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Claireification: Understanding the historic importance of McCarthy’s removal

The historic removal of former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is sparking a search for a new House speaker. The significance of his removal cannot be understated, as it comes at a time when Congress needs to make some big decisions.

The Republican speaker was removed from office Oct. 3 in a 216-210 vote, according to USA Today. Fellow Republican Representative Matt Gaetz from Florida led a movement of hard-right conservatives to remove the speaker. The retaliation came after McCarthy worked with Democrats to secure a temporary funding bill and stop a government shutdown. 

McCarthy is the first speaker to be removed after 269 days in the position. This moment in modern history is a true marker of how intense polarization has grown, even between members of one party. The party's internal issues are stopping the government from continuing to function. 

For Congress to pass a budget and stop a government shutdown, a house speaker must be in place. Until then, the country is at a standstill. The temporary budget will only stand until Nov. 17. If you want to learn more about how a government shutdown would affect us in Athens, read my column about the potential shutdown

Passing a budget will only get more complicated as fighting in Israel continues. A conversation will need to be had on funding that war effort, but lawmakers cannot do so right now. 

Now, there's an ongoing debate about who will fill the speakership. Moderate Republicans are struggling to find common ground with far-right Republicans, and they all want different representation from their house speaker. Many assumed Majority Republican Leader Representative Steve Scalise from Louisiana would fill the seat. The Associated Press reports Scalise left the race last week after being rejected by the hardliners. 

Ohio Representative Jim Jordan is now the main candidate running for the speaker seat. He seemed to have enough votes, but with a rejection Tuesday, he proved unsuccessful; 20 holdouts stopped Jordan, but the representative is not giving up yet. Jordan told AP that he will continue working on winning them over. Another vote is planned for Wednesday. 

Former President Donald Trump has endorsed the representative on Truth Social, but some of Jordan's closest allies are not convinced. It's unclear how he plans on getting their votes. 

This whole process feels like it has gone on for too long. It has been a few weeks, and unless Jordan can get the votes, the search for a speaker will start all over again. With so many important decisions to be made, this must be figured out sooner rather than later. The country cannot afford the government to remain in gridlock for extended periods of time. 

Claire Schiopota is a senior studying journalism. Please note that the opinions expressed in this column do not reflect those of The Post. Want Claire to cover a certain topic or talk about her column? Email her at or tweet her @CSchiopota.

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