US lawmakers will decide on Tuesday whether House Speaker Kevin McCarthy will continue in office amid a rare challenge by a member of his own party.
Matt Gaetz, a Republican member of the House of Representatives, filed a resolution Monday night to impeach Mr. McCarthy.
So far, no Speaker of the House has been removed from office.
“If I counted the number of times someone wanted to fire me, I would have left a long time ago,” Mr. McCarthy told reporters Tuesday morning.
Hard-line Republican Matt Gaetz, who represents a Florida district, has threatened for months to use a procedural tactic to try to oust Mr. McCarthy as chairman.
The threats escalated over the weekend after Mr. McCarthy relied on Democratic votes to pass a short-term legal measure that would keep the government funded to avoid a shutdown.
During a speech before the House of Representatives, Mr. Gaetz asked Speaker McCarthy to clarify the details of what he described as his deal with the White House.
“It’s becoming increasingly clear who the speaker of the House of Representatives is working for now, and it’s not the Republican Party,” Mr. Gaetz said in his speech, hours before delivering the resolution.
The impeachment motion is a rare and powerful procedural tool that has been used only twice in the past century against Republican presidents. But in recent years, conservatives have used the motion as a weapon against their leaders.
In January, Mr. McCarthy, hoping to appease some hard-line Republican lawmakers, agreed to a measure that would give five right-wing lawmakers the right to start impeachment proceedings against him as speaker if elected. In order to secure the Republican votes to take over the post of speaker after a few votes, Mr. McCarthy agreed that a motion by one Republican was enough to start impeachment proceedings.
A simple majority of the 435-member House of Representatives is needed to remove Mr. McCarthy from office. Republicans control it with a majority of 221 lawmakers, compared to 212 held by opposition Democrats. Losing more than 6 votes among the Republicans would endanger Mr. McCarthy’s position.