Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-California), concluding his time on Capitol Hill in 2023, delivered a farewell speech on Thursday.

The California Republican bid farewell to Congress in a House chamber that witnessed a tumultuous 15-round speaker election, numerous unsuccessful procedural votes and the unprecedented removal of the speaker of the House in Congress’ 234-year history.

McCarthy attained the position in early January but lost it after a mere nine months. McCarthy expressed mixed emotions, describing the experience as “bittersweet” and expressing dissatisfaction with the timing of his departure.

McCarthy had his sights set on the highly influential position in the House that is second in line for the presidency throughout the majority of his life. He climbed the ladder of success after being voted into Congress in 2006. Leading the Republicans in the House for five years, he gained a reputation as a formidable fundraiser, playing a pivotal role in securing the GOP’s majority in the previous year.

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However, everything came to a halt in October when Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Florida), who had previously received support from McCarthy in his primary, proposed removing the speaker as a consequence of utilizing Democratic votes to prevent a government shutdown.

McCarthy then blamed the Florida Republican for his political demise. He believes that in the future, the actions he took will be justified when viewed through the lens of history.

Earlier this month, McCarthy announced that he would be stepping down from his position by the end of the year to contribute in different capacities. Thursday marked the final session of the year for the House, also coinciding with McCarthy’s departure from Capitol Hill.

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