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Chaos erupted in the House of Representatives Tuesday as Kevin McCarthy became the first Speaker removed from the office.
The dramatic event unfolded after far-right GOP Congressman Matt Gaetz announced he would issue a motion to vacate over the weekend. When that vote officially came to the floor, eight Republicans joined nearly all Democrats in voting to oust McCarthy as Speaker.
The move sent shockwaves around Washington, with reporters describing most Republican members as “completely stunned”. Adding to the shock was McCarthy’s announcement that he would not run for the seat again.
This announcement prompted Republican leadership to recess the House until next week, essentially grinding all legislation to a halt.
Republicans intend to conference on Tuesday and open voting for the new Speaker on Wednesday, October 11th.
Names like Hern and Trump emerge in the race to replace McCarthy
Now, hours after McCarthy gave his final press conference as Speaker, a list of names from potential candidates is emerging.
One name on that list is Kevin Hern, the Congressman representing Tulsa, Oklahoma and the surrounding area. According to the Republican Accountability Project, Hern was one of a number of Republicans in the House who stirred conspiracy theories about the 2020 election.
Hern voted against certifying the results of the election. He asserted, without evidence, that election fraud was widespread in several states.
Hern was also one of just 40 representatives to vote against the first COVID relief package.
Far-right hardliners floated Hern’s name for Speaker in January, but he denied interest. According to a report from Politico, the Congressman’s position may have since changed.
The publication reported Hern “is gauging support among GOP lawmakers ahead of a potential speakership launch.”
In addition to Hern, far-right election denier and conspiracy theorist Jim Jordan is also reportedly considering running. Politico reports the lawmaker “is having conversations with House GOP allies as he seriously entertains a bid for speaker.”
Current majority leader Steve Scalise from Louisiana is also reportedly interested in the job.
And according to reporting from The Hill, Representative Troy Nehls of Texas plans to nominate former President Donald Trump for Speaker.
Trump, who was twice impeached as president and is currently facing 91 criminal charges, is reportedly “open” to the role.
The uncertainty was immediately reflected in the stock market.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 430 points after McCarthy’s ouster.
The country now marches toward another shutdown showdown in just under 45 days. Issues of Ukraine funding hang in the balance and multiple crises affect the nation at once, making the stakes especially high.