SAN DIEGO — The historic ousting of Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) as Speaker of the House on Tuesday produced reactions from local leaders.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) orchestrated the vote to unseat McCarthy after the California representative averted a government shutdown by putting a stopgap measure on the floor that collected Democratic support. However, hours before the vote, Democrats announced they would not protect McCarthy from infuriated Republicans.
The political chaos prompted reactions from Rep. Sara Jacobs (D-San Diego), Rep. Mike Levin (D-San Juan Capistrano) and Rep. Scott Peters (D-San Diego).
Jacobs blamed House Republicans for turning “the House into chaos, elevating extremism and the MAGA faction of their party.”
“They intentionally pushed our country toward a historic default of our debt and a federal government shutdown, ignoring the stress and anxiety inflicted on the American people and our economy. They hijacked the bipartisan NDAA and made it into a reckoning on culture war issues instead of addressing the needs of our service members and military families. And they launched a baseless impeachment inquiry to distract from their inability to govern, wasting time and taxpayer dollars, despite no evidence of wrongdoing,” she said.
Levin called the ousting “a serious moment for our country.”
“He has routinely caved to the demands of the extremist members of his party and has jeopardized the integrity of the Congress. I voted in favor of the motion to vacate,” he said.
Rep. Scott Peters (D-San Diego) says it is a “somber moment in our nation’s history.”
“My hope is reasonable voices prevail and we are able to put aside the extremists that got us here so that we can restore confidence in our government. We have some very serious challenges ahead of us — a possible shutdown, a cliff for childcare funds, and the ongoing cross-border pollution in San Diego, among others. It’s time we come together and work on these issues for the American people,” he said.
The final vote for removing McCarthy was 216-210.