(WHNT) — On Tuesday, the House of Representatives voted to remove Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) as Speaker of the House, marking the first time a sitting Speaker has been removed.
A small group of House Republicans led by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) joined with Democrats to oust him in a 216-210 vote.
Now, Alabama officials are speaking out about the decision.
Congressman Dale Strong (AL-05) and Congressman Robert Aderholt (AL-04) were two of the 210 representatives to vote to support McCarthy as House Speaker.
Rep. Strong said he voted no to remove McCarthy to, “bring unity to the party.”
“Today, 97% of Republicans in the House voted to abandon this Washington parlor game so that we can resume the consideration of conservative, single-subject funding bills. In my short time in Washington, I have seen that some members are here to fight on behalf of the conservative values of their constituents and others here for sound bites. Today, I supported our speaker because we have a narrow window to finish our work on the appropriations process, and discord within our conference threatens our ability to put conservative legislation on the president’s desk,” said Representative Dale Strong.
Rep. Aderholt said in a statement released shortly after the vote that he voted in support of McCarthy because he had done the best he could.
“Today, I voted against the removal of Kevin McCarthy as the current Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. I am certainly disappointed that Speaker McCarthy has been removed. While no Speaker is perfect, as no member of Congress is perfect, I believe that Speaker McCarthy has done the best he can in bringing conservative bills to the floor. We must remember that Republicans have one of the narrowest margins in the history of the United States House of Representatives.”
“Our nation currently has many challenges, and certainly the debt of this country, and the crisis at the border, are issues that must be dealt with. Republicans must find a way to work together to do the most we can do until we can grow our majority. We don’t give up because we can’t win everything today. I will never give in and never quit fighting to solve the debt problem and the disaster at the border,” Aderholt stated.
Rep. Jerry Carl (AL-01) said in a statement, “I voted against removing Speaker McCarthy because this is nothing more than a distraction from the real issues that matter to Americans. We need to focus on securing the border, cutting wasteful government spending, countering the Biden admin, and stopping the woke agenda.”
Rep. Barry Moore (AL-02) also opposed McCarthy’s removal, and in a statement following the vote he said in part, “Congress has 41 days left to fund the government by getting the remaining appropriations bills passed — let’s not waste them.” You can read Moore’s full statement here.
Congressman Gary Palmer (AL-06) said on Tuesday that this decision is a reflection of how divided the nation, and even Republican House members are but reminded everyone of the work still ahead.
“What we just experienced has never occurred in the history of our nation. For the first time, a Speaker of the House has been removed. This action is reflective of how divided our nation is, including among Republican members of the House. While I am deeply disappointed about where we are, we still must find a way to govern.”
“Our country faces a $33 trillion debt crisis threatening the future of all Americans – those living and those yet to be born. Our border is not secure, threatening not only our economy but also our national security. As Republicans, we must find a way to come together and choose a leader who can unify our party and has the ability to address these issues head-on. We have a job to do for the American people, and they deserve a unified majority focused on what’s best for the nation,” Palmer added.
Rep. Terri Sewell (AL-07) was among the 208 Democrats who voted in favor of McCarthy’s removal. The Democrats were ultimately joined by eight Republicans to reach 216 votes.
This historic removal moves the House into another Speaker race after a chaotic four-day, 15-ballot election in January.
McCarthy ally Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) was named acting Speaker, or Speaker pro tempore, as he was chosen by a list designated by the now-former House Speaker.