What's next after Kevin McCarthy's ouster?
Jon Lieber, head of Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington, DC shares his perspective on US politics.
Kevin McCarthy' is out. What's next?
So Kevin McCarthy today became the first speaker in American history to be removed from his job involuntarily, and the House is now going to be plunged into a period of uncertainty, with American governance losing the leader of one of its most important branches.
Patrick McHenry, a representative from North Carolina and an ally of Kevin McCarthy, is going to be the interim speaker and he will have to be able to execute most of the duties of the speaker, at least until there could be a new vote to replace him. But the question is going to be, who on earth has 218 votes to become speaker in this environment?
There's a small group of conservatives who are showing a lot of muscle here by taking McCarthy out, and they could do that to a future speaker as well, all over the issue of spending, and what's likely to happen now is that you get possibly flat funding on spending into next year. And the biggest loser from all of this could end up being Ukraine aid, because the same group that took McCarthy out are among the biggest opponents of additional Ukraine aid in the United States Congress, and that can make funding a new round of Ukraine aid well into 2024 a lot more difficult than the Biden administration was hope for.
So this could potentially have, this is a small vote that started with a disgruntled member from Florida, that could have massive geopolitical consequences that are felt for years.