Pro-crypto politicians may be on the cards as House votes to oust McCarthy

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Pro-crypto politicians may be on the cards as House votes to oust McCarthy

The California House of Representatives voted for the first time in more than two decades to oust its current Speaker, California Republican Kevin McCarthy, in the aftermath of a months-long revolt against the politician instigated by a handful of disgruntled lawmakers from his own party.

The remarkable occurrence today throws the House into paralysis until a majority of Congressmembers can agree on a new speaker. Although the vote was widely criticised by numerous Republicans on Tuesday, it may still have 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, in accordance with House rules, tapped a temporary House speaker to replace him in the interim : Patrick McHenry, current leader of the powerful House Financial Services Committee.

In recent months, McHenry, a prominent lobbyist for the crypto industry, has tried to leverage his influential position to create a comprehensive framework for American crypto regulation. The North Carolina Rep.'s bill advocating for the creation of a clear path for crypto projects and exchanges to operate legally in the US has been circulating around Washington since this summer.

Should McHenry leverage his existing position as the interim speaker of the House to pursue the role permanently and triumph in that effort, the development would undoubtedly constitute the highest position in the United States government ever held by such a vocally pro-crypto politician. In addition to coordinating all matters that come before Congress, the speaker of the House also leads the second person in line for the presidency after the Vice President.

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

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

In a report published by the New York Times, Emmer has also gained the trust of the eight ultra-conservative Republican lawmakers who voted to oust McCarthy last Tuesday, potentially clearing a key hurdle facing any potential candidate for the position.

As yet, if Emmer is to seek the Speakership, he will be able to attain it. The reason so many Republican lawmakers voted for McCarthy's removal is that, given 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. 2 House Republicans and Elise Stefanik, the most female member of the Republican caucus, are among the female members of the Republican caucus.