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A ballot box is emptied and the counting of ballots begins. In Bavaria, the election for the 19th Bavarian state parliament took place on Sunday.

Pia Bayer/dpa via Reuters

What We're Watching: Three votes that matter

In other world news, we’re tracking the implications of three important votes.
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Former Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) speaks to reporters after he was ousted from the position of Speaker


McCarthy inside the belly of the beast

It’s tempting to gather around a partisan tailgate party and warm your hands on the political fire that is Washington politics. The trouble is, lawmakers set this one themselves, and arson is not a smart way to stay warm. Eventually, the fire spreads everywhere, and that is exactly what’s happening.

The unprecedented ouster of Republican Kevin McCarthy as House speaker by eight far-right radicals is not just a domestic disaster but a global one that has leaders from Kyiv to Ottawa putting on their protective gear.

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A collage showing the US Capitol, former US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, and Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz.

GZERO Media/ Jess Frampton

Washington chaos rings alarm bells in Ukraine and Europe

You’ve heard the news. Rebel Republicans and unsympathetic Democrats ousted House Speaker Kevin McCarthy from his job yesterday. That post is now officially “vacant.” For now, Patrick McHenry (R-NC) holds the post of Speaker Pro Tempore to ensure there’s someone there to keep the lights on and the process moving toward the election of a new speaker.

Americans (and the world) are now trying to figure out what it all means. But keep in mind, this has never happened before. The only previous attempt to fire a speaker of the US House of Representatives failed, and that was 113 years ago. The cliché “uncharted waters” fits perfectly here.

But … you’ve got questions, lots of questions, and I’m here to give you the best available answers.

We just survived a shutdown threat last weekend. Should we expect more of these congressional showdowns?

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Ousted U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.


McCarthy is ousted as House speaker. What comes next?

In a historic first, the most powerful Republican has been ousted.

After just nine months on the job, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy was booted on Tuesday when Democrats joined eight Republicans in backing a vote calling for his ouster. Crucially, the vote was brought by the right flank of McCarthy’s party.

How’d we get here? A handful of anti-establishment, far-right Republicans have opposed McCarthy’s speakership from the get-go, but the immediate trigger was the speaker’s decision to work with Democrats over the weekend to pass a temporary spending bill to avoid a government shutdown. Though that stopgap measure, which will expire on Nov. 17, did not include more aid for Ukraine, McCarthy did agree to introduce a separate measure to dole out more funds to Kyiv, infuriating far-right members of his caucus.

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What's next after Kevin McCarthy's ouster?
What's next after Kevin McCarthy's ouster? | US Politics In :60 | GZERO Media

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.

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Ukraine's aid struggles will worsen if McCarthy is ousted
Ukraine's aid struggles | Quick Take | GZERO Media

Ukraine's aid struggles will worsen if McCarthy is ousted

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take: Hi everybody. Ian Bremmer here and a Quick Take to kick off your week and a challenging week indeed for President Zelensky as we start to see more pushback on the ability to continue to support the Ukrainians in defending themselves against the ongoing Russian invasion.

A few different stories here. The most meaningful one being the push against Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, particularly around support for Ukraine aid. And if McCarthy goes down, that is a big hit to the ability to get additional Ukrainian aid approved over the coming months. Any future speaker that sees that the conservatives of the GOP were prepared to take out Kevin McCarthy for willingness to work with the Democrats and get Ukrainian funding done separately would certainly mean that his replacement is going to be very hard pressed to put forward legislation that would continue to fund them. So this has become a big political football in the United States. Republicans, now identified Republicans, a majority say that too much aid is going from the United States. Ukraine should be significantly reduced, if not cut off entirely. Democrats, those numbers are also going up, but they're still in the minority, about 30% and independents more like 40 to 50.

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The U.S. Capitol.


The US government is heading toward a shutdown. What does that mean?

The US government looks set to shut down this Sunday after House Republicans indicated that they would not support a bipartisan Senate bill that would fund the federal government past this weekend’s deadline.

Absent a last-minute agreement, many federal agencies could soon shut down, while millions of federal workers could be placed on furlough without pay due to a lapse in funding from Congress, which controls the purse strings.

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House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy


Will McCarthy stop a government shutdown?

Late Tuesday, the US Senate agreed to a bipartisan temporary funding plan in a bid to avoid a government shutdown on Sunday. The agreement would guarantee Ukraine funding by tying it to domestic disaster relief – a cause even Ukraine-wary Senate Republicans were reluctant to vote against.

Trouble is, it is unlikely to pass in the House. Speaker Kevin McCarthy would need to rely on Democratic votes for it to pass, risking a party backlash, and far-right Republicans are threatening to push for his removal if he brings it to the floor.

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