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American democracy concerns rise as Speaker McCarthy gets ousted

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“The office of speaker of the house of the United States House of Representatives is hereby declared vacant,” the presiding officer announced on Oct. 3. This was the first time in history that the House removed its leader. The ousting of Republican Kevin McCarthy has raised concerns regarding American democracy.

The 216-210 vote resulted in the ousting of McCarthy. The odd factor to this vote was that eight Republicans—Andy Biggs, Ken Buck, Matt Gaetz, Nancy Mace, Tim Burchett, Eli Crane, Bob Good, and Matthew M. Rosendale—voted alongside 208 Democrats. Among the Republicans who voted against McCarthy, Representative Matt Gaetz, a far-right Republican, initiated the vote.

The House argued vigorously during the floor debate after the result of the vote was announced. Republicans were divided amongst each other. Some complaints about the former House Speaker highlighted McCarthy’s inability to be transparent and keep promises.

“I feel like the removal of McCarthy shows the troubling divide of America,” Steve Nave, World History teacher, said. “Not only do we have the country divided between Republicans and Democrats but now we have the Republican side also divided. In order for there to be any progress made in a number of areas there must be some sort of cohesion.” 

McCarthy had initially promised Democrats an impartial role in governing but later engaged in intensely partisan legislation. In addition, he cut a spending deal with the White House but later changed his stance. Although McCarthy did take action for the country, his struggle to stand his ground was displayed prominently.

Prior to Kevin McCarthy’s election to become House Speaker, many viewed him as desperate. McCarthy had publicly announced that his life dream was to become the House Speaker. He ran 15 times to attain the position, making one concession after another, and some viewed this as the reason why he has been unable to take any definite stances.

As of Oct. 13, House Republicans are still unable to settle on the next speaker of the house. The Republicans are uncompromisingly divided between Steve Calise and Jim Jordan. As of now, Jordan has 47 public supporters while Scalise has 31, while 136 Republicans remain uncommitted.

Since a small number of representatives within a single party can bring about the ousting of one speaker, it’s apparent that the majority Republican House is deeply divided. With such irreconcilable differences, some raise concerns about the ability of current representatives of the office to run the government effectively.

“I think that the ousting of Kevin McCarthy is perfectly representative of what is wrong with the American political system at the moment,” Tyler Castaño (11), a political enthusiast, said. “Here you had an effective Speaker who made a difficult decision to prevent a catastrophic government shutdown, only to be scapegoated and forced out of office because the ideologues in Congress will not tolerate any form of public cooperation with the other side of the imaginary line.” 

In May of this year, President Biden and former House Speaker McCarthy had closed in on a deal that would raise the government’s $31.4 trillion debt ceiling over the next two years. The US debt has now increased to roughly the country’s annual output of the economy. 

Increasing the ceiling would allow ongoing spending for entitlement programs the Democrats deem necessary. The Democrats accused the small faction of Republicans against this measure of playing a dangerous game because this impasse is threatening the shutdown of the government.

“The most pressing issue is the raising of the debt ceiling,” Mr. Nave said. “If Congress does not come to an agreement on this issue, the US could default on its debt. This could cause a recession and destroy the reputation around the world.” 

“Recently, I have noticed that the political aspect of the US has many issues,” Winston Chen (10), a follower of US politics, said. ‘I believe that these concerns should be resolved as soon as possible. The government is not governing effectively, and is now affecting the economy.”

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About the Contributor
Everlyn Chong
Everlyn Chong, Reporter
Everlyn Chong is a sophomore reporter for Tiger Times Online. She enjoys playing sports, especially basketball and golf. In her free time, you may find her reading novels, walking her dog, or listening to music. Feel free to approach her with any song recommendations!

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