Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) ended weeks of speculation Sunday when he announced that he would introduce a resolution to remove House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) from his current position. The move could throw the House into disarray after a complex effort to pass a government funding extension and avoid a government shutdown.
The Florida Republican made the commitment to try and remove the House leader during an interview with CNN Sunday, saying that he intended “to file a motion to vacate against Speaker McCarthy this week.”
Gaetz has stated for weeks that if a ‘clean’ funding resolution arrived on the House floor, he would enter a motion to vacate to remove McCarthy.
“This agreement that he made with Democrats to really blow past a lot of the spending guardrails we’d set up is a last straw,” he said.
Gaetz specifically opposed McCarthy’s efforts to work with many Republicans and Democrats to continue aid to Ukraine during its conflict, which Gaetz called a “secret deal.”
.@SpeakerMcCarthy is going to get his wish. I’m going to file a motion to vacate against him this week.
If at this time next week Kevin McCarthy is still Speaker of the House, it will be because the Democrats bailed him out. He can be their Speaker, not mine. pic.twitter.com/ITlcwynY39
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) October 1, 2023
McCarthy appeared unmoved by Gaetz’s statement, telling CBS News that he would “survive.”
He added, “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.”
“Bring it on. Let’s get over with it,” the California Republican said. “Gaetz is trying to work with Democrats, he’s reached out to Swalwell, AOC and others. But if that’s the way we’re going to govern, I don’t think America is going to be successful.”
Gaetz’s effort also seems to have played a role in a potential effort to expel the Florida representative. Some House Republicans are considering a motion to remove him from the House pending the results of an ethics report. He has been under investigation by the House Ethics Committee for two years for a number of potential violations.
Gaetz and a number of other conservatives held up the process of McCarthy becoming House Speaker earlier this year, pushing it into multiple votes. The Republican holdouts made a list of concessions they desired from House leadership to reluctantly support McCarthy in his role.