Tensions within the Republican Party reached a boiling point this week as Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL) publicly challenged House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, accusing him of failing to deliver on campaign promises that allowed him to assume his leadership role in January.
In a closed-door meeting with Republican House members on Thursday, McCarthy reportedly lost his cool amid growing murmurs of discontent and open threats to his leadership, according to The Hill.
“If you want to file a motion to vacate, then file the f*cking motion,” McCarthy snapped, according to Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL).
“I showed frustration in here because I am frustrated,” McCarthy admitted to reporters after the GOP meeting. He further lamented that the Defense Department appropriations bill couldn’t be placed on the floor, but failed to address the underlying issues causing the rift within his party.
“Frustrated with some people in the conference,” he added.
McCarthy’s meltdown prompted a response from Gaetz.
“Instead of emotionally cursing, maybe the Speaker should just keep his word from January on balanced budgets, term limits, and single-subject spending bills,” Gaetz told The Hill.
Gaetz doubled down on his attack on McCarthy in an X post, “I warned everybody in December of last year. Speaker McCarthy believes in NOTHING except money and power. In football, when the team isn’t winning the games it’s supposed to, they fire the coach. In business, when a company does not match its projected earnings, then the board gets rid of the CEO. I’ve had enough McFailure. Have you?”
I warned everybody in December of last year. @SpeakerMcCarthy believes in NOTHING except money and power.
In football, when the team isn’t winning the games it’s supposed to, they fire the coach. In business, when a company does not match its projected earnings, then the board… pic.twitter.com/wylyxPX8Er
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) September 14, 2023
The Gateway Pundit reported on Tuesday that Gaetz took issue with McCarthy’s failure to uphold the promises that secured him the Speaker’s chair.
“On this very floor in January, the whole world witnessed a historic contest for House Speaker,” Gaetz said in his opening remarks.
Under current House rules, it only takes one member of Congress to bring a ‘motion to vacate’ which can force a vote to remove the Speaker. A simple majority is all that’s needed for removal. Gaetz even mentioned the possibility of recruiting Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell to help carry out the motion.
“I rise today to serve notice. Mr. Speaker, you are out of compliance with the agreement that allowed you to assume this role. The path forward for the House of Representatives is to either bring you into immediate total compliance or remove you, pursuant to a motion to vacate the chair.” Gaetz said on Tuesday from the House floor.
Rep. Gaetz lambasted McCarthy for not holding a vote on term limits, refusing to release the full January 6 tapes, insufficient accountability for the Biden Crime Family, and for advancing Biden’s spending.
Gaetz continued, “If Democrats bail out McCarthy – I will lead the resistance to this uni-party and the Biden/McCarthy/Jeffries government that they are attempting to build.”
On this very floor in January, the whole world witnessed a historic contest for House Speaker.
I rise today to serve notice. Mr. Speaker, you are out of compliance with the agreement that allowed you to assume this role. The path forward for the House of Representatives is to… pic.twitter.com/1IFsrmT8KK
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) September 12, 2023