"Mace wrote in part of a seven-part post on X, formerly known as Twitter.
"I came here to take difficult votes and do the right thing, regardless of the pressure and regardless of the threats (bc there’s been plenty of both). Today I’m voting against 95 percent of my party in the hopes of fixing how Congress operates," Mace posted to X.
Mace later defended her vote to reporters outside the Capitol, calling it "a debate worth having."
"I have made deals with Kevin McCarthy, with the speaker, that he has not kept to help women in this country, and we have done nothing for them," Mace told reporters. "And I come from South Carolina, when you shake my hand and you make a promise, and you don't keep it, there are consequences to those actions."
"This whole country is chaos right now because we have leaders that have divided us and not brought us together," Mace added. "We want to be united, but we've got to have leadership that we can trust."
Republican House Reps. Jeff Duncan, Russell Fry, Ralph Norman, William Timmons and Joe Wilson voted to keep McCarthy in place.
".@SpeakerMcCarthy has been an effective Conservative Speaker, sadly 8 Republicans voted with Democrats to embolden Biden’s policies of destruction with fiscal insanity," Wilson said on X.
McCarthy told reporters later Tuesday that he will not seek the speakership again.
McCarthy called Mace "a whole nother story," adding that he received a text message from her primary opponent asking why he spent $3 million on her campaign. Mace's 2022 challenger, former state Rep. Katie Arrington, later confirmed on X she sent the text.
"I called Nancy Mace's chief of staff yesterday, ... I just said to him, 'Can you please tell me? I don't understand where have I not kept my word,'" McCarthy said. "You know what her chief of staff said? 'You have kept your word, 100%.'"
If he now gets fired, McCarthy said he'll still give him a job.
The effort to oust McCarthy was led by Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz, an unabashed McCarthy critic who filed the original "motion to vacate" resolution.
McCarthy is the first U.S. House speaker to be removed.
Earlier Tuesday, before the vote which occurred after McCarthy's allies failed to table the resolution, Norman said the House had more important issues to consider.
"I have been profoundly disappointed in several elements of Speaker McCarthy’s leadership, but now is not the time to pursue a Motion to Vacate," Norman posted on X.
Norman added, "Instead, Congress desperately needs to devote its full attention to passing these appropriations bills within the next 43 days. We need to turn our focus now to securing the border and responsible spending reductions to get our nation on a trajectory to balance the budget."
It's currently unclear who will succeed McCarthy.
For now, North Carolina Republican Rep. Patrick McHenry is the interim speaker.