Is McCarthy really the next to go?
Representative Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) has made a prediction regarding the departure of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) from Congress by the end of the year. This comes in the wake of the historic expulsion of former Representative George Santos (R-N.Y.) on Friday.
In a post on X, formerly Twitter, on Saturday, Swalwell declared, “With Santos gone, you’re hearing it here first: the next GOP member to leave Congress will be @SpeakerMcCarthy.” He expressed doubt that McCarthy would stay, citing a belief that someone who resorts to questionable tactics with colleagues would be hesitant to complete a full term. Swalwell speculated, “I bet he’s gone by the end of the year. What say you?”
Swalwell’s mention of “kidney punches” alluded to a controversial incident where McCarthy was accused of deliberately elbowing Representative Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.) as he walked behind him last month. McCarthy denied any intentionality, stating, “I guess our elbows hit as I walked by,” and asserting that he would not deliberately harm someone.
The incident occurred shortly after Burchett played a role in McCarthy’s removal as Speaker of the House. McCarthy’s tenure as Speaker was cut short, lasting less than a year, as a faction of Republicans sought to oust him due to allegations of unfulfilled promises and conflicting policy priorities.
Despite evidence against Santos, McCarthy, during his time as Speaker, resisted calls to expel him, needing every vote in his slim House majority. The situation changed after the Ethics Committee’s final report detailed evidence against Santos, and newly elected Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) assumed leadership.
Tensions between the two California congressmen escalated earlier this year when McCarthy, as Speaker, formally rejected Swalwell’s appointment to the House Intelligence Committee.
McCarthy has consistently refuted reports and rumors suggesting he would leave the House midterm after losing the Speaker’s gavel. In October, he stated, “I’m not resigning. I’ve got a lot more work to do,” emphasizing his intention to run for reelection in 2024.