Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) moved Monday to force a vote to oust Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) from his post, setting into motion a process that propels Republicans into a tough decision: Support McCarthy, or vote to boot him?
At least five Republicans are joining Gaetz in backing McCarthy’s ouster — potentially enough to remove McCarthy from office, depending on technicalities such as absences and present votes, if all Democrats also support removing the Speaker.
A handful of other Republicans who previously opposed the Speaker, meanwhile, are running to his corner.
And a large number of GOP lawmakers — including those who previously opposed him — remain undecided or declined to reveal their position.
Here is how Republicans fall on the vote to oust McCarthy.
Supporters of ousting McCarthy
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.)
Gaetz, a top McCarthy adversary, moved to force a vote on McCarthy’s ouster Monday evening.
“He doesn’t have my support anymore and he doesn’t have the support of a requisite number of Republicans to continue as the Republican Speaker,” Gaetz told reporters after unveiling his resolution declaring the office of Speaker to be vacant.
Gaetz warned that he will continue to force votes on ousting McCarthy if the first one fails.
“It took Speaker McCarthy 15 votes to become the Speaker,” the Florida Republican said earlier Monday. “So until I get to 14 or 15, I don’t think I’m being any more dilatory than he was.”
Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.)
Biggs said he was “favorably disposed” to Gaetz’s move, clarifying that means he would be a “yes.”
Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.)
Burchett said Monday night that he is “praying about” how to vote on McCarthy’s ouster but said “right now,” he would support booting him from his post.
“Really I see it as two things: One, do I vote against my friend Kevin McCarthy, or do I go with my conscience?” Burchett said on CNN. “That’s kind of where I’m at. I’m currently praying about it but I would, if it was right now I would vote to oust him.”
Rep. Eli Crane (R-Ariz.)
“Let’s roll,” Crane wrote on X while reposting a video of Gaetz talking about the motion to vacate.
Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.)
“I said repeatedly in January that we cannot repeat the failures of the past where when Republicans have majority control, that we pass our major spending bills with predominantly Democrat votes,” Good said Monday. “For the Speaker to totally surrender and capitulate on Saturday to pass an unconditional [continuing resolution] with 209 Democrat votes and all votes in the Senate was a bad deal for the American people.”
Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Mont.)
Rosendale on Tuesday said that he would vote for the motion to vacate.
“Our country is facing $33 trillion of debt. Our border is facing an unprecedented invasion. And instead of being energy dominant, we are now energy reliant. The House of Representatives and the American people deserve a leader who can challenge the status quo and put an end to this ruin,” he said in a statement.
Rosendale was one of four House Republicans who voted “present” instead of supporting McCarthy on the 15th ballot to elect the Speaker in January.
Previous McCarthy opponents now supporting him
Rep. Dan Bishop (R-N.C.)
Bishop earlier this year was the first House Republican to voice support for removing McCarthy over how he was handling fiscal issues. But on Tuesday, Bishop said he would vote against the motion to vacate.
“Congress operates by numerosity: there must be a substantial groundswell for an effort toward fundamental change. One person’s play call with roughly 5-7 potential supporters portends no path toward success, only chaos,” he said in a statement.
Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.)
Donalds said on Sean Hannity’s radio show Monday that the motion to vacate was a “major distraction.”
“It’s going to take every all of the focus away from appropriations,” said Donalds, who voted against McCarthy in the January Speaker’s race.
Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.)
Norman said Tuesday he opposes the motion to vacate. He voted against McCarthy in the January Speaker’s race.
Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas)
“I think that the Speaker deserves the ability to finish this process, this year’s process, through the appropriations process, through the battle of funding government, through the Ukraine debate and border, and to honor the commitments he’s made,” Roy said on Hannity’s radio show. He voted against McCarthy in the January Speaker’s race.
Rep. Keith Self (R-Texas)
“I understand Matt’s position, but I have to go through the appropriations process. We’ve got 45 days to get it done,” Self said Monday. He voted against McCarthy in the January Speaker’s race.
To be determined and undecided
Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.)
“The Congresswoman is dedicated to being a leader for the 700,000+ people she represents and passing 12 individual appropriations bills to keep our government funded,” Boebert’s office said in a statement when asked about her motion to vacate stance Monday. She voted against McCarthy in the January Speaker’s race.
Rep. Josh Brecheen (R-Okla.)
“I’m in prayer about it. But I will tell you right now, you don’t just do what would you think is the right thing — you do it at the right time,” Brecheen said Monday. He voted against McCarthy in the January Speaker’s race.
Rep. Michael Cloud (R-Texas)
“I’m focused on the appropriations calendar,” Cloud said Monday. He voted against McCarthy in the January Speaker’s race.
Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.)
Clyde declined to comment on his position Monday. He voted against McCarthy in the January Speaker’s race.
Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Mont.)
Rosendale was one of four House Republicans who voted “present” instead of supporting McCarthy on the 15th ballot to elect the Speaker in January. But he is staying coy about his vote, only saying Monday that members could now consider it.
Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.)
Mace, during a Monday appearance on “The View,” said, “I haven’t decided yet what I’m going to do” when asked about how she would vote on an effort to oust McCarthy.
Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-Ind.)
Spartz’s office said Monday she was “open-minded and undecided.”
Rep. Wesley Hunt (R-Texas)
Hunt, a first-term lawmaker, told reporters Monday night ahead of Gaetz’s announcement that he is keeping an open mind on the motion to vacate, noting that he will vote his district. He said he could not speculate until he had seen the resolution.
Hunt rushed back to Washington from Texas — where he had been with his wife and premature newborn in the hospital — during the January Speakership election to cast his vote for McCarthy.
Asked if McCarthy has been a good leader, Hunt responded, “We’ve had our challenges, obviously, within the delegation.”
“But again, democracy sometimes is messy, and this is what we’re working through step-by-stop, day in and day out,” he added.
Updated Tuesday, Oct. 3 at 1:51 p.m.