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Ousted Speaker leaving Congress

McCarthy’s move leaves GOP with thin majority

Two months after his historic ouster as U.S. House speaker, Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy said Wednesday that he is resigning and will leave Congress by the end of the year.

His announcement capped a stunning end to a House career for the one-time deli counter owner from Bakersfield, Calif., who ascended through state and national politics to become second in line to the presidency, until a cluster of hard-right conservatives engineered his removal in October.

McCarthy is the only speaker in history to be voted out of the job.

“No matter the odds, or personal cost, we did the right thing,” McCarthy wrote in the Wall Street Journal, announcing his decision. “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.”

Word about McCarthy’s future had been expected, days before the filing deadline to seek reelection to the House. But his decision ricocheted across Capitol Hill, where his departure will leave the already paper-thin House GOP majority even tighter, with just a few seats to spare.

It adds to the wave of retirements in the House, which has been split by Republican infighting, and the rare expulsion last week of indicted GOP Rep. George Santos of New York, dashing hopes for major accomplishments and leaving the majority straining to conduct the basic business of governing.

McCarthy had brought the Republicans into the majority but found it was much more difficult to lead the GOP’s factions.

House Speaker Mike Johnson of Louisiana, a Republican who succeeded McCarthy as Speaker, tweeted that McCarthy “served faithfully and sacrificed substantially for the good of our country and our cause.”





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