A vote to oust Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., as House speaker could be voted on as early as Tuesday after Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., introduced a motion to vacate.
House Republicans are expected to have a closed door meeting at 9 a.m. ET on Tuesday for the first time since Gaetz introduced his motion on Monday.
The vote will be taken up no later than Wednesday. The last time the House faced such a vote was in 1910 with Speaker Joe Cannon, R-Ill.
Gaetz, a frequent McCarthy critic, introduced the motion Monday evening on the House floor.
‘Mr. Speaker, pursuant to clause 2A1 of Rule 9, I rise to give notice of my intent to raise a question of the privileges of House,’ Gaetz said. ‘Declaring the office speaker of the House of Representatives to be vacant. Resolved that the office of speaker of the House Representatives is hereby declared to be vacant.’
There are a number of members undecided on how they would vote on the motion to vacate, but McCarthy will have to solicit help from the Democratic caucus to hold onto his reins.
Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., told Fox News following Gaetz’s move that he believes a motion to vacate at this time is ‘a bad idea.’ Additionally, Rep. Andy Ogles, R-Tenn., told Fox previously he was undecided.
McCarthy reacted to the motion with a post on X. ‘Bring it on,’ he said, to which Gaetz responded: ‘Just did.’
At a press gaggle follow the introduction of his motion, Gaetz said he had enough Republican votes – at least five – to either oust McCarthy, or force him to appease Democrats for their support.
If Gaetz’s motion succeeds, all proceedings on the House floor will freeze and the House will then be required to conduct successive roll call votes until a new speaker is elected.
McCarthy’s bid for speaker extended over five days and spanned 15 rounds in January, making it the lengthiest speaker’s election since 1859.
The first vote will likely center on an attempt to table or dismiss Gaetz’s move. Should the House vote against it, Gaetz’s initiative will be thwarted. However, if the House fails to set aside Gaetz’s motion, this will likely trigger a new vote for speaker.
On Sunday, Gaetz told CNN ‘State of the Union’ host Jake Tapper that ‘we need to move on with new leadership that can be trustworthy.’
‘Look, the one thing everybody has in common is that nobody trusts Kevin McCarthy. He lied to Biden. He lied to House conservatives,’ Gaetz said. ‘Kevin McCarthy’s goal was to make multiple contradictory promises to delay everything back up against shutdown politics and at the end of the day, blow past the spending guardrails he had agreed.’
Meanwhile, some House Republicans are now trying to oust Gaetz if the ethics committee finds him guilty, which would take a two-thirds vote to expel.
The House Ethics Committee has been investigating Gaetz since 2021 on allegations, including campaign finance violations as well as claims of taking bribes and using drugs – accusations the congressman has vehemently denied. Gaetz also denies allegations leaked from a Justice Department sex trafficking probe said to have involved an underage girl.
Fox News’ Daniel Wallace and Howard Kurtz contributed to this report.