What happened to Kevin McCarthy?

What happened to Kevin McCarthy?

It’s a tough time to be in politics. With the massive divide between the ideologies of the right and left growing more each day, people from both sides of the aisle — including Kevin McCarthy — are learning just how hard it is to satisfy anyone these days. 

McCarthy doesn’t really have to concern himself with the satisfaction of American citizens anymore, however, following his departure from Congress in 2023. The former Speaker of the House of Representatives had a good run, but his ouster seemingly closed the door on McCarthy’s future in politics for good. 

How did Kevin McCarthy lose his job?

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Kevin McCarthy served in the House of Representatives for more than a decade and a half ahead of his election to the Speakership. He first earned the privilege in 2007, when he was elected as a Representative for California’s 22nd district, and gradually worked his way up through the ranks over the next 15 years. He sought the Speakership first in 2015, but didn’t actually attain the position until early 2023.

He held onto his shiny new role for less than a year, unfortunately, and even electing him the first time was akin to pulling teeth. Not even a bulk of Republicans supported McCarthy’s role as Speaker, which led to his tenure marking a distinctly unproductive period for Congress. That didn’t end when he was removed from his position, but it did lead to McCarthy’s name becoming synonymous with in-fighting and inefficacy. 

Then, in late September of 2023 — less than 10 months after he attained the Speakership — trouble began brewing. Congress struggled to agree on a spending bill and, just a few days after they came to a lukewarm agreement, Rep. Matt Gaetz filed a motion to vacate the speakership. This was reportedly due to McCarthy’s decision to investigate claims of an inappropriate relationship between Gaetz and a minor, something McCarthy himself has confirmed. 

 A vote to vacate passed with 216 in favor and 210 opposed in early October 2023, removing McCarthy from the Speakership and marking the first time in U.S. history that the House of Representatives voted to remove its Speaker from office. Subsequently, McCarthy resigned from his position in Congress, delivering his farewell speech on Dec. 14 and, by the end of the year, exiting politics entirely. 

What will he do now?

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In the wake of his resignation from Congress, McCarthy has noted that he wishes things had turned out differently. He told reporters, following his 2023 resignation, that leaving his position as he did was “not the timing I wanted.” It seems McCarthy would have happily retained his position in Congress for several years more had the ouster not removed him from the Speakership, but his time in the House appears to be over.

That doesn’t mean his time in politics has come to an end, however. Our nation’s politicians seem utterly incapable of grasping the concept of retirement, after all, which leads our governmental bodies to be populated by far too many excessively aged members. McCarthy could easily find himself among them should he choose to return to politics, but it seems few people — even his former allies — would welcome him back.

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