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Ousted US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy says he's leaving Congress

Xinhua | Updated: 2023-12-07 02:02

This file photo shows US Representative and former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, Republican of California, speaks to the news media at the US Capitol in Washington DC, US, October 19, 2023. [Photo/Agencies]

WASHINGTON -- Former US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who was unprecedentedly removed from the position in early October, announced on Wednesday that he is leaving the US Congress at the end of this year.

In an opinion piece published on the Wall Street Journal, McCarthy said he has decided to "depart the House at the end of this year to serve America in new ways."

"I will continue to recruit our country's best and brightest to run for elected office. The Republican Party is expanding every day, and I am committed to lending my experience to support the next generation of leaders," said McCarthy, who was first elected to the House in 2006.

His decision will further narrow the Republican Party's already slim majority in the House, after George Santos of New York was expelled from Congress last week.

The California Republican was elected House speaker after a dramatic 15-round floor fight in January this year, but was voted out on Oct 3, days after he cut a deal with Democrats to avoid a looming government shutdown, which a handful of GOP lawmakers viewed as giving in to the opposition.

Matt Gaetz, the fellow Republican who led the ouster, had earlier accused McCarthy of caving to what he described as Democrats' excessive spending agenda. Eight Republicans voted with Democrats in the historical ouster.

McCarthy's nine-month tenure as House speaker was characterized by intraparty fighting between moderates and Republican hardliners.

On Oct 25, Louisiana Republican Representative Mike Johnson, vice chairman of the House Republican conference, was elected the new House speaker, bringing weeks of chaos in the lower chamber to a momentary halt.

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