Gaetz Says McCarthy Resignation ‘May Imperil’ GOP House Majority
Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz says the early retirement of ex-Speaker Kevin McCarthy may jeopardize House Republicans’ ability to accomplish anything next year.
The House GOP’s majority is now at greater risk than ever following McCarthy’s announcement Wednesday that he would depart Congress at the end of December, nearly three months after his ouster from the Speakership.
“I wish him well,” Gaetz told reporters shortly after the announcement. “I hope he finds happiness.”
But in a post on X, the Florida Republican criticized McCarthy for his “unwillingness” to stay and vote for Republican priorities.
“Former Speaker McCarthy is quitting Congress. He’s essentially saying if he cannot run the place as Speaker, then he will leave.
There’s an Establishment Exodus from the House Republican Conference. It’s my hope that we backfill these establishment entities with folks who are willing to fight for the America First agenda.
But for all of the self-congratulatory videos that McCarthy may make, his unwillingness to stay and vote for even the most basic Republican priorities until the end of his term may imperil our ability to get the job done.”
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) December 6, 2023
McCarthy announced his retirement on Wednesday in a Wall Street Journal op-ed.
“I have decided to depart the House at the end of this year to serve America in new ways,” the former Speaker wrote. “I know my work is only getting started.”
While McCarthy stated that he would not serve out his current term, he suggested that he would continue to play an active role in politics. His reputation as a prolific fundraiser allows him to lend his support to other campaigns, including potential primary challengers against those who ousted him from the House’s top job.
“I will 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,”
Asked about the possibility of McCarthy funding a primary challenger against him, Gaetz said in a Daily Mail report, “I hope he does.”
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
Just days before McCarthy’s announcement, Gaetz raised alarm bells on a Dec. 3 episode of the ‘Charlie Kirk Show’ that House Republicans were at risk of losing their majority following the expulsion of Rep. George Santos (R-NY). “Let’s do the math here, Charlie. We have a four-vote majority, right? Now we’ve kicked out George Santos, and we have a three-vote majority,” he told Kirk.
“Congressman Bill Johnson of Ohio has taken a college university presidency, that could knock us down to two and I don’t think Kevin McCarthy is sticking around long. Every image of his office shows he’s packing things up in boxes, so we could be down to a one-seat majority.”
“We’ve got a bunch of these octogenarians in our conference. If God forbid any of them were to cross the rainbow bridge, we would be in a situation where we could literally lose the majority because we were so eager to throw George Santos out before being convicted.”
“It is not in accordance with the precedent. It is not in accordance with due process and it is just tactically freaking stupid.”
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