In a recent development, GOP Representative Matt Gaetz has announced his intention to bring a motion to remove Speaker Kevin McCarthy from his position next week. This comes after Congress narrowly avoided a government shutdown following the passing of a spending bill in the House.
Filing a Motion
Gaetz made his intentions clear during an appearance on CNN, stating, “I do intend to file a motion to vacate against Speaker McCarthy this week. 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 is Dissatisfied
For some time now, Gaetz has expressed dissatisfaction with McCarthy’s leadership, particularly regarding a “clean” continuing resolution (CR) in the House.
He had previously signaled that he would file the motion if such a resolution were presented.
Bring it On
On the other hand, Speaker Kevin McCarthy responded to Gaetz’s ABC announcement, saying, “I’ll survive. Bring it on. Let’s get it over with.”
The process for removing McCarthy involves a single-member motion to vacate, which allows any member of Congress to force a vote on the House floor to remove the speaker.
To succeed, Gaetz would need to secure 218 votes, and this would likely require support from some Democrats, as most Republicans are expected to vote against the motion.
A Failing Prediction
Gaetz emphasized his reasons for taking this step: “I’m done owning Kevin McCarthy because he doesn’t tell the truth.”
However, he predicted his motion might fail because some Democrats could vote to retain McCarthy as the speaker.
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat from New York, expressed her willingness to support the motion, stating on CNN, “I would absolutely vote to vacate the chair.”
Similarly, Representative Byron Donalds, a Republican from Florida, appeared open to the idea, saying, “I don’t know right now. I’ve got to really think about that. There are a lot of trust issues in my chamber right now.”
A Personal Vendetta
McCarthy has countered Gaetz’s efforts by accusing him of harboring a personal vendetta due to an ongoing Ethics Committee investigation into the Florida Republican.
In an interview, McCarthy suggested, “This is personal with Matt. He is more interested in securing TV interviews than doing something. He wanted to push us into a shutdown.”
A Bipartisan CR
After attempting to gather Republican support for a party-line CR that included spending cuts and border policies but failed to pass the Senate, McCarthy eventually yielded and placed a bipartisan CR on the House floor just hours before the shutdown deadline.
A Six Week Extension
This bill extends government funding at 2023 levels, established under the previous Democratic Congress, for six weeks. It provides for disaster funding but does not include new aid for Ukraine.
A Secret Deal
Gaetz, however, accused McCarthy of making a “secret deal” with Democrats to address Ukraine funding later.
House Democratic leadership issued a statement stating they “expect” McCarthy to advance a Ukraine funding bill. However, it remains uncertain if the speaker has agreed to this.
An Upcoming Bill
Senate leaders have also indicated their intention to introduce a Ukraine bill in the coming weeks. President Biden expressed his expectation that Congress would approve additional funding.
Biden released a statement saying, “I fully expect the speaker will keep his commitment to the people of Ukraine and secure passage of the support needed to help Ukraine at this critical moment.”
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