Former Speaker McCarthy says he’s leaving Congress at end of year

Kevin McCarthy Former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Kevin McCarthy. | Credit: Shutterstock

Former Speaker of the House Rep. Kevin McCarthy revealed on Wednesday that he would be departing Congress at the end of the year, barely two months after he was ousted from the leadership position in the House of Representatives. 

The California Republican said in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal that he had “decided to depart the House at the end of this year to serve America in new ways.” 

“I know my work is only getting started,” McCarthy wrote. 

The former House leader did not give a reason for his departure in the op-ed. 

“I never could have imagined the journey when I first threw my hat into the ring,” he wrote. “I go knowing I left it all on the field — as always, with a smile on my face.”

McCarthy on Oct. 3 was removed from the speakership position in a 216-21 vote, becoming the first speaker in congressional history to be removed during a legislative session of Congress. 

The ouster came after several of McCarthy’s fellow Republicans in the House opposed his decision to negotiate with Democrats to prevent a government shutdown. Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz originally proposed McCarthy’s ouster, accusing him of entering into a “secret side deal” with President Joe Biden to continue funding the war in Ukraine. He was joined by House Democrats and several Republicans in voting the speaker out.

Louisiana Rep. Mike Johnson was subsequently elected to the speaker’s role Oct. 25.

In his op-ed on Wednesday, McCarthy indicated he would remain active in politics, stating that he “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,” he said.

McCarthy was first elected to Congress in 2006.

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