Former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, Republican of California, who made history as the first speaker to be ousted from the post, announced on Wednesday that he would leave the House at the end of the year but said he planned to remain engaged in Republican politics.
“I will continue to recruit our country’s best and brightest to run for elected office,” Mr. McCarthy said in an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal announcing his plans. “The Republican Party is expanding every day, and I am committed to lending my experience to support the next generation of leaders.”
Mr. McCarthy’s imminent departure will shrink the already slim Republican majority, which went to three seats from four with the expulsion last week of Representative George Santos of New York.
After he was ousted from the speakership in October, Mr. McCarthy gave an inconclusive answer about whether he would remain in Congress. “I’ll take a look at that,” he said then. Later, in an effort to bat down reports and rumors that he was leaving immediately, he told reporters that he was staying and even planned to run for re-election.
But his position as a rank-and-file member of the House side by side with the Republicans who voted to remove him from power had grown untenable and Mr. McCarthy found the experience to be incredibly painful. His closest allies on the Hill have been anticipating his imminent departure for weeks, even as he has dodged questions about his future.
Mr. McCarthy’s announcement came just days before California’s Dec. 8 filing deadline to run for re-election.
Mr. McCarthy was first elected to Congress in 2007.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.