Ousted former speaker Kevin McCarthy is now ousting himself, announcing he will retire from Congress by the end of this month.
"I have decided to depart the House at the end of this year to serve America in new ways," said the Republican Rep. from California in an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal today. "I know my work is only getting started."
This comes a day after Republican Rep. Patrick T. McHenry (NC) announced he'd be retiring, not this month but by the end of his term. It also comes less than a week after Republican Rep. George Santos (NY) was expelled.
It was obvious the stewing McCarthy was deeply unhappy when he sharply elbowed Rep. Tim Burchett (TN) — who was one of the eight Republicans who voted to oust him — in the kidneys last month. But the bottled-up lawmaker tried to sound upbeat in his announcement this morning, saying, "I never could have imagined the journey when I first threw my hat into the ring. I go knowing I left it all on the field—as always, with a smile on my face. And looking back, I wouldn't have had it any other way."
From the The Washington Post:
Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), the former House speaker who was ousted from his position in October in a revolt by hard-right members, will not seek reelection to his congressional seat and will retire from Congress at the end of this month, he announced Wednesday.
McCarthy's retirement will bring to an end a 17-year House career in which he rose quickly through the ranks of Republican leadership, culminating with his stint as speaker. His ouster marked the first time in history that the House voted to remove its leader, a move that threw the chamber into a period of instability.
McCarthy's downfall was precipitated by a procedure to remove him as speaker — a "motion to vacate" initiated by Rep. Matt Gaetz, a far-right Florida Republican and McCarthy's antagonist. McCarthy's detractors accused him of not keeping promises made during a lengthy fight to secure the speaker's gavel in January.
Some McCarthy loyalists on Wednesday expressed disappointment with their former leader's retirement, with some blaming the eight Republicans who voted to oust him in October. In a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) warned that, if House Republicans lose the majority, it would be the fault of those eight.
"I can assure you Republican voters didn't give us the majority to crash the ship," Greene said, adding: "Hopefully no one dies."