Republican lawmakers said they would need at least a week to choose a new speaker, which will eat into the time necessary to pass that needed legislation.
Battles over those bills and anger over McCarthy’s failure to win extremely deep spending cuts sought by hard-right conservatives sparked the successful move by Representative Matt Gaetz to unseat him.
WHAT ARE HOUSE REPUBLICANS, DEMOCRATS DOING?
The House’s 221 Republicans and 212 Democrats huddled privately to figure out their next steps – both political and legislative.
Each party was expected to try to settle on a candidate for speaker. That’s fairly easy for Democrats as they are solidly behind Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, who ran for speaker in January against McCarthy and other candidates.
Republicans, because of their obvious divisions, especially among a small group of hard-line conservatives seeking very deep cuts in federal spending, could have a harder time settling on a candidate.
McHenry could have an advantage now that he is acting speaker. It was unclear whether he wants the job. McCarthy said he will not run again.
The House finds itself in an unprecedented moment and so it was unclear exactly how quickly an election will be held in the full House. Normally, the elections for speaker are scheduled at the start of the new Congress every two years.
WHEN WILL THE NEXT SPEAKER ELECTION BE?
The leaders of both parties will have to decide when they are ready to enter into the process of electing a speaker.
The January endeavor was sloppy as McCarthy for days could not get enough votes to win and had to endure 15 ballots.
It could be at least as chaotic this time around for Republicans, unless they conclude that such chaos is creating a public backlash that could doom their election prospects in 2024 and they unite.
WHO CAN RUN FOR SPEAKER?
Under the US Constitution, the House speaker does not have to be a member of Congress. That is the reason some Republicans have floated the name of former President Donald Trump for the job, even though he is running for president and has said he does not want the job.