Former House speaker McCarthy resign Congress

Kevin McCarthy announced on Wednesday that he will resign from Congress at the end of the year.

Kevin McCarthy
Kevin McCarthy

He was the first speaker to be ousted by his own party after a series of concessions and conflicts with the ultra-conservative faction of the Republican caucus.

He denied the reports that he was considering resigning before the end of his term, but later confirmed his decision in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal.

He said he plans to “serve America in new ways” and that his work is “only getting started”.

McCarthy became the speaker in 2015 after John Boehner resigned amid pressure from the Tea Party movement.

He faced a difficult task of balancing the demands of the moderate and conservative wings of his party, especially on issues such as immigration, health care, and government spending.

He also had to deal with the rise of Donald Trump, who often clashed with the Republican establishment and criticized McCarthy for being weak and ineffective.

McCarthy’s tenure as speaker was marked by several controversies and setbacks. In 2016, he withdrew his endorsement of Trump after a leaked video showed the then-presidential candidate making vulgar comments about women.

He later reversed his decision and became one of Trump’s loyal allies in Congress . In 2018, he failed to prevent the Democrats from taking control of the House in the midterm elections, losing 40 seats and the majority . In 2019, he faced criticism for his handling of the impeachment inquiry against Trump, accusing the Democrats of conducting a “witch hunt” and a “sham process” .

In 2020, he supported Trump’s baseless claims of election fraud and voted to overturn the results in some states . He also opposed the second impeachment of Trump after the January 6 riot at the Capitol, which was incited by the former president .

McCarthy’s resignation came as a surprise to many, as he was widely expected to run for speaker again if the Republicans regained the House in 2024 .

He said he was proud of his achievements as speaker, such as passing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, strengthening the military, and confronting China. He also said he was grateful for the support of his colleagues and constituents, and that he would continue to fight for the conservative values and principles that he believes in.

He did not specify what his future plans are, but some speculate that he might run for governor of California, join a think tank, or launch a media venture .

Some of his allies and critics expressed their reactions to his resignation. House Minority Leader Steve Scalise praised McCarthy for his leadership and service, and said he was confident that McCarthy would remain a “powerful voice” for the Republican Party.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi thanked McCarthy for his cooperation on some issues, such as the coronavirus relief package and the infrastructure bill, but also criticized him for his “abdication of responsibility” on the January 6 attack and the election integrity .

Former President Trump issued a statement calling McCarthy a “disgrace” and a “loser”, and blamed him for the Republican losses in 2018 and 2020 . He also said he would support a “real leader” to replace McCarthy as the head of the House Republicans .

McCarthy’s resignation marks the end of an era for the Republican Party, which has been divided and transformed by the Trump phenomenon. It also raises questions about the future direction and strategy of the party, as it prepares for the 2024 elections and the challenges posed by the Biden administration and the Democratic majority.

McCarthy’s successor will have to navigate the complex and dynamic political landscape, and try to unify and energize the Republican base, while also reaching out to the independent and moderate voters. It remains to be seen who will emerge as the next leader of the House Republicans, and whether they will be able to restore the party’s reputation and credibility, or continue to follow the path of Trumpism.

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