During an interview this weekend on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) argued there have been serious problems with the ongoing tenure of Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) as House Speaker and said she’d vote in favor of a push for his removal from the position.
Asked about the possibility of some Democrats voting instead for McCarthy to keep the job to service what would be the ultimate interest of maintaining the House’s functioning, Ocasio-Cortez contended Democrats wouldn’t be just rushing in to salvage McCarthy’s stint in that leadership role.
“I think Kevin McCarthy is a very weak Speaker,” Ocasio-Cortez added. “He clearly has lost control of his caucus. He has brought the United States and millions of Americans to the brink, waiting until the final hour to keep the government open, and even then, only issuing a 45-day extension, so we’re going to be right back in this place in November. And I think that our main priority has to be the American people and what’s going to keep our governance in a cohesive and strong place.”
In the approval this weekend by the House and Senate of that short-term extension of past government funding, which materialized with just hours left before a government shutdown, Democratic votes in the House put the deal over the top, though Republicans hold the majority in the chamber. The House GOP was still struggling to on its own even pass the full set of funding needed, with ongoing dissent from a corner of the party wanting policy wins and opposing almost any short-term fix. (The deal finally approved in the House contained little new policy beyond extending the past funding approvals.)
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) is now saying he’ll soon be pursuing a vote on whether McCarthy keeps the Speaker role, which there’s little indication would turn out in a manner different from how things went in January. Among Republicans, roughly the same divisions are persisting, with Gaetz and ideological allies of his clamoring for more ambitious action, including of the sort McCarthy temporarily abandoned in putting the slimmed down funding deal to a weekend vote.
AOC: Kevin MCcCarthy is a very weak speaker. He has clearly lost control of his caucus. He has brought the United States and millions of Americans to the brink waiting for the final hour to keep the government open, and even then only issuing a 45-day extension. pic.twitter.com/geQdaHzvGu
— Acyn (@Acyn) October 1, 2023