Former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) stunned everyone last month by announcing that he would be resigning his seat effective December 31, 2023.
While most of us did not expect him to run for re-election after his embarrassing removal as Speaker, the resignation caught everyone by surprise considering the slim majority the Republicans hold in the House.
With McCarthy now officially gone, Speaker Johnson (R-LA) has a tough agenda and very few votes to spare.
McCarthy, while resigning his seat, stated, “It is in this spirit that I have decided to depart the House at the end of this year to serve America in new ways. I know my work is only getting started.”
He has already endorsed a California Assemblyman in the upcoming special election, so it is a fairly safe bet that a Republican will fill that seat, but that will not help Johnson in the meantime.
Johnson held no animosity against McCarthy for leaving the House early, stating, "Kevin served the American people and his constituents in California’s Central Valley with honor for nearly two decades."
"As the Republican Leader, he helped secure the House Republican majority twice, and as Speaker, he led the People’s House in its return to regular order after Pelosi’s Covid lockdowns. Kevin and Judy have served faithfully and sacrificed substantially for the good of our country and our cause, and Kelly and I wish them the very best in their next endeavors.”
But make no mistake about it, the only person that McCarthy ever served was himself, always maneuvering for the Speaker’s chair and now holding a grudge to exact revenge from Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who made the motion to vacate against McCarthy.
As I have stated before, I fully expect McCarthy to now latch onto Donald Trump and join him in his campaign in an effort to become a key member of Trump’s cabinet if he manages to win the nomination and the general election.
McCarthy, with his House experience and relationships, would appear to be a prime candidate for Trump’s Chief of Staff.
McCarthy will also still be leaned on heavily for GOP fundraising, as he was been a money-making machine for the party for most of his career, and especially as the minority leader when Pelosi was the House Speaker.