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Republicans divided on maintaining 'motion to vacate' rule that allowed McCarthy's removal

Republicans are currently divided on the issue of whether to maintain the "motion to vacate" portion of the House rules package. This provision allowed for the removal of Rep. Kevin McCarthy as House Speaker with a single member calling for a vote on the House floor. Previously, the House rules only allowed removal resolutions to be brought to a vote if they were "offered by direction of a party caucus or conference."

Following 15 rounds of votes, McCarthy, a California Republican, was eventually elected as Speaker in January. However, this came after the "motion to vacate" was added to the House rules package, which enabled any member to demand a vote to oust the Speaker. Subsequently, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell expressed his hope that the next Speaker could eliminate the motion to vacate. McConnell argued that this provision makes the Speaker's job impossible and that the American people expect a functioning government.

On the other hand, Sen. Mike Lee of Utah disagreed with McConnell's view and highlighted that it is a compelling reason why the House should not give up the motion-to-vacate rule. Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Florida Republican who played a leading role in the effort to remove McCarthy, retweeted Lee's post. Rep. Bob Good of Virginia, who also voted to remove McCarthy, expressed the view that the current version of the motion to vacate should be maintained in the House rules package.

More moderate House Republicans have called for a change to the current motion-to-vacate provision. Rep. Carlos Gimenez of Florida stated that he will not support anyone for Speaker until there is a commitment to reform the motion to vacate, emphasizing the need to prevent any future coups against the Speaker. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, a Pennsylvania GOP representative and co-chair of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, expressed his belief that if the motion to vacate becomes a regular occurrence, the rules package should be revisited in a bipartisan manner.

In summary, the issue of whether to maintain the "motion to vacate" portion of the House rules package has sparked division among Republicans, with differing opinions on its necessity and potential need for reform.

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