Rep. Kevin McCarthy announced Wednesday he will leave Congress at the end of the year after being removed as House speaker. File Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo
Dec. 6 (UPI) -- Rep. Kevin McCarthy said on Wednesday that he will leave his seat in Congress by the end of the year, months after being ousted as House speaker.
McCarthy, R-Calif., announced his decision in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, in which he said that while he will leave Congress he intends to maintain an active role in the GOP.
"I have decided to depart the House at the end of this year to serve America in new ways," McCarthy said. "I know my work is only getting started."
While not being specific about his next steps, McCarthy said he would "continue to recruit our country's best and brightest to run for elected office."
"The Republican Party is expanding every day, and I am committed to lending my experience to support the next generation of leaders," he said.
McCarthy endured 15 rounds of voting -- a record voting for House Speaker -- to win the position in the face of opposition from hardline Republicans where the GOP held a slim margin in January.
In October, McCarthy became the first speaker to be removed by a House vote and was later replaced by Rep. Mike Johnson, R.-La.
Despite the turmoil around his brief time as speaker, McCarthy said he was proud of what his team accomplished.
In a post on social media, McCarthy said that serving Congress as speaker "has been my greatest honor."
"As the son of a firefighter from Bakersfield, my story is the story of America," he said. "For me, every moment came with a great deal of devotion and responsibility."
With the loss of former Rep. George Santos on Friday, the Republican advantage in the House is now two seats, which will make it even more critical for Johnson as speaker to keep members on the same page when it comes to legislating.