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Crypto-friendly Rep. Patrick McHenry becomes speaker pro temp following House speaker oust

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Crypto-friendly Rep. Patrick T. McHenry, R-N.C., is reportedly taking over as Speaker of the House on a temporary basis following the dramatic ouster of Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. 

The House voted on Tuesday to remove McCarthy from his leadership role following a power struggle between McCarthy and far-right lawmakers, including Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla. 

McHenry had sided with McCarthy in that fight, posting on X a day before the vote that “wasting time on a motion to vacate is a disservice to the American people.” 

McHenry is chair of the House Financial Services Committee, which advanced two bills over the summer to regulate crypto and one more specific to stablecoins. The congressman too just threatened a subpoena against Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler last week, accusing him of not being transparent to Congress regarding his interactions with bankrupt crypto exchange FTX and its former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried.

“Either we find a path forward where the SEC recognizes Congress as a co-equal branch of government and is responsive to our oversight duties, or my only option is to issue a subpoena,” McHenry said at a Sept. 27 hearing. 

What comes next?

This marks the first time in history that the the House Speaker position has been vacant, according to reports. 

House rules don’t specifically lay out how long the speaker pro tempore can remain in power before a new vote is conducted for a more permanent speaker, according to NBC.

© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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