McCarthy declares that at the end of the year, he will leave Congress

Just over two months after losing his position as speaker, Representative Kevin McCarthy announced his intention to leave the House one year early.A Republican from California, Kevin McCarthy made history as the first speaker to be removed from office. On Wednesday, McCarthy announced that he would be leaving the House at the end of the year, but he stated his intention to stay involved in Republican politics.Former House speaker Kevin McCarthy announces he's leaving Congress

After 16 years in Congress, during which he rose from the ranks of the self-styled “Young Guns” (Republicans working to increase their party’s House majority) to the position of second in line to the presidency, Mr. McCarthy has announced his resignation in an opinion piece published in The Wall Street Journal.


The right-wing forces that Boehner and other establishment Republicans had used to propel their electoral triumphs eventually rebelled and ousted him, capping his dramatic fall from grace after a little under nine months as speaker.


When Mr. McCarthy announced his intentions in The Journal, he stated, “I will continue to recruit our country’s best and brightest to run for elected office.” “The Republican Party is growing rapidly, and I am determined to share my knowledge and help shape the party’s future leaders.”

Although it was expected, Speaker Mike Johnson would have a harder time running the House with a shrinking majority after Mr. McCarthy’s early departure.
Out of frustration with the House’s long history of dysfunction, several MPs have already declared their intention to leave. Even though many of the members who are leaving have stated their intention to finish their present terms, intentions can change rapidly when attractive job offers and a life outside of Congress become apparent.


With Mr. McCarthy’s impending departure, the Republican majority in California will be even thinner than it was before the Dec. 8 re-election filing deadline. Last Monday, Representative George Santos of New York was expelled, reducing the party’s majority in the House to three members from four.


This leaves very little room for maneuver for Mr. Johnson, who is already coping with a backlash from conservatives over his collaboration with Democrats to avoid a government shutdown and has two more shutdown dates coming up in the middle of January and the beginning of February.


Under California law, a special election must be held around four months following Mr. McCarthy’s last day of service, and Governor Gavin Newsom of the state has fourteen days from that date to do so.

McCarthy declares intention to leave Congress at year's end | News |



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The early departure is a huge boon for Mr. McCarthy, who has had a hard time adjusting to life as a rank-and-file congressman. It is illegal for a former member to lobby another member of Congress for a period of one year following their resignation. Mr. McCarthy can begin the clock on his deferral from what appears to be lucrative job in the private sector a full year before he would have been able to if he had finished his term had he resigned this month.

Mr. McCarthy has found it difficult to accept the end of his time in the House, according to colleagues and allies. Before his party rejected him as its leader, Mr. McCarthy spent two election cycles helping to build the Republican majority in the House and was the party’s top fundraiser. He was first elected to Congress in 2007.


From the time Mr. McCarthy emerged victorious from an extraordinarily drawn-out and brutal floor battle to become speaker in January, the signs of his eventual downfall were clear. Mr. McCarthy and his supporters had expected his speakership to conclude in the same manner as it did at the end of that battle, when he consented to rule changes requested by hard-right Republicans in return for their votes. However, Mr. McCarthy remains resentful of the situation and maintained until the very end that he was only removed for cooperating with Democrats to prevent a government shutdown, which was the correct course of action.


That much was stated in his opinion essay that announced his plans.


Regardless of the challenges or sacrifices, we acted morally, he stated. “That might be considered dated in the nation’s capital right now, but getting things done for the people of America is still widely praised.”


His opponents, on both sides of the political spectrum, rejoiced at Mr. McCarthy’s exit.


“Kevin McCarthy embodies all that is wrong with congressional Republicans and is largely to blame for the ascent of the cult of MAGA and Trump,” stated Kyle Herrig, the executive director of the anti-corruption organization Congressional Integrity Project.
According to Mr. Herrig, one of Mr. McCarthy’s legacies was the decision to grant political “lifeline” to former president Donald J. Trump following the attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021, when Mr. McCarthy paid his respects at Mr. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate. Additionally, he empowered Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, who is considered one of the most extreme members of the House.

A one-word social media post from Representative Matt Gaetz, a Republican from Florida who spearheaded the effort to remove Mr. McCarthy, cheered the news: “McLeavin’.”


Mr. McCarthy’s response regarding his future in Congress was evasive following his removal from the speakership in October.


At that point, he said, “I’ll look at that.” In a subsequent statement, he assured reporters that he was still there and intended to seek re-election, seemingly trying to quell the speculation that he was planning to leave quickly.


Still, Mr. McCarthy’s experience as a rank-and-file House member alongside the Republicans who voted to depose him was deeply unpleasant, and his situation had become intolerable. Even while he has avoided answering concerns regarding his future, his closest Capitol Hill allies have been waiting for weeks for him to finally leave.

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