Former Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy announced last week that he would be resigning at the end of December, bringing an end to speculation about his future role in the House after he was ousted from the speakership in October, CBS News reported.
In an op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal on December 6, McCarthy said he decided to leave the House at the end of the year “to serve America in new ways.”
McCarthy’s announcement came just one day after his staunch ally, North Carolina Republican Rep. Patrick McHenry announced that he would not seek reelection in 2024.
The 48-year-old McHenry served three weeks as the Speaker pro tempore after Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz successfully worked with Democrats to oust McCarthy.
McCarthy’s decision not to serve the remainder of his term made him the latest in a string of retirements in the House amid the growing divisions that have made it difficult for the slim Republican majority to effectively govern.
With McCarthy leaving at the end of the month and the expulsion of New York Rep. George Santos on December 1, the Republican majority will be even slimmer when the House returns from the holiday recess in January.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul scheduled a special election to replace Santos for February 13. However, the Cook Political Report currently has the seat listed as a toss-up.
McCarthy, who was first elected to the House in 2006, represents District 20 in California, which is considered a solidly red district.
While appearing at the New York Times’ DealBook Summit in late November, the former speaker revealed that he had been working through the stages of grief ever since he was ousted and didn’t want to make any rash decisions about his future.
He said if he did run for reelection in 2024, he would give it “110 percent,” but added that if he decided to “walk away,” he would be fine with it.