Matt Gaetz Says He’ll Vote to Oust House Speaker This Week: ‘Nobody Trusts Kevin McCarthy’ (Video)

McCarthy responds, “I’ll survive. You know this is personal with Matt”

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has had a tentative grasp on his job for a long time, ever since he just barely managed to get elected to the position after numerous votes and opposition from far-right conservatives. Now Rep. Matt Gaetz is making his move, telling CNN’s Jake Tapper that he’ll move to oust McCarthy this week, following McCarthy making a deal with Democrats to pass a funding bill keeping the government open instead of shutting it down.

“I do intend to file a motion to vacate against Speaker McCarthy this week. I think we need to rip off the Band-Aid,” Gaetz said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “I think we need to move on with new leadership that can be trustworthy. Look, the one thing everybody has in common is that nobody trusts Kevin McCarthy. He lied to Biden, he lied to House conservatives.”

The reason Gaetz is able to do that is because, as part of the deal McCarthy made with conservative members in the House to land the speakership, House rules were changed so that you only need one member to call to remove the speaker at any time. Now Gaetz is pulling the trigger, despite not having support from most Republicans.

“That’s nothing new. He’s tried to do that from the moment I ran for the office,” McCarthy told CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “I’ll survive. You know this is personal with Matt. Matt voted against the most conservative ability to protect our border, secure our border. He’s more interested in securing TV interviews than doing something. He wanted to push us into a shutdown, even threatening his own district with all the military people there who would not be paid, only because he wants to take this motion. So be it, bring it on. Let’s get over with it and let’s start governing. If he’s upset because he tried to push us into a shutdown and I made sure government didn’t shut down, then let’s have that fight.”

Gaetz needs 218 votes to oust McCarthy. He’s unlikely to do so with just Republican votes given their narrow majority and support for McCarthy elsewhere in the Republican caucus, so he’ll need Democratic votes too.

When asked how many Republican votes he has, Gaetz said, “Enough so that when you host this show next week, if Kevin McCarthy is still the speaker of the House, he will be serving at the pleasure of the Democrats. He will be working for the Democrats.”

“The only way Kevin McCarthy is speaker of the House at the end of this coming week is if Democrats bail him out,” Gaetz said. “Now, they probably will. I actually think, when you believe in nothing, as Kevin McCarthy does, everything is negotiable, and I think he’ll cut a deal with the Democrats.”

Gaetz said that he will make “no deal with Democrats and concede no terms to them. I actually think Democrats should vote against Speaker McCarthy for free. I don’t think I should have to deal with them.”

“Here’s the thing: I’m done owning Kevin McCarthy,” Gaetz said. “We made a deal in January to allow him to assume the speakership, and I’m not owning him anymore, because he doesn’t tell the truth. And so if Democrats want to own Kevin McCarthy by bailing him out, I can’t stop them, but then he’ll be their speaker, not mine.”

He’s already got at least one Democrat on his side: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said Sunday morning that she would “absolutely” vote to remove McCarthy as speaker.

“Speaker McCarthy made an agreement with House conservatives in January, and since then, he has been in brazen, repeated material breach of that agreement,” Gaetz said earlier in his “State of the Union” interview. “This agreement that he made with Democrats to really blow past a lot of the spending guardrails we’d set up is the last straw, and then overnight I learned, Kevin McCarthy had a secret deal with Democrats on Ukraine.”

According to House Democratic leaders, while Ukraine funding isn’t in the spending bill passed in the House, they expect McCarthy to advance a separate bill funding aid to Ukraine. But McCarthy said Sunday that he’s prioritizing the U.S.-Mexico border first.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.