The Student News Site of West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South

The Pirate's Eye

The Student News Site of West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South

The Pirate's Eye

The Student News Site of West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South

The Pirate's Eye

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What happened to the speaker?

The entrance to the office of the speaker in June, four months before McCarthy was removed.

Oct. 3, 2023 was no ordinary day on Capitol Hill. Even those who don’t pay attention to political news were shocked.

On that day, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy was voted out of office, for the first time in American history, by the members of the House. The speaker of the House is the leading figure of the House of Representatives, running the day-to-day business.

According to an article by AP News, while the House had considered removing prior speakers, this was the first time that the speaker was actually removed.

McCarthy’s removal took place because of his choices. According to an article from USA Today, McCarthy promised several House rule changes to a small group of rebels in the Republican Party to win their votes for speaker. One of those changes was that one member of the House could trigger a vote to remove the Speaker.

USA Today added that in September, a deal by McCarthy to fund the government sparked anger among that same group of lawmakers. One of them, Representative Matt Gaetz, introduced a motion to remove McCarthy from office.

The motion passed because all Democrats ultimately backed the measure along with eight Republicans, fulfilling the majority required. While political and personal differences already existed between opposite parties and internal groups, the gap has only become wider.

“The booting of Kevin McCarthy is only a small result of the two main parties being on such opposite parts of a great political ravine, and it shows the discontent with compromise within our legislative branch,” said Judy Akel (‘25).

The failure to compromise could have huge effects. Some of these were direct and immediate. An article by the Washington Post explained that the Constitution mandates the presence of an elected Speaker to conduct business. Although a temporary speaker was named, the three-week absence of a duly elected Speaker left the House unable to do anything significant in that time.

According to an article by the PBS Newshour, Representative Mike Johnson’s election on October 25 finally ended the disruption in governing. But even with a speaker, questions are being raised about what lawmakers will be able to accomplish in this new environment.

Mr. Joseph Porter, an American Studies teacher, said “If you work with somebody of the opposite party, it might be the end of your political career. So I’m really curious as to what will happen.”

“No matter how politicians try to appease everyone, there are tradeoffs to policy decisions which can drastically swing their futures in politics as well as the future of the government,” said Emilian Lipnevich (‘26).

What the government’s future will look like is still undetermined.

“Most people don’t care about the details of Congress, only what it means for issues people do care about. Especially for those in our generation, speaker politics aren’t important,” said Akel.

“But the progress for those issues starts, really, in our legislative branch, and if it’s dysfunctional, then we really won’t see progress at all.”

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