House Republicans are livid over the ouster of former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, worried about the global security implications as the U.S.’s strongest ally in the Middle East finds itself in a bloody war with terrorist group Hamas.
‘This is why you don’t remove a Speaker mid-term without cause. What an unmitigated s— show,’ Rep. Mike Lawler, R-N.Y., wrote on X on Saturday. He said in another post, ‘Personal grievances and petty politics are destructive to our nation and the stability of our government. We need to elect a Speaker.’
Hundreds of Israelis, both soldiers and civilians, were killed over the weekend in an unprecedented attack within the country’s borders by Hamas militants. Israel has responded with force in the Gaza Strip after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to destroy sites associated with Hamas.
‘All of the places which Hamas is deployed, hiding and operating in that wicked city, we will turn them into rubble. I say to the residents of Gaza: Leave now because we will operate forcefully everywhere,’ Netanyahu warned.
It’s underscored the political crisis within the House of Representatives, with Congress nearly paralyzed until the lower chamber picks a new leader. Lawmakers are navigating uncharted territory; until last week the U.S. Congress had never removed a House speaker.
House Financial Services Chairman Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., is serving as interim speaker, but the scope of his power is still up for debate. According to several interpretations, the role serves to facilitate the election of a new speaker and nothing else.
Fox News Digital reached out to the White House to ask if McHenry will be getting a classified briefing on the crisis in Israel but did not hear back. McHenry’s office similarly did not respond to a query about whether he would receive a briefing.
Normally, the speaker is part of the ‘Gang of Eight,’ the top lawmakers in Congress who are updated on classified intelligence matters by the administration.
McCarthy pointed this out during an interview on Fox News Live on Saturday. ‘There is nothing the House can do until they elect a speaker. And I don’t know if that happens quickly. The speaker is part of the Gang of Eight that takes action to be able to have the briefings and others. But think about this… why would you ever remove a speaker during a term to raise a doubt around the world?’ he said.
There are currently two lawmakers vying for the top job, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., and Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio. Republican Study Committee Chairman Kevin Hern, R-Okla., who recently stepped back from the race, urged the party to unify for a quick resolution.
‘Republicans must provide a unified front as quickly as possible. We cannot allow the narrative to be chaos and confusion on Capitol Hill — we need strong American leadership and that’s not going to happen while the Speaker’s chair remains vacant,’ Hern told Fox News Digital.
Rep. Marc Molinaro said McHenry should be getting briefed on the situation.
‘Israel is at war [and] its people are being terrorized. We cannot let uncertainty in the Capitol get in the way of helping Israel. There’s no time to waste,’ Molinaro said online. ‘[McHenry] is now Speaker pro temp. He must be in the room for briefings [and] we must immediately select a permanent speaker.’
House Republicans are currently due to hold their speaker elections on Wednesday morning after a closed-door meeting and a candidate forum earlier in the week.