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McCarthy’s fate to be decided with up or down vote unless House votes to table Gaetz’s motion

If the motion passes with at least 218 votes, McCarthy could be renominated as speaker, according to a congressional source familiar with the process

Published: October 3, 2023 1:28pm

Updated: October 3, 2023 2:03pm

The motion to vacate the speakership being considered by the House on Tuesday needs 218 votes to pass.

The resolution was introduced by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) on Monday evening. House Speaker Kevin McCarrhy has predicted that he will survive Gaetz's effort to remove him.

The resolution can be tabled, according to House rules, which McCarthy allies might attempt to do when the resolution is considered this afternoon. If an effort to table it fails, then debate would begin on the motion on the House floor. 

The vote on the resolution to vacate will be a yea, nay or present vote, according to a congressional source familiar with the inner workings of the House.

If it fails, McCarthy remains speaker. If it passes, the speakership is considered vacated, which would trigger another individual put in place to serve as speaker pro tempore. A list of names for speaker pro tempore was submitted by McCarthy in advance of consideration of the motion, according to the congressional source.

McCarthy could also be renominated when the next speaker election takes place. The source referred to the situation as "uncharted territory" given that a motion to vacate the speakership has only been considered on the House floor once before in U.S. history.

McCarthy was asked on Tuesday if he's expecting Democrats to vote against the motion to vacate and support him.

“No, I personally, I’m not,” McCarthy said.

“Do you need their help to remain in leadership?” he then was asked.

“No. If five, if five Republicans go with Democrats, then I’m out,” McCarthy responded.

A report told McCarthy that “looks likely.”

“Probably so,” McCarthy said.

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