Michael Bennet

Senator from Colorado
Jump to  stances on the issues
Michael Bennet dropped out of the presidential race on February 11, 2020. This page is no longer being updated.
Bennet has pitched himself as a pragmatic lawmaker with a progressive voting record. He was first appointed to the US Senate in 2009 and subsequently elected in 2010 and 2016.
Wesleyan University, B.A., 1987; Yale Law School, 1993
November 28, 1964
Susan Daggett
Halina, Anne and Caroline
Superintendent of Denver Public Schools, 2005-2009;
Chief of staff to Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, 2003;
Managing director, Anschutz Investment Company, 1997-2003;
Special assistant to the US attorney for Connecticut, 1997;
Counsel to the US deputy attorney general, 1995-1997


7 takeaways from the Colorado Senate debate
Updated 11:59 PM ET, Fri Oct 28, 2022
In a year when they are hoping for a red wave, Republicans have set their sights on defeating Colorado Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet in their quest to gain control of the Senate chamber. On Friday night, Bennet engaged in a fast-paced and testy final debate with moderate GOP rival Joe O'Dea, who has distanced himself from former president Donald Trump as he has blamed Democrats for inflation and an energy policy that "straps working Americans." Bennet, a Democrat who unsuccessfully ran for the White House in 2020, is facing a tougher than expected challenge from O'Dea, a construction company CEO and first-time candidate. Inside Elections currently rates the race as "Likely Democratic." In a year when many Republican candidates clinched their primaries by showing their fealty to Trump, O'Dea is the rare GOP contender who has been eager to flex his independence from the former president. Things got heated during the Friday night matchup at Colorado State University in Fort Collins as both Bennet and O'Dea sought to win over undecided independent voters in their state, which President Joe Biden won by 13 percentage points. At one point, Bennet repeatedly blasted O'Dea for what said were inaccuracies about the number of bills he has passed: "You're a liar Joe," he said. "You're a liar." He also sought to cast O'Dea as an opportunist who would make policy decisions to curry favor with wealthy Americans. But O'Dea said in his closing argument that the election "is a referendum on Joe Biden and his economy." Here are seven takeaways from their matchup: Bennet seeks distance from Biden Biden's approval ratings have been a drag on many Democratic candidates and Bennet came prepared with examples of areas where he would distance himself from the president. Bennet, for example, said he disagreed with Biden's approach to student loan debt forgiveness, saying the president should have been more targeted with effort to forgive up to $20,000 in student loans for those earning less than $125,000 per year. "I don't think he should've done it the way he did it," Bennet said. "It wasn't nearly what I thought they should do, which is do it for the people that need it the most -- the poorest people in our country that have that debt. ... I just think it's wrong for them to do it that way," Bennet said. Bennet repeatedly tried to tie O'Dea to Trump Even though O'Dea has distanced himself from Trump, Bennet repeatedly sought to remind the audience that O'Dea voted for the former president. As he touted his own record pushing for a bipartisan compromise to address the country's immigration issues as part of the "Gang of 8," he pivoted to an attack on O'Dea for voting for Trump in 2016 and 2020. "I didn't vote for a president who made it impossible for us to get anything done on immigration," Bennet said. "Joe O'Dea voted for that president twice." O'Dea rebuffed that jab: "A lot of talking. We are hearing a lot of talking. You have been talking for 13 years and you haven't got it done. Michael Bennet doesn't deliver results. What he does is vote with Joe Biden 98% of the time," O'Dea said. "And the result is an economy that's trash." The moderator, at one point, asked O'Dea -- who recently told CNN's Dana Bash that he would "actively" oppose the former president if he ran for the White House in 2024 -- whether he stood by his previous statements that he'd still vote for Trump if he's the 2024 Republican nominee. "I said what I said," O'Dea replied. "I'm a contractor, not a politician." Bennet didn't let that opportunity slip away. He noted that O'Dea voted for Trump "after children were separated from their parents at the border" and after the former president said there were "good people" on both sides after violence erupted at a gathering of White supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia. "What changed?" Bennet directly asked O'Dea, that would lead him to say that he would still support Trump in 2024 after all his criticism of the former president. "Well, I started thinking about Joe Biden serving another four years and you serving another six years and I gotta tell you, it's terrifying," O'Dea said. "Working Americans here, need a voice. I'll be the voice of reason that says, 'You know what, we need to be disciplined. We need to do what's right for Colorado instead of just hanging with my party 98% of the time.'" Bennet breaks down Democrats' efforts to lower costs for Americans Democrats have struggled to articulate a message that both addresses the economic pain that Americans are feeling while simultaneously touting their own legislative accomplishment, including the health care, tax and climate bill they passed this year known as the "Inflation Reduction Act." One of the debate moderators noted that despite the name of the act, it "will not, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, reduce inflation in any meaningful way." Did Democrats, the moderator asked Bennet, mislead Americans by calling it that? Bennet disputed the notion that the American people were misled and tried to break down that legislation into clear, digestible bites, including the savings that Colorado voters might expect from it. "Unlike the Trump tax cuts -- this bill was actually paid for and it would cap drug prices for seniors at $2,000 in Colorado," he said. "It would require Medicare for the first time in American history to negotiate drug prices on behalf of the American people. And it caps insulin at $35 a month. Joe O'Dea says there's nothing to like in that bill. I think there are a lot of Coloradans, especially seniors, that are going to find a lot to like in this bill." Key differences on abortion A common attack line from Republicans after the Supreme Court overturned the Roe v. Wade decision is that it is Democrats who are too extreme on abortion -- because some progressive candidates have not defined what limits, if any, they would place on the procedure. Bennet defended his support of legislation that would not put restrictions on abortion in Friday night's debate. "Only 1% of the abortions in our state in this country are late term abortions. And they're the worst circumstances a mother could have," Bennet said. "These are circumstances where she's carried the baby to term. She's picked out a room for the child. She's named the child. She's expecting the child to be there and for medically horrific reasons. She's having to have an abortion. That's 1%. And I don't think Joe O'Dea should be in that hospital room with her when she's got to make that decision. I don't think any politician should." O'Dea, for his part, said he supports "a woman's right to choose" up to five months. After that time period, the Republican said he supports exceptions for rape, incest and medical emergencies including risk to the life of the mother. "I can't vote for late term abortion. I believe women's health rights are paramount," O'Dea said. "I would support a woman's right to choose up to and including five months. ... Michael Bennet on the other hand, he has voted for abortion up to, and including the moment of birth, and he wants to use taxpayer funding to pay for it. To me that's extreme." Common ground on guns Bennet and O'Dea found some common ground when moderators asked about gun control measures. Both said they support universal background checks, and both said they opposed mandatory 10-day waiting periods to purchase firearms. But they split on whether to increase the legal age to purchase assault rifles from 18 to 21. Bennet said he would support such a measure; O'Dea said he wants "no more laws" on guns. "We've got plenty of laws on the books," O'Dea said. "We need to enforce the laws that are on the books now. And I will not be lectured by Democrats that say we need to change this gun law, change that gun law, when they fail to enforce the laws that we already have on the books." O'Dea also said he opposes a ban on the sale of assault rifles, which Bennet supports. "I think we've made enough of these weapons of war in this country," Bennet said. A split on immigration O'Dea said he would not support legislation to create a path to citizenship for those who benefited from the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program if the legislation did not include other provisions like funding for border security. The program was intended to help undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children (many of whom are now adults). "No, we need a comprehensive bill. We need one that safes up and secures the border, which includes putting up a barrier to give working sheriffs, Border Patrol, a break down there. That's what they are asking us to do," O'Dea said. "In that same bill, I would support legislation that would include DACA recipients getting their citizenship." Bennet, by contrast, was eager to show his commitment to stand-alone legislation that would address the legal limbo that DACA recipients have faced. "Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes," Bennet said. "That puts me in a totally different place from where Joe O'Dea is, who just said he wouldn't vote for a standalone bill for DACA." "Unfortunately, the president that Joe O'Dea voted for twice after he called Mexicans 'rapists' on the first day of his campaign, made it impossible for the national Republican party to move forward on immigration," Bennet added. A lively debate on Space Command O'Dea said Bennet should have drawn greater inspiration during his time in Washington from a Democratic thorn in his own party's side: West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin. O'Dea's comments came as the two discussed the planned move of US Space Command from Colorado Springs, Colorado, to Huntsville, Alabama -- a decision made while Trump was in office. Bennet said he has pressed the case to the White House and the Pentagon for keeping Space Command in Colorado. But O'Dea said Bennet should have exercised the same sort of power that Manchin has to extract concessions in a Senate evenly divided 50-50, where Vice President Kamala Harris casts the tie-breaking vote and Democrats cannot afford to lose a single vote on their priorities. "I'm going to use my seat like Joe Manchin has used his seat to get good things for West Virginia," O'Dea said. "All Michael Bennet had to do was say, 'You know what, I'm going to hold up this appointment. I'm going to hold up this bill. I'm going to hold up that bill.'" "Fifty is what the count is, and they needed every vote. And I would use my seat to make sure that we keep Space Command here in Colorado. It's that important," O'Dea said. "If you would have held up one just of those votes -- one of those votes -- we would have Space Command here," O'Dea added. Bennet shot back that O'Dea didn't rescind his support for Trump at the time the Space Command move was announced, but rather waited until just before the Senate election to break with the former


climate crisis
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Bennet has said he doesn’t support the Green New Deal, the broad plan to address renewable-energy infrastructure and climate change proposed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York. Instead, he has released his own five-principle plan, which would significantly increase the protection of public lands. “I think it is great that we have a bunch of bold proposals out there,” Bennet said in May 2019. “We are going to have a competition of ideas.” Bennet has set a target of 100% net-zero emissions by no later than 2050, although he has not detailed how he would reach this goal. He also said he would create a $1 trillion “climate bank” to invest in infrastructure and, he hopes, spur private investment in green energy innovation. Bennet says the plan would create 10 million jobs over a decade related to what he calls the “zero-emission economy.”Bennet has said he would keep the US in the Paris climate agreement, a landmark 2015 deal on global warming targets that Trump has pledged to abandon. More on Bennet’s climate crisis policy
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Bennet has not signed on with congressional Democratic efforts to pass a $15 minimum wage. According to his campaign, he favors an increase to $12 per hour. He’s also introduced legislation to expand the Earned Income Tax Credit and overhaul and expand the child tax credit, which currently provides families with a credit of up to $2,000 for each dependent under 17. Under Bennet’s plan, families would get a $300 monthly credit for each child under 6 and $250 a month for each child under 17. He has actively opposed some of Trump’s trade actions. With Sen. Patty Murray of Washington state, Bennet filed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act to reverse the President’s tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, and he has opposed Trump’s trade war with China, specifically because of the negative impact on American farmers. But he has also said Trump “was right to call China out.” More on Bennet’s economic policy
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Bennet unveiled a plan in September 2019 pledging that by 2028, “every child born in this country, regardless of circumstance, will be at the center of a community that offers them a real chance to flourish personally and prosper financially,” according to his campaign. The plan calls for a federal-state partnership to establish free nationwide preschool, support for school districts that establish longer school days and school years, free community college for all Americans, increases to teacher pay and more funding for schools in rural areas and “high-poverty and otherwise underserved schools.” As Denver schools superintendent, Bennet was deeply involved in shaping merit-pay plans for teachers. As a presidential candidate he has called for taking steps to raise teacher pay. “We have to pay teachers as the professionals that they are. And that’s not just a little bit more. That is a lot more,” he said at a CNN town hall. More on Bennet’s education policy
gun violence
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Bennet has voted to ban high-capacity magazines and supports universal background checks. While he did not co-sponsor the Assault Weapons Ban of 2019, Bennet says he would support banning so-called assault weapons. He did not endorse the recent legislation because it “was overly drawn and allowed the manufacturers to avoid the ban,” he told CNN in May 2019.
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Bennet is not in favor of plans that would eliminate private insurance. He co-sponsored a plan known as “Medicare-X” that would let individuals and small businesses buy government-backed insurance policies, known as a public option, on the Affordable Care Act exchanges. The plan would also allow the government to negotiate prescription drug prices. Bennet says Americans should still have choice when it comes to health insurance. “We need to get to universal health care,” he said during the first Democratic debate. “I believe the way to do that is by finishing the work we started with Obamacare and creating a public option.” In July 2019, he introduced a rural health care plan that would harness technology to provide medical services in rural communities, including allowing doctors to see patients via video chat and remotely monitor patients. The plan would provide up to $10,000 a year in loan forgiveness and repayment support for doctors, nurses and other health care professionals who choose to work in rural areas. And it would invest $60 billion to combat substance abuse, including building more treatment centers. More on Bennet’s health care policy
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Bennet has compared Trump’s separation of families at the border to his Jewish mother’s experience being separated from her own parents as a child in Poland during the Holocaust. “When I see these kids at the border, I see my mom,” Bennet said during the first Democratic debate. He has called for overhauling the asylum process and restoring aid to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras to reduce the flow of migrants north. He’s a co-sponsor to a Senate bill called the Stop Cruelty to Migrant Children Act. Bennet has said he still stands by the last major bipartisan immigration package, negotiated in 2013, which included a pathway to citizenship for some undocumented immigrants. He also co-sponsored the DREAM Act of 2009, some of which was eventually put into effect through Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program protecting from deportation some undocumented immigrants who arrived in the US as minors.


Kevin McCarthy ousted as Speaker of the House
Updated 7:44 PM ET, Tue Oct 3, 2023
The House of Representatives will be in recess until next week and return Tuesday night for a conference meeting before a potential vote later that week on electing a new speaker, according to Reps Matt Gaetz and Bob Good. “Hopefully vote on a speaker on Wednesday. And I don't know if that would mean within conference Wednesday or within conference Tuesday night or on the floor,” Good said.    Rep. Kevin McCarthy said that even though he is no longer the Speaker of the House, he does not regret the choices that led to his ouster from the position. "I don't regret standing up for choosing governance over grievance. It is my responsibility, it is my job. I do not regret negotiating. Our government is designed to find compromise. I don't regret my efforts to build coalitions and find solutions. I was raised to solve problems, not create them," he said at a news conference. McCarthy said being the speaker was "one of the greatest honors" and that he leaves the post with a "sense of pride, accomplishment, and yes, optimism." The California lawmaker said he “took a risk for the American public” on Saturday when he successfully engineered a last-minute bipartisan effort to avert a government shutdown. That reliance on Democratic votes to pass a continuing resolution opened up a fight with the right wing of his conference “I could not look the troops in the eye and say I would not pay them,” he said. Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy is holding a news conference following his removal from House speakership on Tuesday. McCarthy just told the GOP conference that he won't run for the position again, according to Rep. Ralph Norman. No House speaker has ever before been ousted through the passage of a resolution to remove them. Kevin McCarthy told fellow House Republicans he will not run again for speaker, according to a GOP lawmaker. A GOP conference meeting ended "abruptly" after McCarthy made the announcement, according to Rep. Ralph Norman. "He’s not running,” Norman said. “He just said he’s not running.” The room was “stunned,” he told CNN's Manu Raju. "He wished everybody well," Norman added.  McCarthy is expected to give a news conference around 7:30 p.m. ET. On his way into a GOP conference meeting following his removal as House speaker, Rep. Kevin McCarthy said he was feeling “great." He would not respond to other shouted questions on if he will continue to put up his name. No House speaker has ever before been ousted through the passage of a resolution to remove them. The House will now need to elect a new speaker — and the White House is calling on the GOP to do so quickly — but there is no clear alternative who would have the support needed to win the gavel. In the meantime, Rep. Patrick McHenry of North Carolina is the interim speaker. As Republicans grapple with the unprecedented replacement of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the White House is aiming for President Joe Biden to strike a tone of “business as usual,” according to two officials Biden will deliver remarks on Wednesday on continued efforts to forgive student loans, as borrower payments restart this week for the first time in more than three years. The White House will try to project calm to counter the chaos on Capitol Hill, these officials said, a concerted effort that began weeks ago amid the government funding fight that reached its crescendo with the ouster of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.   The White House has also been sending regular messaging e-mails brandishing “split screen” displays between Democrats and Republicans. On Tuesday, the administration referenced the negotiation of drug prices covered by Medicare — and drew a contrast to a group of Republicans trying to repeal the Inflation Reduction Act that authorized the government to seek lower prices for the drugs. In doing so, the administration was trying to establish a direct point-counterpoint on items that are directly related, without drawing attention to the speaker dispute. In the immediate term, the White House has sought to assuage concerns that a leadership change could upend its fight to secure billions in additional defense funding for Ukraine. Adm. John Kirby, spokesman for the National Security Council, told reporters the administration had received assurances from the Republican chairs of the relevant national security committees that they would advance new funding.  The White House called on House Republicans to “quickly elect a Speaker,” in the first administration response since lawmakers voted to oust Rep. Kevin McCarthy from his leadership role. “President Biden has demonstrated that he is always eager to work with both parties in Congress in good faith on behalf of the American people,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement Tuesday. “Because the urgent challenges facing our nation will not wait, he hopes the House will quickly elect a Speaker.” “Once the House has met their responsibility to elect a Speaker, he looks forward to working together with them and with the Senate to address the American peoples’ priorities,” Jean-Pierre wrote. Kevin McCarthy has for now lost the House speaker’s gavel in a historic moment on the heels of a showdown on Capitol Hill over government funding. The California Republican, who was up against major challenges, including tough vote math and a conservative revolt against his speakership, was ousted in a 216-210 vote, with eight Republicans voting to remove McCarthy from the post. What comes next: According to the reference guide “House Practice: A Guide to the Rules, Precedents and Procedures of the House,” McCarthy was required to submit a confidential list of people to the Clerk “in the order in which each shall act as Speaker pro tempore in the case of a vacancy.” When McCarthy was removed as speaker, the clerk pulled out that list, and the number one name became interim speaker. In this case, GOP Rep. Patrick McHenry, a top McCarthy ally, was appointed. The House will now need to elect a new speaker. The House GOP will have a conference meeting Tuesday night, according to sources, although the election is not expected to happen on Tuesday. When has this happened before: The last time a high-profile showdown played out on Capitol Hill over a motion to vacate was in 2015 when then-GOP Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina filed a resolution to declare the office of speaker vacant while John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, was serving as speaker. It was not brought to a floor vote, however. Not long after the resolution was filed, Boehner downplayed its significance, calling it “no big deal.” But a few months later, he announced that he had decided to resign. Another notable incident took place in 1910, when then-House Speaker Joseph Cannon, an Illinois Republican, held onto the speakership after a resolution to remove the speaker came to a vote on the House floor and failed – 155 to 192. Republicans on the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus are considering quitting the group “en masse” after Democratic members voted to oust Kevin McCarthy as speaker, a GOP member said. The potential blow-up of the group is just the latest sign of the fallout and fury following the historic removal of the speaker. Some context: Centrist Democrats on the Problem Solvers Caucus informed their Republican colleagues in the group that they would not be saving McCarthy earlier Tuesday, according to multiple sources. It was one of McCarthy’s last potential lines of defense to try to keep his position. One GOP member told CNN that the Democratic members of the bipartisan group "only want problem solvers to work when they are in majority.” Republican presidential candidates weighed in Tuesday on the historic vote to remove Rep. Kevin McCarthy as Speaker of the House of Representatives. The vote to vacate was 216-210 with eight Republicans supporting the motion to remove the California lawmaker from the speakership. No House speaker has ever before been ousted through the passage of a resolution to remove them. The fight over the speakership marks a major escalation in tensions for a House GOP conference that has been mired in infighting — and it comes just days after McCarthy successfully engineered a last-minute bipartisan effort to avert a government shutdown. Here's what the GOP candidates had to say: Former President Donald Trump, who has frequently attacked fellow Republicans, decried the GOP infighting, in an apparent reference to Rep. Matt Gaetz moving to oust McCarthy and said Republicans should be fighting Democrats instead of each other. “Why is it that Republicans are always fighting among themselves, why aren’t they fighting the Radical Left Democrats who are destroying our Country?” Trump posted on Truth Social. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis reiterated his criticism of McCarthy but said he's not sure hardline Republicans, like Gaetz, have a "plan in place" to deliver on the vow to oust McCarthy. "You're in a situation where they haven't produced results, and that's just the reality," DeSantis said on Fox News as the House voted on a motion to vacate the speakership. However, he pointed to conservative Reps. Chip Roy, Thomas Massie and Jim Jordan, who he said are making the point that "there's not a plan to go forward with whatever Matt Gaetz is doing." GOP Sen. Tim Scott called Gaetz a “polarizing figure” who “does a lot of damage.” The showdown between House leadership and the far-right contingent of the House Republican caucus is “not helpful,” he told CNN ahead of the vote and called the infighting “another show in the House run by Congressman Gaetz” that distracts from messaging around important issues. Former Vice President Mike Pence said he was “deeply disappointed” that a handful of House Republicans voted to remove McCarthy. “Chaos is never America's friend and it's never a friend of American families that are struggling. And I'm deeply disappointed that a handful of Republicans would partner with all the Democrats in the House of Representatives to oust the speaker of the House,” Pence said during a forum hosted by the Associated Press and Georgetown University. Pence, however, predicted that McCarthy would be reelected speaker before the end of the week. Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson wrote on social media platform X: “What happened today on the floor of the House of Representatives is a gift to Democrats. It sets off alarm bells as the 2024 election nears. There is hope across America but Washington is broken. And today the GOP illustrated the dysfunction.” House Democrats will meet tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. ET, according to a notice sent to members. House Democrats signaled ahead of Tuesday's historic vote that they would not bail out Kevin McCarthy. Minority leader Hakeem Jeffries wrote in a letter to his caucus ahead of the final vote that leadership planned to vote in support of removing McCarthy. After McCarthy was ousted, Jeffries called the occasion a "solemn moment for the country" and said Democrats would continue to "work together in a bipartisan way" for the benefit of Americans. “It is our hope that traditional Republicans will walk away from MAGA extremism and join us in partnership for the good of the country," he said in a statement. Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy served as House speaker for 269 days before being removed by a majority vote on Tuesday. The tenure began on January 7, 2023, and lasted until today – the third-shortest for a speaker in the country's history.  The shortest amount of time served was by Theodore Pomeroy who was elected as the 26th Speaker on March 3, 1869. He served one day as he filled the vacancy created when the previous speaker resigned.  The second-shortest term was served by Rep. Michael C. Kerr of Indiana, who died of consumption after 257 days in office on August 19, 1876. Correction: This post has been updated to reflect the tenure of Rep. Ted Pomeroy.   The House GOP will have a conference meeting tonight, according to sources, though it’s not officially scheduled. The meeting will likely happen around 6:30 p.m. ET, the sources said. Sources also said speaker election votes are not expected tonight.  The vote in the House of Representatives on the motion to vacate was 216-210 with eight Republicans voting to remove Kevin McCarthy from the speakership. The GOP members were: 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 Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida Some House Republicans say they are stunned and don’t know what’s next now that Kevin McCarthy is ousted as speaker.  McCarthy ally and House Rules Chairman Tom Cole told CNN there is not a clear direction forward. “Nobody knows what's going happen next including all the people that voted to vacate have no earthly idea what they have no plan. They have no alternative at this point. So it's just simply a vote for chaos," Cole said. Freshman GOP Rep. Jen Kiggans, who flipped a seat for Republicans, described it as "truly frustrating for those of us who ran for Congress to get the country back on track." "All the good work that we've done can be derailed by a small group. It is extremely frustrating," Kaggans said. Rep. Scott Perry, one of the eight Republicans to vote to oust McCarthy, said he doesn’t have a name for who he wants to see as speaker. “We're going to see what happens now. I'm going to base my decisions on what happens," he said. Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy was removed as House speaker following a revolt from within his own party and went into the vote without a crucial ally who helped propel him to leadership in January — Donald Trump.   The former president, who is currently preoccupied with his civil fraud trial in New York, purposefully did not participate in the latest fight between Republicans, multiple sources familiar with the matter told CNN.  Trump, who has allies on both sides of the speaker fight, currently believes there is little political upside to wading into the power struggle, the sources said. Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, who has led the effort to topple McCarthy, has endorsed Trump’s 2024 presidential bid and serves as a surrogate to his campaign. “He did his thing for Kevin when he ran for speaker, but at the same time DJT has his own stuff to focus on, and he can’t be sticking his neck out whenever there’s a fight in the House, especially when he has people who endorse him on both sides,” one Trump ally told CNN.  The former president, who spent the weekend campaigning in Iowa before traveling to Manhattan to attend his trial, has also said little about the congressional battle, his advisers said.  One senior adviser who regularly travels with Trump told CNN, “He hasn't mentioned the speaker fight once. If he was interested in getting involved, he would bring it up.” Trump’s decision to remain uninvolved is a stark contrast from his efforts to aid McCarthy earlier this year. In January, as McCarthy battled through more than a dozen votes in his bid to become speaker, the former president stepped in at the 11th hour to lobby GOP holdouts to stand down.  Trump made calls to his fiercest supporters on McCarthy’s behalf, including Gaetz and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, among others. And when McCarthy eventually secured the gavel on the 15th ballot, he immediately thanked the former president for his support. It’s unclear whether Trump may ultimately change his mind and decide to insert himself into the speaker fight, especially if it drags out for days as it did earlier year. But as of Tuesday afternoon, the former president has issued only vague statements about the congressional infighting and avoided taking a side. When was asked about Gaetz’s efforts to oust McCarthy during a campaign stop in Iowa on Sunday, Trump told reporters, “I don't know anything about those efforts, but I like both of them very much.” Trump, further pushed by reporters on whether he expected McCarthy to prevail, added that he “didn’t want to comment” on the fight, noting, “I’ve always had a great relationship [with McCarthy] when he said very nice things.”  On Tuesday, moments before the House began voting on the effort led by Gaetz to remove McCarthy from his role, Trump issued a broad statement about the internal squabbling on Truth Social.  “Why is it that Republicans are always fighting among themselves, why aren’t they fighting the Radical Left Democrats who are destroying our Country?” Trump wrote.    Republican Rep. Patrick McHenry of North Carolina will now temporarily lead the House of Representatives after the speaker's position was vacated on Tuesday. McHenry, who is a top ally of Kevin McCarthy, was appointed speaker pro tempore. His name was on a list McCarthy was required to give to the clerk in case of a vacancy.  The speaker pro tempore, which is the official title, can only recess the House, adjourn the chamber and recognize speaker nominations.   Rep. Matt Gaetz called Kevin McCarthy "a creature of the swamp" moments after his ouster as Speaker of the House. "He has risen to power by collecting special interest money and redistributing that money in exchange for favors," Gaetz said Tuesday about McCarthy. "We are breaking the fever and we should elect a speaker who is better." Gaetz also told CNN’s Lauren Fox that he would insist on keeping the rule that it only takes one member to force a vote on a speaker’s ouster as part of a deal to support any future leader of the House GOP.  “After eight months of a failed speakership and after removal in this historic manner. I think we should move on and find somebody else. What's paralyzed the House of Representatives has been the failure of Speaker McCarthy,” he said.  Asked if he would now nominate Rep. Steve Scalise for speaker, Gaetz responded: "I think the world of Steve Scalise. I think he would make a phenomenal speaker."  “It's to the benefit of this country that we have a better Speaker of the House than Kevin McCarthy. Kevin McCarthy couldn't keep his word,” Gaetz said.  Asked what he would tell his colleagues who say no one other than McCarthy can get a majority of his conference, Gaetz said it was time to move on. “Well, I would tell them that for certain Kevin McCarthy candidates can’t get 218 votes, so let's try the next person,” Gaetz said. CNN's Sam Fossum and Lauren Fox contributed to this post. The US House of Representatives is now in recess following the historic vote to remove Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy as speaker. No House speaker has ever before been ousted through the passage of a resolution to remove them. The House will now need to elect a new speaker, but there is no clear alternative who would have the support needed to win the gavel. The fight over the speakership marks a major escalation in tensions for a House GOP conference that has been mired in infighting — and it comes just days after McCarthy successfully engineered a last-minute bipartisan effort to avert a government shutdown. The US House of Representatives has voted to oust Rep. Kevin McCarthy in a historic vote on Tuesday. The vote on the motion to vacate was 216-210 with eight Republicans voting to remove McCarthy from the speakership. The Republicans who voted to oust McCarthy were: Andy Biggs, Ken Buck, Tim Burchett, Eli Crane, Matt Gaetz, Bob Good, Nancy Mace and Matt Rosendale. The House will now need to elect a new speaker, but there is no clear alternative who would have the support needed to win the gavel. No House speaker has ever before been ousted through the passage of a resolution to remove them. The House is now voting on the motion to vacate the speaker's chair. It requires a majority vote to succeed and would oust Kevin McCarthy from his leadership post. Beforehand, his Republican allies and detractors spoke for an hour on the reasons McCarthy should stay or be removed from his position. Earlier Tuesday, the House failed to table – or block – the effort to oust him by a vote of 208 to 218 with 11 Republicans voting against the motion to table. A bloc of hardline conservatives, led by Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, have continued to thwart McCarthy, voting against key priorities of GOP leadership and repeatedly throwing up roadblocks to the speaker’s agenda. GOP Rep. Garret Graves on Tuesday criticized Rep. Matt Gaetz for using the vote to oust House Speaker Kevin McCarthy as a means to fundraise for himself and not donating to fellow Republican lawmakers. While speaking in defense of McCarthy on the House floor, Graves held up his phone to show fundraising emails Gaetz has sent in the lead up to announcing a motion to oust McCarthy.  “It’s disgusting,” Graves said.  The majority of House Republicans cheered Graves, as many are frustrated that Gaetz has focused on fundraising for himself and not donating to the team.  Gaetz responded by saying, “I take no lecture on asking patriotic Americans to weigh in and contribute to this fight.” He went on to accuse House Republicans of being owned by lobbyists and special interests, which elicited boos from other Republicans. “Boo all you want” Gaetz yelled back.  One source pointed out to CNN that Gaetz has only given about $85,000 to the House Republican campaign arm since he was elected and hasn’t given anything in the 2022 or 2024 cycle.  Democratic Rep. Frederica Wilson is trying to get back to the Capitol in time for the final vote to oust House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, multiple sources tell CNN. The more House Democrats are present, the harder it will be for McCarthy to ultimately prevail.  In the first vote series, there were five House Democrats absent, including Wilson. Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democratic Rep. Cori Bush are not expected to return to Washington, DC, for the vote.  Now that the House has failed to block the effort to oust House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, lawmakers are debating whether to vacate the chair. The floor speeches are a window into what McCarthy’s allies are saying – and why his opponents don't want him as the GOP leader. GOP Rep. Bob Good, one of 11 House Republicans to support a vote to oust McCarthy, said, “We need a speaker, who will fight something, anything besides just staying or becoming speaker.” McCarthy's ally, House Rules Chairman Tom Cole, described McCarthy’s opponents as “a small group honestly, they’re willing to plunge this body into chaos and this country into uncertainty for reasons that only they understand. I certainly don’t.”  GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz, who is leading the effort against McCarthy, responded to Cole by saying, “Chaos is Speaker McCarthy. Chaos is somebody who we cannot trust with their word.”  Another McCarthy ally, Rep. Tom Emmer, argued that “now it’s time to stand together stronger than ever so we can get back to the work our majority was elected to do. I’m proud to support the speaker.” House Judiciary Chairman Rep. Jim Jordan, who walks the line of being part of the far-right House Freedom Caucus but also a McCarthy ally, said “Kevin McCarthy has been rock solid.”   CNN has reported that Gaetz has floated veteran Republican Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma and House GOP Whip Tom Emmer of Minnesota to House Democrats as alternatives to McCarthy. Republican Rep. Dan Crenshaw said it’s a feeling of “exhaustion” when asked to react to hardliners joining with Democrats to force a vote removing Rep. Kevin McCarthy as speaker.  He also said some of the GOP defections were a surprise, but surmised they might just be trying to leverage their votes for concessions from McCarthy before the final vote.  But there are no signs of any dealing right now, with McCarthy and nearly everyone else planted in their seats for this debate.  House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is seated silently in the second row on the floor while members debate whether to remove him. He is not talking to anyone and has been looking at his phone. In fact, nearly everyone is seated in the chamber for the debate and very few people are talking to one another. When the motion to table failed, and the vote tally was announced, it was so silent a pin drop could be heard. No one reacted to the news. One of McCarthy’s staffers then motioned to Rep. Matt Gaetz to tell him what to do next; Gaetz looked unsure of where to go.  GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz, who is heading the charge to oust House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, said that leadership under the Republican leader has been chaotic. Chaos is Speaker McCarthy. Chaos is somebody who we cannot trust with their word," he said on the House floor on Tuesday. Gaetz said that the one thing the White House, House Democrats and the Republican conservative caucus have in common is that they cannot rely on McCarthy. "Kevin McCarthy said something to all of us at one point or another, that he didn't really mean and never intended to live up to," Gaetz said. Republican Rep. Greg Murphy told CNN's Manu Raju that Kevin McCarthy should endure the fight to maintain his speakership for as long as it takes and called Gaetz's motion-to-vacate an "asinine gesture." "I think absolutely he should continue. In my eyes, he's done nothing wrong," Murphy said. "It took 15 votes before, if it takes 16 or 17, so be it," he added, referring to the painstaking negations and series of failed votes it took before McCarthy was elected speaker earlier this year. Murphy said he doubts, however, that a fight over the speakership would last long enough to risk a government shutdown and predicted McCarthy would still be speaker next week. "It's going to take lots of rounds," Murphy said. "He is going to go the distance." Murphy criticized his GOP colleague Rep. Matt Gaetz for bringing the motion to the floor, yet failing to provide an alternative candidate for the speakership. "You can embrace chaos, but if you don't have an answer, get out of the way," Murphy said. Lawmakers have begun an hour of debate on the motion to vacate the speaker's chair. It followed a vote by the House of Representatives to proceed to vote on GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz's effort to oust Speaker Kevin McCarthy. The motion requires a majority vote to succeed and would oust McCarthy from his leadership post. In a blow to Kevin McCarthy, the House failed to table – or block – the effort by Rep. Matt Gaetz to oust him as speaker.   The vote was 208 to 218 with 11 Republicans against the motion to table. The GOP no votes: Eli Crane Ken Buck Victoria Spartz Andy Biggs Matt Rosendale Matt Gaetz Bob Good Nancy Mace Tim Burchett Cory Mills Warren Davidson This paves the way for a vote on removing McCarthy as House speaker. GOP Rep. Tim Burchett, who has said he will vote to oust Speaker Kevin McCarthy, told reporters that the speaker was condescending about his statement that he was praying about what to do on this issue.  Previously, before announcing on CNN last night that he would vote to oust McCarthy, Burchett had said that he was praying over the decision.  On his way to the floor today, Burchett told reporters: "When I make a statement that I’m praying about it, I am praying about it, and when I get a call from the speaker and he belittles that, to me, that shows another reason why we need a change in leadership." Burchett is among the six Republicans who have said they will vote to oust McCarthy, according to the latest whip count. The House is now voting on a motion to table – or block – the effort, led by GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz, to oust Kevin McCarthy as speaker.  The motion to table requires a simple majority to succeed. Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi will not make Tuesday's vote to decide the future of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.   Pelosi's spokesperson Aaron Bennett noted in a release that she will be staying in San Francisco, California, to mourn the death of former Sen. Dianne Feinstein. “She is very saddened not to be there for this historic vote, and as she said: ‘The Speaker of the House is chosen by the Majority Party. In this Congress, it is the responsibility of House Republicans to choose a nominee and elect the Speaker on the Floor. At this time there is no justification for a departure from this tradition,'" the release said. The House is currently voting on the motion to oust McCarthy. Former President Donald Trump, who has frequently attacked fellow Republicans, decried GOP infighting on Tuesday, in an apparent reference to Rep. Matt Gaetz moving to oust House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Republicans should be fighting Democrats instead of each other, he said. “Why is it that Republicans are always fighting among themselves, why aren’t they fighting the Radical Left Democrats who are destroying our Country?” Trump posted on Truth Social. The House will vote shortly on a motion to table – or kill – a motion by GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz to vacate the speaker's chair.  How many votes are needed? The motion to table requires a simple majority to succeed. Democrats have said they will vote against a motion to table, and six Republicans have said they will vote against it as well.  If the motion to table fails... The House will begin one hour of debate on the motion to vacate, with 30 minutes controlled by Gaetz and 30 minutes controlled by an ally of Speaker Kevin McCarthy. About the vote on the motion to vacate (also expected this afternoon) A vote on the resolution to remove the speaker would require a majority vote to succeed and oust the speaker from the leadership post. It is expected to be a roll call vote, meaning each member will have to stand up and say their vote. It will not be an electronic vote.  If it succeeds, then what? Per the "House Practice: A Guide to the Rules, Precedents and Procedures of the House, Chapter 3: Office of the Speaker," the speaker is required to submit a confidential list to the clerk of people “in the order in which each shall act as speaker pro tempore in the case of a vacancy.” Should McCarthy suddenly find himself out of his job, the clerk will then pull out that list that was given to him, and the number-one name on that list become the interim speaker. His or her first order of business: The election of a new speaker. And once again, the House will once again have to vote as many times as it takes to get someone to 218 votes. Nothing can happen in the House until the new speaker is elected. Six House Republicans now support House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s removal, after Rep. Matt Rosendale told Fox News he’s a yes on motion to vacate. Tennessee Rep. Andy Ogles is also openly weighing the removal of Speaker Kevin McCarthy and floating potential alternatives. He is polling his followers on X on the various backups, including former President Donald Trump.  Ogles has not yet indicated how he will vote – here's a look at the latest whip count:  These are the Republicans who have said they will vote yes on the motion to vacate: Matt Gaetz  Victoria Spartz  Eli Crane  Nancy Mace  Bob Good  Matt Rosendale And these are the Republicans who are undecided, but who indicated they are open to supporting the motion: Andy Biggs  Paul Gosar Tim Burchett  Anna Paulina Luna  Wesley Hunt Ken Buck Andy Ogles Michael Cloud Lauren Boebert (She gave a "thumbs up" to Gaetz on the House floor) Andrew Clyde  Remember: McCarthy can only afford to lose four Republican defections if all Democrats vote against him and all members are present and voting. But six Republicans have already said they will back the effort to boot McCarthy, meaning that he would need Democratic votes to survive and hold onto the speakership, assuming there aren’t a significant numbers of absences during the vote. Republican Rep. Mark Alford slammed hardliners in his party for their attempt to remove House Speaker Kevin McCarthy from his leadership position, saying that the "shenanigans" will slow down government funding bill negotiations. "We have 45 days to get this done for the American people. And this is gamesmanship that is going to slow us down and prevent us from doing the work that our voters sent us here to do. It's unacceptable," Alford told CNN's Jake Tapper on Tuesday. Alford also said he's concerned that the infighting would impact the 2024 election cycle and the Republicans' ability to maintain their slim majority. "Americans are seeing that we need a marriage counselor, basically, in our conference and until we get this family settled and we get communication and trust back in the relationships, I'm—I'm afraid we might lose our majority. We were sent here to do our job, and without that majority we cannot get it done," he said. Alford went on to express his support for McCarthy. "And with the slim majority that we've had so far Kevin McCarthy has been a miracle worker and able to push the ball forward. And I sure hope by the end of the day he is still our speaker." House Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries wrote a new letter to his Democratic colleagues, conveying that the caucus is united in sinking House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in an upcoming vote on motion to vacate. "We confront a serious, solemn and sober moment. The vote that the House will cast this week in connection with a Motion to Vacate the Chair is not about any one individual. Our responsibility as Members of Congress relates to the Constitution, the principle of good governance and the people we are privileged to serve. Nothing more, and nothing less," Jeffries said in the letter.  Noting that House Republicans show "no willingness" to "find common ground" with House Democrats, Jeffries added: “It is now the responsibility of the GOP members to end the House Republican Civil War. Given their unwillingness to break from MAGA extremism in an authentic and comprehensive manner, House Democratic leadership will vote yes on the pending Republican Motion to Vacate the Chair,” his letter said. House Republican allies to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy are making a last minute plea to House Democrats to try and save McCarthy, two sources tell CNN. But House Democrats have been united in not wanting to save McCarthy. President Joe Biden’s top advisers at the White House are closely monitoring the fast-moving events unfolding on Capitol Hill on Tuesday that could result in the historic ouster of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.  Everyone at the White House from the president on down has been careful in recent days to avoid explicitly weighing in on McCarthy’s political future – including on the key question of whether House Democrats should help bail him out. They’ve noted that the future of the House speakership is entirely for lawmakers to determine.  "I don't have a vote on that matter. I'll leave that to the leadership of the House and the Senate," Biden said over the weekend.  Still, there is quiet recognition among officials that McCarthy may no longer be House speaker when all is said and done, and that the White House may soon be dealing with a new leader of an unruly House Republican caucus.  At the top of the White House's agenda for any speaker — be it McCarthy or someone else — is securing new funding for Ukraine after it was omitted from the stopgap measure passed over the weekend. Biden suggested to reporters over the weekend that he'd received new assurance from McCarthy that additional Ukraine funding would be forthcoming, though the speaker himself later said he had not entered into any new deal with the president. Either way, Biden and the White House's confidence in securing the new funding has been in no small part based on McCarthy's publicly stated support for Ukraine — leaving open the question of what happens if a new Republican speaker takes over. If the future of the House GOP remains uncertain, one person close to the White House said there has been private agreement in recent days among officials that there is little to no upside to Democrats extending McCarthy help in preserving his speakership.  White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Monday that it was not the White House's place to step into the issue. "We do not get involved when it comes to leadership conversation. That is something for House Democrats, House Republicans — in this particular instance — to figure out," she said. In the more than two-hour caucus meeting this morning, House Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries wanted members to find consensus among themselves before laying out what the caucus position would be: They will not help House Speaker Kevin McCarthy keep his job. But as more than 30 members spoke behind closed doors, it became clear: there was no trust for McCarthy — and trying to wade into a messy intra-party GOP civil war with a broad coalition of Democrats opposed to him wasn’t going to happen. Democrats blasted McCarthy for going back on his word in the debt ceiling agreement and advancing a series of spending bills at far lower levels. But it didn’t end there. McCarthy’s handling of Saturday, his last-minute decision to put a bill on the floor that kept the government open without giving Democrats the courtesy or time to read the bill and then forcing them to use procedural tactics to do so, became a major point of tension.  “A lot of it comes down to the budget agreement during the debt ceiling,” one member in the meeting said. McCarthy’s comments this morning on CNBC that he wouldn’t cut a deal with Democrats was another major issue for Democrats. They were never going to save McCarthy for free.  “He just doesn’t keep his word. It is a habit for Kevin to just say things. It undermined what some of us had been leaving open that there could be some exchange. Not only did Kevin say this morning he wouldn’t do that, even if he were to, most people couldn’t trust what he said anyway,” the person said. Sources in the room say that the members who stood up to express displeasure and distrust with McCarthy represented a broad coalition of the conference from Problem Solvers to progressives to New Democrats. The push to oust House Speaker Kevin McCarthy represents the most serious threat to the California Republican’s speakership to date and marks a major escalation in tensions for a House GOP conference that has been mired in in-fighting and could be thrown into further chaos if McCarthy is pushed out. Here's a look at the math: McCarthy can only afford to lose four Republican defections if all Democrats vote against him and all members are present and voting. But five Republicans have already said they will back the effort to boot McCarthy, meaning that he would need Democratic votes to survive and hold onto the speakership, assuming there aren’t a significant numbers of absences during the vote. McCarthy conceded ahead of the vote that he faces tough odds. “If five Republicans go with Democrats, then I’m out,” McCarthy said, adding “probably so,” when pressed on whether that is likely to happen. He said he is not expecting Democrats to back him up in the vote. Centrist Democrats in the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus informed their fellow Republican colleagues in the group that they will not be saving Speaker Kevin McCarthy, according to multiple sources – McCarthy’s last potential line of defense and another sign Democrats will be unified in their decision not to bail the speaker out. Sources say the Problem Solvers Caucus met as a group after each of the parties huddled individually in the Capitol this morning. GOP Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, the co-chair of the group, was still working as of this morning to convince his Democratic colleagues to help the speaker, sources said. But there are signs of tension as Republicans come to grips with the fact their speaker may soon be ousted at the hands of a few hardliners. One GOP member told CNN that the Democratic members of the Problem Solvers Caucus "only want problem solvers to work when they are in majority.” House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries made it clear on social media that Democrats won’t save House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. “House Democrats will continue to put people over politics," Jeffries posted on X. Jeffries continued: "We are ready to find bipartisan common ground. Our extreme colleagues have shown no willingness to do the same. They must find a way to end the House Republican Civil War.”   Top Democrats signal they are ready to sink Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy after leaving a closed door meeting of their caucus, saying that they remain united. “People deserve functioning government. Speaker McCarthy has shown he cannot govern,” Ted Lieu, a member of Democratic leadership, told CNN. “I will be voting yes on a motion to vacate.” Lieu said he believed there would be a united position from the caucus. House Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries did not directly say how his caucus would vote.  Rep. Adam Schiff said he "certainly" will not vote for McCarthy. “We don’t trust him. Their members don’t trust him," he added. Rep. Veronica Escobar says she would not help McCarthy and called him “dishonest” and “destructive.” “I could never see a situation where I would vote for Kevin McCarthy. You know, for now, I think you're gonna see that a lot of folks think that way,” she told CNN. “I think we're pretty united.” Rep. Ilhan Omar accused McCarthy of not abiding by his word. “This is someone we collectively understand is a liar and cannot be trusted to lead.” House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries did not directly say how his caucus would vote on the motion to vacate House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, but rather urged Republicans to "break from the extremists, end the chaos." "Democrats are going to continue to push for people over politics and to fight to make life better for everyday Americans. From the very beginning, that has been our objective. And it will continue to be our sole focus delivering for the American people. We encourage our Republican colleagues who claim to be more traditional to break from the extremists, end the chaos, end the dysfunction, end the extremism," Jeffries said following a House Democratic Caucus meeting.   "We are ready willing and able to work together with our Republican colleagues, but it is on them to join us to move the Congress and the country forward," he said.  Rep. Gerry Connolly told reporters that meeting had "long lines" of members at the mics, waiting to speak about whether to oust McCarthy.  He added that there was "outrage" after the caucus watched a clip from Sunday political shows where McCarthy went after House Democrats for the delay on Saturday over the stopgap funding bill. Rep. Mark Takano said that over the course of the over-hour-long meeting, Democrat after Democrat rose in support of Jeffries and expressed distrust for McCarthy, although he said no official position had been taken yet.  Rep. Diana DeGette said that that while a decision has not yet been made among Democrats on how they will address the motion to vacate, she said her caucus has "unity of purpose on our side. I think we have tremendous respect for this institution." "I think what has happened that all of you have witnessed and the American people have witnessed is that the current speaker has chosen to cater to a very extreme element that, in my view, it's sort of a post-truth world, and that he is not trustworthy," she said. "And I think you can see that within his own caucus, but you can certainly see it the way he's treated us and the American people." When asked if Democrats would help bail McCarthy out, DeGette demurred, saying "I'm gonna let our leadership talk to you about what our decision is." Rep. Pramila Jayapal, who chairs the Congressional Progressive Caucus, told reporters that Democrats will not vote to preserve McCarthy's gavel.  "We are following our leader and we are not saving Kevin McCarthy," she said.  Rep. Zoe Lofgren confirmed that they decided in their meeting that they will not move to save him.  Speaker Kevin McCarthy told reporters he will bring up a procedural vote to kill GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz’s effort to oust him in the first vote series around 1:30 p.m. When told that five Republicans will likely join with Democrats to knock him out, McCarthy said “probably so.”  McCarthy said he is not expecting Democrats to bail him out this afternoon. He said he does not need Democrats to help, but “if five Republicans go with Dems, then I am out.” When pressed on timing and why he would do it today, he fired back, “Why not? I think Matt has planned this all along no matter what transpired.”  “Yes,” McCarthy said when asked if he is calling Gaetz's bluff. He was further pressed by CNN, he ruled out any sort of power-sharing agreement with Democrats.  “That doesn’t work. I'm a conservative; I'm a Republican. I'm a conservative that want to get things done. I know we live in our governments designed to have compromise but look we are in the majority. You don't surrender,” he said.   He said he talks to House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries every week and said, “you guys do whatever you need to do. I get politics. I understand where people are.”   “At the end of the day, if I have to lose my job over it, so be it," he said in conclusion, adding that it was the right decision to keep government open.  Earlier on Tuesday, Jeffries said he had a private call with McCarthy. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s allies and swing district Republicans railed against Rep. Matt Gaetz Tuesday morning — and bluntly warned that the dysfunction could put their majority at risk. In interviews with CNN, they attacked Gaetz for throwing the House of Representatives into a state of paralysis and vowed to help McCarthy keep his job even if he lacks the votes to defeat Gaetz’s motion to oust the speaker. “I think it’s a huge distraction. I think it’s a fool’s errand to be kind of moving in this direction. This country does not need any more drama right now. We just took it to the brink of a shutdown. … I think it’s counterproductive to what the GOP majority should be doing right now,” Rep. Steve Womack said. Rep. Andy Barr had a similar warning. “I’m telling you it definitely puts the majority in jeopardy when you see disunity,” he said, adding, “That’s why this is so destructive.” Rep. Erin Houchin told CNN that Gaetz is a “chaos agent.” New York Republicans Marc Molinaro and Nick LaLota also piled onto Gaetz.  “I don't have tolerance for some pseudo-psycho political fetish. Instead, we have to continue to work on behalf of American people," Molinaro told CNN. "It's a total distraction. And once we get past today, we're going to refocus on reigning in federal spending, border security and the issues and challenges facing the American people." LaLota added, "We'll get through these next couple of days with Speaker McCarthy at the helm. And we'll continue to good progress." When asked if he has reached out to Democrats, LaLota said no but that he "would expect that a decent number of Democrats would want to maintain decent order in the House and not be a part of this chaos." Rep. Darrell Issa said that during the GOP meeting, McCarthy got repeated standing ovations and public displays of support.  Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, co-chair of the Problem Solvers Caucus, told CNN that “very serious” bipartisan talks are happening among rank-and-file members about cutting a deal to save McCarthy’s speakership. But he didn’t know how many Democrats he could woo. “I hope there’s 218 people that will reward bipartisanship,” Fitzpatrick said, adding that the speaker isn’t involved in the effort. The US House of Representatives is bracing for a key vote Tuesday over Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s political future as GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida pushes for his ouster. McCarthy told House Republicans that the motion to vacate will be brought up in Tuesday’s first vote series, according to sources in the room of the closed-door conference meeting. Gaetz on Monday moved to oust McCarthy from the top House leadership post by offering a motion to vacate the chair on the House floor – a rare procedural maneuver that can be used to force a vote to remove the speaker. It’s not yet clear how the process will play out, but the first vote to occur related to the motion to vacate could be a procedural move to try to kill the effort. If a procedural vote fails, then there would be a vote directly on whether to remove McCarthy as speaker, which would take only a majority to succeed. McCarthy also told his members he will not cut a deal with Democrats, sources said. Gaetz was directly pressed by his colleagues during Tuesday’s party meeting for his grand plan, and who would replace McCarthy if he was ousted, sources said. Gaetz stood up and responded that there would need to be a new speaker’s election that plays out but didn’t name anyone he had in mind for the job. The push to oust McCarthy represents the most serious threat to the California Republican’s speakership to date and marks a major escalation in tensions for a House GOP conference that has been mired in in-fighting and could be thrown into more chaos if McCarthy is pushed out. It comes as a bloc of hardline conservatives have continued to thwart McCarthy, voting against key priorities of GOP leadership and repeatedly throwing up roadblocks to the speaker’s agenda. No House speaker has ever been ousted through the passage of a resolution to remove them.