Gaetz Files Motion to Oust McCarthy as Speaker – ‘Bring it On’
Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz filed a motion Monday night to oust Speaker Kevin McCarthy from his leadership role, setting the stage for a historic showdown between the two Republicans. Over the past week, Gaetz has repeatedly teased that he would file a motion to vacate, citing McCarthy’s handling of the recent temporary government funding bill. The Florida Republican has hammered McCarthy for relying on Democrat votes to push through the bill and accusing him of making a “side deal” with President Joe Biden for Ukraine funding.
“Mr. Speaker, pursuant to clause two A1 of Rule nine, I rise to give notice of my intent to raise a question of the privileges of House,” Gaetz said on Monday. “Declaring the office Speaker of the House of Representatives to be vacant. Resolved that the office of Speaker of the House Representatives is hereby declared to be vacant.”
Shortly after, McCarthy responded on the social media platform X,
“Bring it on,”
Just did. https://t.co/zdQk3GblbV
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) October 2, 2023
“So be it. Bring it on. Let’s get it over with, and let’s start governing,” McCarthy previously told CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday.
Ahead of Gaetz’s motion, McCarthy seemed unshaken, saying plainly, “I’ll survive.”
“You know this is personal with Matt. Matt voted against the most conservative ability to protect our border. He’s more interested in securing TV interviews than doing something.”
On Monday, however, Gaetz railed against McCarthy for his “policy failures” and said he was trying to “recast” them as a personal dispute to dodge accountability. “For some people, policy failures are recast as personal because their own failures are personally embarrassing to them,” Gaetz told reporters. “This isn’t personal; I can cite the specific elements of House Rules that have been violated.
“Kevin McCarthy agreed to a rule that we would have 72 hours to read legislation. He blew past that. Kevin McCarthy agreed to a rule that we would not put anything over $100 million on the suspension agenda so that it couldn’t be amended. He blew past that. Kevin McCarthy agreed to the Hastert Rule, which is that you would never use the Democrats to roll a majority of the majority, on the last Ukraine supplemental 101 Republicans voted for it. 117 Republicans voted against it. So, does this sound personal to you?”
He continued, “He’s just trying to subjugate his real and significant breaches of our agreement as some sort of personal dispute, but that says more about him than it says about what we’re trying to do,”
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) October 2, 2023
The historic vote on removing the Speaker will be the first since 1910.
On Monday, Gaetz acknowledged that his bid to remove McCarthy is “likely” to fail but said he was undeterred.
“Like I’ve said, it took Speaker McCarthy 15 votes to become the Speaker. So until I get to 14 or 15, I don’t think I’m being any more dilatory than he was,” he said.
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