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The Student News Site of Ocean Lakes High School

The Current

The Student News Site of Ocean Lakes High School

The Current

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House Speaker fired by colleagues

Mike Johnson is sworn in as the 56th Speaker of the House on October 25, 2023. Johnson was endorsed by Trump, but only roughly supported by the Republican party. Photo used with permission from Mirando Nazzaro .
Mike Johnson is sworn in as the 56th Speaker of the House on October 25, 2023. Johnson was endorsed by Trump, but only roughly supported by the Republican party. Photo used with permission from Mirando Nazzaro .

Tension in the U.S. House of Representatives has caused Kevin McCarthy to become the first Speaker of the House to be fired by his colleagues. 

In the House of Representatives, the majority party gets to elect the Speaker of the House. Despite several House Republicans being hard-right conservatives, the Republican majority’s elected candidate, Kevin McCarthy, was a moderate Republican. McCarthy rigorously negotiated with members of his own party to have his spot as the Speaker.

The conservatives, unsure of McCarthy’s loyalty, offered him the job under the condition that if any one person challenged his Speakership, he could be removed from office. In order to receive the support of his party, McCarthy accepted this condition and took his place as Speaker of the House.

Representative Matt Gaetz first challenged McCarthy’s speakership, calling him chaotic as a leader. 

“Chaos is Speaker McCarthy,” said Gaetz in a report from Capitol Hill. “Chaos is somebody who we can not trust with their word.”

The U.S went two weeks with no Speaker of the House. Representative Patrick McHenry temporarily acted as an interim, but his constitutional inability to bring legislation to the floor left the House paralyzed. 

Some argue that the temporary powers of Patrick McHenry should have been increased, but others held that the guidelines of the Constitution would not have allowed for this.

“A lot of people have said that this demonstrates a collapse in the Republican party at the national level,” said AP Government and Politics teacher Lisa Gibson.

Whether or not this speculation is accurate, the Speaker of the House remains necessary for proper passage of legislation, business conduction, investigation, public speaking and cultivating a unified message from the political parties.

Being third in line for the presidency, it is a constitutionally important position to the proper function of the American government. 

Until the Speaker was restored, the House of Representatives was due to remain at an unprecedented standstill.

As of Oct. 25, a new Speaker of the House was sworn into office. After serving four terms in the House, Louisiana representative Mike Johnson was voted in by one vote. 

According to The New York Times, Mike Johnson is a radical Republican who has been a known supporter of former president Donald Trump. Trump personally endorsed Johnson’s campaign for Speaker.

Republicans were worn down from the numerous failed candidates and voted for someone who they did not necessarily view as the Party’s best option.

He cleared a lowered bar,” said Annie Karnie in the New York Times. 

Overall, this year’s Congressional session has faced steep public criticism. The instability has caused a decline in faith and trust that Congress will successfully do its job.

“The most recent polling data from September 2023 puts the approval rating of the United States Congress at 17 percent,” according to a poll of the U.S. Congress public approval ratings by the Statista Research Department. 

This approval percentage is a “record low.”

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About the Contributor
Ellie Perkins, Staff Writer
Ellie Perkins is a senior and a third-year journalist for The Current. She plays guitar and soccer, she loves music and the beach, and she loves to write. After high school, she hopes to attend a university and potentially go on to graduate school for veterinary medicine.

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