Congressional Black Caucus members don’t mince words in reaction to McCarthy’s resignation

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus bid adieu to former House Speaker U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., after he announced that his last day in office would be Dec. 31.

It’s just interesting, he went from speaker to being vacated, to saying he was going to run for reelection to now resigning,” said U.S. Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y.

Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Kevin McCarthy delivers a speech after he was elected on the 15th ballot at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on January 7, 2023. (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

“I wish him well. Godspeed,” he told theGrio. “Peace and love to Kevin McCarthy, but we got work to do in our own communities.”

U.S. Rep. Sydney Kamlager-Dove, D-Calif., told theGrio, “I’m surprised he waited this long.”

On Tuesday, McCarthy formally submitted his two-week notice of resignation to the U.S. House of Representatives.

He called his time in Congress “the honor of a lifetime.” And despite leaving office, McCarthy plans to continue mentoring future congressional candidates. 

His resignation came just months after he made history as the first House speaker to be ousted from his position.

Now that the conservative lawmaker is stepping down, Congressman Bowman, a member of the House Progressive Caucus, said he finds it interesting that McCarthy “recently made a comment where he acknowledged that the Democratic Party is more representative of the country than his party.”

“That indicates that he was playing the role of an actor as [House] speaker and as a member of the party,” he explained, “as opposed to really uplifting what America should be — which is a democracy that works for all people.”

Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) speaks during a news conference announcing a resolution to condemn replacement theory outside the U.S. Capitol June 8, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Kamlager-Dove, a freshman congresswoman from California, said she is less “concerned” with McCarthy’s resignation and more troubled with who could replace him and other “moderate” Republican members of Congress who vowed not to seek reelection in the 2024 elections.

“The fact that that crazy man with the horn hat who was involved in the coup on Jan. 6 has actually filed to run for Congress scares me to death,” the congressman shared.

“I’m not interested in more of those people coming here.”

Kamlager-Dove referred to Jacob Chansley, a convicted Jan. 6 insurrectionist known as “QAnon Shaman.” Last month, the 35-year-old filed a candidate statement of interest indicating he wants to run for Arizona’s 8th Congressional District seat following the news that U.S. Rep. Debbie Lesko, R-Ariz., would not seek reelection.

In 2021, Chansley was sentenced to 41 months in prison for his role in the U.S. Capitol riot; however, he was released early due to good behavior, according to his attorney. 

As more non-traditional politicians potentially find their way into Congress, Kamlager-Dove said, “We have an obligation to remind people about the importance of government,” adding, “This is not for people who can’t get a TV show.”

She continued, “You’re [should be] coming to Congress because you’re trying to help your country.”

Once McCarthy officially leaves office, California Governor Gavin Newsom will have to announce a special election within a 14-day period, according to state law. The special election will take place in the spring of 2024.

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Former House Speaker U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., announced his resignation from Congress, prompting reaction from members of the Congressional Black Caucus. They bid him farewell and expressed surprise at his decision to resign. McCarthy mentioned it was the honor of a lifetime to serve in Congress and would continue to mentor future congressional candidates. His resignation comes after being ousted as House Speaker, and he expressed that the Democratic Party is more representative of the country than his party. Some members of Congress are concerned about the upcoming elections due to the possibility of non-traditional politicians, such as a convicted insurrectionist, running for office. Once McCarthy officially leaves office, a special election will take place in the spring of 2024 in California.

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