SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Utah’s Congressional delegation responded to the historic removal of Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) with Rep. John Curtis (R-UT) saying “Congress set a new low today.”
Kevin McCarthy became the first Speaker of the House to be voted out of the position in U.S. history, leaving the future leadership of the House uncertain.
Utah Congressman John Curtis released a statement saying “No one’s interest was served with the removal of Kevin McCarthy.” He described today’s events as “Republicans turning on Republicans and Democrats standing around with lighter fluid and matches.”
McCarthy was essentially forced out by many of the same hard-right members of Congress who initially attempted to prevent him from assuming the position of speaker, according to the Associated Press. Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), who is an ally of McCarthy, will serve as speaker pro tempore until the position is filled.
“Instead of working on the budget, the border, and run-away inflation we’re reenacting our high school years,” Curtis said. “I stand ready to work with any reasonable member of Congress to put this back together again and work on the real problems of our day.”
Rep. Blake Moore (R-UT) said the vote was about Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who called for the motion to oust Speaker McCarthy, and his “insatiable desire for attention.”
“Today, Matt Gaetz and seven other members put our ability to hold the line against the Biden Administration’s out-of-control agenda in jeopardy by working with Democrats to oust our Republican Speaker instead of moving forward with votes on our conservative policies and appropriations bills,” said Moore.
Moore said the Republican majority in the House of Representatives is the “only line of defense” against Biden’s agenda and spending packages. Moore called out Gaetz, claiming he has sided with Democrats over the course of the last year, blocking Republican spending cuts, and helping further President Biden’s agenda.
Rep. Burgess Owens (R-UT) said Tuesday’s proceedings were driven by a personal vendetta that disrupted the legislative process and complicated matters. Owens wrote on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, that the vote initiated by Gaetz setback the conservative agenda, voicing support for McCarthy.
“Speaker McCarthy has a strong record, from robust border security measures to significant spending cuts and military pay raises,” said Owens. “I continue to fully support him. We have a mandate to govern effectively, and we must rise to the occasion.”
The Associated Press has contributed to this story.