(NEXSTAR) — In a historic move on Tuesday, the House voted to oust Speaker Kevin McCarthy from his seat.
Stillness fell as the presiding officer gaveled the vote closed, 216-210, saying the office of the speaker “is hereby declared vacant.” This was the first time since 1910 that such a vote has been held, and the only time such a motion has been approved, according to The Hill.
Now, what comes next is largely uncertain. That includes who will become the new leader of the House Republican majority.
What we do know is who will serve as the speaker pro tempore, filling the office until a new speaker is chosen: a top McCarthy ally, Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC).
McHenry was one of many Republicans who voted against ousting McCarthy.
He was chosen from a list McCarthy designated and shared with the House clerk earlier this year, following a process started after 9/11. He is serving his tenth term as the representative for North Carolina’s 10th Congressional District, an area west and north of Charlotte. McHenry was elected Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, which has has served on since his election to Congress in 2004.
In 2019, McHenry was elected as the Republican Leader.
He could remain in the Speaker chair, some experts speculated Tuesday. Josh Huder, a senior fellow at the Government Affairs Institute at Georgetown University took to X, formerly Twitter, saying there is no “forcing mechanism for a new election, nor are there any overt restrictions on the power the pro tem would wield,” Insider first reported.
Under the current Rules of the House of Representatives, the Speaker pro tempore “may exercise such authorities of the Office of Speaker as may be necessary and appropriate to that end.”
McHenry is expected to have the chief responsibility of presiding over the election for a new Speaker, but until then, the House will likely be able to do little else, The Hill explains.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.