Gaetz Moves To Remove McCarthy From Speakership
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) has embarked on a consequential journey, formally moving on Monday to eject House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) from his leadership position. Gaetz set the stage in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter: “Today I’m filing a motion to vacate against @SpeakerMcCarthy.”
The action by Gaetz, an indomitable figure within the House and a member renowned for his staunch conservative perspectives, isn’t born out of mere whim. His move is part of a broader discord within the GOP, reflecting a widespread desire for leadership that will faithfully advance the Republican agenda. Gaetz’s disagreements with McCarthy are longstanding and were recently exacerbated by McCarthy’s facilitation of a “clean” continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government hours before the deadline to avoid a shutdown last Saturday.
While McCarthy demonstrated optimism and resilience – “Bring it on,” he posted confidently on X – the deep divisions in the GOP cannot be overlooked.
Gaetz and supporting colleagues like Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) had openly shown their dissatisfaction with the choice of McCarthy as Speaker in January by voting against him in 13 rounds of balloting before agreeing to seat McCarthy with several conditions. Gaetz said on Monday, “He doesn’t have my support anymore, and he doesn’t have the support of a requisite number of Republicans to continue as the Republican Speaker.” He added, “I think we need to rip off the Band-Aid. I think we need to move on with new leadership that can be trustworthy.”
Gaetz, reflecting an openness to diverse choices within the GOP for a replacement Speaker, professed high regard for House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) while also expressing a willingness to consider a wide array of candidates, even those outside of House membership.
However, many influential House Republicans, including House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R-NY), strongly support McCarthy. Stefanik asserted in a post on X, “@SpeakerMcCarthy and the @HouseGOP have consistently delivered strong results for the American people.”
Undoubtedly, McCarthy’s fate delicately teeters on a bipartisan scale where Democrats could potentially exert influential force. They could theoretically safeguard McCarthy by opposing the effort or, conversely, fuel his ousting by supporting Gaetz’s motion. The strategic cardplay by the Democrats, represented by figures like House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), will play a pivotal role in the unfolding narrative.