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Kevin McCarthy pours cold water on resignation rumors

A spokesperson for Congressman Kevin McCarthy has confirmed with Newsweek that the former speaker is not resigning.

Rumors swirled on Friday after reports that the California Republican was considering ending his term early before coming up for reelection in November 2024, according to sources close to the matter who spoke with Politico and CNN. McCarthy was booted from the speaker’s chair in a historic House vote on Tuesday.

When reached by Newsweek, however, McCarthy spokesperson Brittany Martinez said via email, “McCarthy is not resigning.”

KGET News reporter Eytan Wallace also reported on X, formerly Twitter, that McCarthy confirmed he intends to seek reelection following his current term.

McCarthy has already said that he will not attempt to run for speaker again, and it remains unclear who the GOP will push forward to take the seat. Some lawmakers have touted selecting former President Donald Trump as an interim speaker if a consensus cannot be reached once voting starts next week, but the former president issued his support for Ohio Representative Jim Jordan on Friday.

“I have been asked to speak as a unifier because I have so many friends in Congress,” Trump told Fox News Digital on Thursday. “If they don’t get the vote, they have asked me if I would consider taking the speakership until they get somebody longer term, because I am running for president.”

Some Republican senators worry that McCarthy’s ousting could hurtle the House into chaos while Congress approaches its November 17 deadline to pass a bipartisan spending bill to keep the federal government open. As one of his last acts as speaker, McCarthy pushed through a last-minute bipartisan stopgap measure with the help of House Democrats last weekend. That bill, however, was one of the final straws that led to Representative Matt Gaetz filing a motion to vacate the speakership Monday.

“I think it opens the door to chaos,” Republican Senator Mitt Romney of Utah previously told Newsweek. “On the other hand, the Speaker pro tem is a very capable person, we’ll see whether the House is able to work or not.”

North Carolina Representative Patrick McHenry will fill the role as speaker pro tempore. The House will begin voting for the next speaker Wednesday.

With a divided GOP majority, there is a path for Democrats to push through their choice for House speaker, Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, if they garner enough bipartisan support. The New York Democrat wrote in a Washington Post op-ed Friday inviting “more traditional Republicans” to join a “bipartisan governing coalition” to avoid tumult in the lower chamber, which Jeffries blamed on far-right Republicans.

“At this point, we simply need Republican partners willing to break with MAGA extremism, reform the highly partisan House rules that were adopted at the beginning of this Congress and join us in finding common ground for the people,” read the op-ed.

A number of House Republicans, however, have blamed Democrats for supporting the measure to oust McCarthy.

Update: 10/06/23, 5:37 p.m.: This article has been updated with additional information and context.

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