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Kevin McCarthy ousted as House speaker, a first in US history

Picture courtesy: AP

On Tuesday, Speaker Kevin McCarthy faced an unprecedented challenge as he was voted out of his position in an extraordinary showdown. This historic event, the first of its kind in U.S. history, was instigated by a faction of staunch conservative members, plunging the House and its Republican leadership into a state of disarray.

The chamber is now confronted with a pressing priority that will overshadow all other matters, whether it's budget approval or providing funding for Ukraine. This paramount task involves the selection of a new leader for the chamber, who holds the crucial position of being third in line to the presidency.

Kevin McCarthy's removal from his position came as a result of eight members within his own party aligning with 208 Democrats, resulting in a vote of 216-210. The resolution of this situation may extend over several days, and it remains uncertain whether McCarthy will pursue a bid to reclaim his leadership role.

While Republicans engaged in heated exchanges within their ranks, Democrats observed the proceedings in silence. Members of the opposition party sat with their arms crossed, sporting smiles, and refusing to partake in the debate or offer support to McCarthy.

This event marks a historic turning point in an ongoing struggle between what some perceive as the Republican Party's governing faction versus its cable-television-driven self-promotional wing.

Amidst the chaos, one of McCarthy's defenders, Republican Garret Graves of Louisiana, expressed his frustration, waving his phone to demonstrate how some within his party were capitalizing on the revolt to raise funds. He exclaimed, "It's disgusting. It's what's disgusting about Washington. My phone keeps sending text messages. Saying, 'Hey, give me money!' Oh, look at that. 'Give me money — I've filed a motion to vacate.'"

On the other side in Canada, Liberal MP Greg Fergus replaced Anthony Rota as Speaker of the House of Commons Tuesday, making history as the first Black Canadian to hold the role.

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