McCarthy to Johnson: ‘Do not be fearful of a motion to vacate’

Former Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who was ousted from the Speakership last year, advised Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) on Sunday not to be afraid of a motion to vacate.

On CBS’s “Face the Nation,” McCarthy was asked whether the “chaos” within the GOP conference is driving Republican lawmakers to retire from the House or end their terms early. He referenced his experience being booted from the leadership position last year, saying that the motion to vacate him created “chaos.”

“The difficulty here is when you allow eight Republicans to join with all the Democrats to determine who can run the House, when 96 percent decide one way — it creates some chaos. They’ve got to move through this, put the country first and be able to move on. I think they’re able to do this,” he said.

“Speaker Johnson is doing the very best job he can. It’s a difficult situation, but the one advice I would give to the conference and to the Speaker is: Do not be fearful of a motion to vacate. I do not think they could do it again,” he added.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) filed a motion to vacate against Johnson over the bipartisan spending bill that was ultimately passed by the House last week.

McCarthy also said the motion to vacate him last year was based on Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) “trying to stop an ethics complaint.” McCarthy, who left Congress last year, has repeated that claim since Gaetz floated his motion last year despite Gaetz pushing back on it.

“I don’t think the Democrats will go along with it too. Focus on the country. Focus on the job you’re supposed to do, and actually do it fearlessly. Just move forward,” McCarthy continued.

He also said he does not believe the motion will come up, noting that it was not a privileged motion like Gaetz’s was against him.

“We watched what transpired the last time. You went three weeks without Congress being able to act. You can’t do anything if you don’t have a Speaker. I think we’ve moved past that. We’ve got a lot of challenges,” he said.

“Those are the issues the country is actually looking [at], on the economy and others. If we focus on the country and what the country desires, I think the personalities can solve their own problems,” he added.

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