Republican Kevin McCarthy made history Tuesday as the first speaker of the house to be ousted from his position.
Seven Republicans joined Matt Gaetz of Florida and 208 Democrats to bring the votes that kicked McCarthy from the seat he struggled to obtain in January. The rebellion started over McCarthy’s concessions in a deal that avoided a shutdown last week.
All 210 votes to keep McCarthy were cast by Republicans, while four Democrats and three Republicans did not vote.
Here is what to know about the Republican legislators who voted McCarthy out and why they chose to vote to vacate the seat.
What’s next: House Majority Leader Steve Scalise to run for speakership after McCarthy ouster
Which Republicans voted to remove McCarthy?
These eight Republicans voted to remove McCarthy:
Rep. Matt Gaetz, of Florida
Rep. Andy Biggs, of Arizona
Rep. Ken Buck, of Colorado
Rep. Tim Burchett, of Tennessee
Rep. Eli Crane, of Arizona
Rep. Bob Good, of Virginia
Rep. Nancy Mace, of South Carolina
Rep. Matt Rosendale, of Montana
Represents Florida’s 1st district, covering the western-most part of the Panhandle, including Pensacola.
Elected in 2016.
Gaetz has been a vocal supporter of former President Donald Trump and a controversial figure for his far-right views. He is currently under investigation by the House Ethics Committee for allegations of sexual misconduct, campaign finance violations, taking bribes, and using drugs.
Gaetz played a central role in ousting McCarthy, bringing the motion to vacate to the house and helping to organize a small group of Republicans to join him in crossing the partisan line. In doing so, he has proved his ability to put provocative statements into power, fueling rumors of a run for the Governor’s seat in 2026.
I support Motion to Vacate.
Speaker McCarthy has failed to demonstrate himself as an effective leader who will change the status quo.
He has gone against many of the promises he made in January and can no longer be trusted at the helm.
— Rep Andy Biggs (@RepAndyBiggsAZ) October 3, 2023
Represents Colorado’s 4th District, covering most of the state’s rural eastern plains.
Elected in 2014.
Buck is a member of the House Freedom Caucus, making him a part of the most conservative lawmakers. He drew criticism from other far-right representatives recently when he called on Trump to tell Americans to “stand down and allow the judicial system to take its course,” after Trump’s multiple criminal indictments.
“We are $33 trillion in debt and on track to hit $50 trillion by 2030. We cannot continue to fund the government by continuing resolutions and omnibus spending bills. That’s why I voted to oust (McCarthy),” Buck wrote in a post on X. “We must change course to sensible budgeting and save our country.”
FAQs: Kevin McCarthy ousted, explained
Represents Tennessee’s 2nd District, which includes Knoxville.
Elected in 2018.
He has been active in the GOP effort to run an impeachment inquiry on President Joe Biden, which McCarthy launched without a vote from the House. He is also a long-time supporter of term limits.
Burchett supported McCarthy all the way through his speakership votes in January and was torn on ousting him until the last minute, according to The Hill. But it was a condescending comment from McCarthy that pushed Burchett to oust him.
“Then the first thing out of his mouth on the phone was something very condescending. I thought, ‘Well, I’m gonna listen to him. I’m glad he’s calling. I’m sorry it’s right here at the last hour, but I’m gonna listen to him.’ And it was something condescending about my religious beliefs, and I just thought, I don’t need that,” he told The Hill. “And that answered my question right there. The quality and the character there … maybe that’s the wrong thing to judge it on, but that’s what I did.”
Represents Arizona’s 2nd District, covering the majority of the northeastern part of the state.
Elected in 2022.
Crane is a member of the House Freedom Caucus, according to his website. He also voted “present” during McCarthy’s bid for Speakership in January.
“I ran for congress to make sure the voices of we the people weren’t steamrolled by the status quo. We need to change the ineffective and dishonest way this town works,” he wrote in a statement on X. “I’m prepared to support a speaker who agrees.”
Represents the 5th District of Virginia, a large portion of the state southeast of Richmond.
Elected in 2020.
A member of the House Freedom Caucus, Good is considered an ultra-conservative congressman. He voiced opposition to McCarthy while he was going for the speaker’s seat in January, telling Politico “He doesn’t have anything that I want.” McCarthy supported Good’s opponent in Virginia’s 2020 congressional race, Rep. Denver Riggleman, whom Good was challenging after the opponent officiated a same sex wedding, the outlet reported.
“We need a speaker, ideally someone who doesn’t wanna be speaker and hasn’t pursued that at all costs for his entire adult life, who will meet the moment and do everything possible to fight for the country,” Good said before casting his vote to vacate.
The American people need a Speaker who will fight to keep the promises Republicans made to get the majority, not someone who cuts fiscally irresponsible deals that get more Democrat votes than Republican votes. pic.twitter.com/jEQ46yyZNS
— Congressman Bob Good (@RepBobGood) October 3, 2023
Represents Montana’s 2nd District, covering the eastern part of the state, including Billings.
Elected in 2020.
He is a far-right conservative who supported Trump’s false claims about the 2020 election and prioritized security for the southern border in his no-vote for supporting Ukraine, according to the Associated Press.
“I do not take pleasure in what occurred yesterday. But Montanans did not send me to Washington to stand by and watch the Speaker of the House of Representatives sell the American people short by not moving forward with legislation to cut spending, secure our border, and make us energy dominant again,” Rosendale said in a statement about his vote.
More: Speaker Donald Trump? Unlikely; Trump says other Republicans would be better
Contributing: Phillip M. Bailey, Ken Tran, Doc Louallen, USA TODAY; Ronald J. Hansen, Ryan Randazzo, Arizona Republic; Allie Feinberg, Knoxville News Sentinel; Brandon Girod, Pensacola News Journal; Zac Anderson, Sarasota Herald-Tribune
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Who voted to remove Kevin McCarthy? Here are the 8 Republicans