‘Angry’ Republicans Float Expelling Gaetz Despite Shrinking House Majority
Several ‘angry’ Republicans on Capitol Hill are reportedly floating the idea of “expelling” Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz more than two months after he led an ouster of ex-Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
Despite the GOP caucus facing dwindling numbers in the House–thanks to a recent spate of retirements and the removal of Rep. George Santos– ‘USA Today’ reported that multiple Republican members on the Hill are considering an effort to boot Gaetz from office. The newspaper reported Friday,
“Several Republican House members, many of whom are still angry at Gaetz for his antics that impeded McCarthy and the majority of the conference from passing legislation, have begun to discuss Gaetz’s ongoing investigation by the House Ethics Committee in the wake of the expulsion of embattled former Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y.”
The current balance of the House narrowly favors Republicans at 219-213, with former Speaker McCarthy, former Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry, and Rep. Bill Johnson all planning to make an exit. The expulsion of Santos narrowed Republicans’ margins even further.
Gaetz had opposed the measure at the time, saying last week, “I rise not to defend George Santos whoever he is, but to defend the very precedent that my colleagues are willing to shatter.”
One GOP lawmaker tells me “there’s many of us after last Jan and Oct will vote to expel Gaetz too if Ethics Committee shows he’s guilty. We didn’t enjoy doing it to Santos, but it was necessary. With Gaetz, we want him out, and it can’t happen fast enough.”
— Juliegrace Brufke (@juliegraceb) December 3, 2023
Now, some Republicans are reportedly willing to shrink the majority even further to get their revenge against Gaetz. According to USA Today, many of the GOP lawmakers who voted to expel Santos were well-aware of the precedent it would set. A Republican Congressman, speaking on the condition of anonymity, reportedly told the outlet,
“There were a number of people who voted to expel Santos with the express intent of thinking through the precedent there on what happens next… There was a lot of forethought about the precedent and what would happen when a report on Gaetz comes out.”
That unidentified lawmaker also reportedly said that he and other GOP members were “excited” about the prospect of getting to expel Gaetz.
The report also cited a second unnamed Republican Congressman, who called Gaetz “hated” in the GOP conference.
“If there’s anything in [the House Ethics investigation] that’s bad, I can guarantee people will have their fangs out. He is hated in our conference… If he comes back as guilty in this ethics thing, I think he’s in trouble.”
Gaetz says GOP could lose the House majority in next few months because Santos was expelled, Bill Johnson & McCarthy are leaving any day, which would put them at a 1 seat majority, and they have a bunch of members who are old and could die any day. pic.twitter.com/zVNqxBHyS7
— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) December 2, 2023
According to the same report, however, Gaetz appears unbothered by the cloak-and-dagger effort to remove him. Taking a stab at the members’ choice to make their comments anonymously, the Florida Republican simply asked “Which members?” when asked by USA Today for a comment.
Gaetz is currently facing an investigation by the House Ethics Committee for sexual misconduct, illicit drug use while in office, and the misuse of campaign funds. Despite the allegations, the Department of Justice previously declined to pursue criminal charges against Gaetz. The Florida Republican has also repeatedly refuted the accusations.
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