RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia lawmakers are divided after the House of Representatives voted to oust Kevin McCarthy from his job as House speaker.
A handful of hardline conservatives, including Virginia Republican Congressman Bob Good (VA-05), joined all present Democrats in removing McCarthy.
Speaking on the House floor prior to the vote, Good said McCarthy’s 45-day deal to fund the government, a move that averted a shutdown, was the final straw.
“We need a speaker, ideally someone who doesn’t want to be speaker and hasn’t pursued that at all costs for his entire adult life, who will meet the moment and do everything possible to fight for the country,” Good said.
McCarthy, who is the first speaker in history to be removed through a motion to vacate the chair, had the support of most Republicans including members of Virginia’s delegation, including Rob Wittman, Jen Kiggans, Ben Cline and Morgan Griffith.
In a statement on X, Kiggans said, “DC games are a waste of taxpayers’ time. I’m focused on what Virginians elected me to do: govern. We must pass our remaining funding bills before time’s up. To detract from our ability to do so is wrong. I’ll leave the gimmicks to unserious lawmakers with misguided priorities.”
Despite the Republican infighting, McCarthy could have held onto the speaker’s gavel if he got help from Democrats. However, all Democrats present, including all six members Democratic members of Virginia’s delegation, voted to remove McCarthy as speaker.
In a statement on X, Representative Abigail Spanberger (VA-07) said, “Today’s vote represents whether I want to further enable a Speaker who — in demonstrating a lack of principles — has hurt our country, damaged our democracy, and threatened the financial security of my constituents for political purposes. In the absence of any desire by Speaker McCarthy to reverse course and focus on governing, the answer is no.”