McCarthy Steps Down from Congress After Removal of House Speaker

( – On Dec. 6, California Rep. Kevin McCarthy, 58, announced in an opinion column in The Wall Street Journal that he was resigning from his House seat.

McCarthy wrote that “No matter the odds, or personal cost, we did the right thing.” In that spirit, he stated that he had decided to resign his House seat at the end of the year “to serve America in new ways.” He added, “I know my work is only getting started.”

McCarthy’s resignation comes two months after being removed from his role as House Speaker following a move by Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, who orchestrated a “motion to vacate” vote. McCarthy was elected to the position in January following a historic 15-round vote. He was the first House speaker in the history of the United States to be voted out of the position. His career began as a small-business owner of a sandwich shop.

In the op-ed, McCarthy said he was looking “forward to helping entrepreneurs and risk-takers reach their full potential.” He added that innovation rather than legislation would solve the challenges America faces today. McCarthy added that he has “seen the goodness of the American people,” who “will ultimately uphold the enduring values” of the country.

McCarthy wrote that he could not have imagined where he would be when he first put his name in as a potential House Speaker. He said he leaves Congress, “knowing I left it all on the field.”

McCarthy was first elected to Congress in 2006. During his second term in office, he served as majority whip. During his 16 years in office, he served as majority leader and House Republican leader.

McCarthy’s current term was set to end in January 2025.

The move by McCarthy means there will be 220 sitting Republicans, 213 Democrats, and two vacancies in the House at the start of 2024. Passing legislation requires a 218 majority, which means Republicans can afford to lose only two votes to pass a bill.

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