Keating: McCarthy ‘Almost Predestined’ to Be Removed as Speaker
Rep. Bill Keating (D-Massachusetts) joined WBSM's SouthCoast Now the morning after taking a historic vote to remove Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-California) from his post as Speaker of the House of Representatives to explain why he and his colleagues agreed to vacate the Speaker's seat and how he hopes Congress will move forward.
Keating, along with the entire 208 present members of the House Democratic Caucus, joined with eight House Republicans who led the charge to unseat McCarthy from Congress's top legislative position.
This marks the first time in American history the Speaker's seat was vacated by Congressional vote.
The Massachusetts Congressman explained that the Democratic Caucus decided not to save McCarthy's position because he made it clear he wasn't willing to work with them.
Keating discussed a more than hour-long phone call between McCarthy and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-New York) the evening before McCarthy's removal during which, according to Keating, the now-former Speaker never opened the door for an opportunity to work with the Democrats.
"And in the proceeding weekend (McCarthy) said he did not want any help from any Democrats," Keating said. "So really there was never even an opportunity to engage on that front."
Keating said there is an opportunity for Democrats to work with Republicans during the next Speaker election to change the rule McCarthy had agreed upon to become Speaker that allowed a single member of the House of Representatives the ability to force a vote to remove the Speaker at any time.
Keating argued the rule change sealed McCarthy's fate at the outset of his speakership.
"It was just a question of which day it would happen," he said.
Keating ranked McCarthy at the "bottom of the list" of Speakers he served under during his time in Congress, which includes Ohio Republican John Boehner, Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan, and California Democrat Nancy Pelosi. He opined that McCarthy's tenuous agreement to become Speaker is a demonstration of poor leadership.
"(Boehner and Ryan) wouldn't have succumbed to that pressure," Keating said. "So I see the differences in terms of strength and weakness. And those two were stronger leaders than Kevin McCarthy, certainly."
Keating said he hopes the next Speaker of the House will be more willing to work with Democrats on the issues of the day.
"In less than 45 days we're facing another period where government runs out of money again. We're facing a war in Ukraine, We're facing a boarder issue," Keating said. "And those big issues just have to invariably be bipartisan."