GOP lawmakers float Trump for House speaker after McCarthy’s ousting

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As Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., has been booted from his post as House speaker after a motion to vacate brought forth by hardliner Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Calif., an unlikely nominee has been suggested as next speaker: former President Donald Trump.

Texas Rep. Troy Nehls said in a statement Tuesday afternoon his first order of business when the House reconvenes ‘will be to nominate Donald J. Trump for Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.’

‘President Trump, the greatest President of my lifetime, has a proven record of putting America First and will make the House great again,’ he said.

Rep. Greg Steube, R-Fla., followed suit in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Tuesday evening: ‘@realDonaldTrump for Speaker.’

The next speaker does not have to be a current sitting member in the House, but every speaker in U.S. history has been.

It’s not the first time Trump has been floated as a nominee for speakership, either. In January, as McCarthy struggled to garner enough votes to secure his speakership, Gaetz cast a ballot for Trump.

In a gaggle with reporters on the Hill after the vote Tuesday, Gaetz said he’d support several members of Congress should they decide run for the post, including GOP Reps. Tom Emmer, Mike Johnson, Jodey Arrington, Kevin Hern, or Steve Scalise, none of whom voted to oust McCarthy.

House Financial Services chairman Rep. Patrick McHenry will serve as interim Speaker until a replacement for McCarthy is chosen. 

House rules dictated that McCarthy, upon his election as speaker in January, provide a secret list of members to succeed him as speaker pro tempore should the office be vacated as it was with his removal. It was revealed following the vote to oust McCarthy that McHenry was at the top of the list.

McHenry, a former media consultant and political operative, was first elected to the House to represent North Carolina’s 10th Congressional District in 2004. He was selected as the House Republican chief deputy whip in 2015 and served in the role until 2019. He was selected as chair of the House Financial Services Committee in January.

Eight Republicans sided with House Democrats on Tuesday to oust McCarthy from his role as speaker after a dramatic floor vote tallying each member’s vote by surname. 

An hour of debate was heard before members of Congress cast their votes. The vast majority of Republican lawmakers passionately spoke in favor and against McCarthy, and forced the anti-McCarthy group to speak from the Democratic side of the House floor.

McCarthy told reporters Tuesday evening he would not be running again for speakership.

Fox News’ Brandon Gillespie contributed to this report.

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