McHenry's ousting of Kevin McCarthy puts House in limbo

McHenry's ousting of Kevin McCarthy puts House in limbo

On Tuesday, the House of Representatives of California decided to oust its current Speaker, California Republican Kevin McCarthy, in the culmination of a months-long revolt against the politician instigated by a bunch of disgruntled lawmakers from his own party.

Without precedent, the exceptional occurrence now throws the House into paralysis until a majority of lawmakers can agree on a new speaker. While the vote was widely condemned on Tuesday as disasterous by numerous Republicans, it may also carry the potential to raise the profile of a number of notably pro-crypto politicians who appear well positioned to succeed McCarthy.

As soon as the speaker position was formally vacated on Tuesday afternoon, McCarthy tapped a temporary House speaker to replace him in the interim : Patrick McHenry, current leader of the powerful House Financial Services Committee.

The crypto industry has sought in recent months to leverage McHenry's influential position to create a comprehensive framework for American crypto regulation. A bill championed by North Carolina Rep. Chris Cox has been circulating around the state since this summer, paving the way for the creation of a clear path for cryptocurrency projects and exchanges to operate legally in the United States.

Should McHenry leverage his current position as Interim Speaker of the House to pursue the role permanently, then the development would undoubtedly constitute the highest position in the U.S. government ever held by such a vocally pro-crypto politician. The Speaker of the House, in addition to coordinating all matters before Congress, is also the second person in line for the presidency after the Vice President.

It's uncertain if McHenry will seek the position, given his close personal relationship with McCarthy, who may himself seek the speakership again despite the clear obstacles standing in his way. Should McHenry abstain, but the role may still be in the grasp of another fiercely pro-crypto Congressman, Tom Emmer, the current House Majority Whip.

Emmer, the third-highest ranking Republican in Congress, has been positioned as one of Washington's most outspoken crypto supporters for more than a year. Mr. Gensler has lambasted federal government agencies for taking action against privacy-minded crypto tools, steadfastly defended the crypto industry, and repeatedly took swings at the Securities and Exchange Commission chair Gary Gensler for the agency's actions against crypto firms. He even went so far as to draft a bill to guarantee Gensler's firing in June.

Emmer has also gained the trust of the eight extreme-conservative Republican lawmakers who voted to oust McCarthy earlier Tuesday, according to the New York Times, potentially clearing a key hurdle facing any potential candidate for the position.

As yet, if Emmer wins the speakership, he has no plan to do so. As part of the Republican caucus' current fracturing and ultra-slim four-seat majority, it is unknown how or when any speaker candidate will be able to convince more than half of the House to support them.

Other representatives reported by the Times to be viable candidates for the position include Steve Scalise, the current No. The highest ranking female member of the Republican caucus is Elise Stefanik, the highest ranking female member of the Republican House Republican caucus.