After three weeks of heated debate and the ousting of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., House Republicans reached a unanimous decision on Wednesday, selecting Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., to wield the Speaker’s gavel.
A Historic Moment
This historic moment resulted from intense political maneuvering within the Republican Party.
Rep. Breaks Silence on Johnson’s Speakership
Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., who played a pivotal role in leading the movement to remove Kevin McCarthy, broke his silence following Johnson’s election as Speaker.
Gaetz had been a staunch advocate for change within the party and had this to say about the new Speaker: “Mike Johnson is an honorable, righteous man who will do great things for the country.”
The Swamp Is on the Run
While appearing on Steve Bannon’s “War Room” podcast, Gaetz shared his optimism regarding Speaker Johnson’s leadership.
He boldly stated, “With Speaker Johnson, the swamp is on the run, and MAGA is ascendant.” Gaetz’s confidence in Johnson’s abilities and the broader direction of the Republican Party was palpable.
A Significant Shift in Power
Gaetz emphasized the significance of this leadership change, saying, “If you don’t think that moving from Kevin McCarthy to MAGA Mike Johnson shows the ascendence of this movement and where the power of the Republican Party truly lies, then you’re not paying attention.”
His words highlighted the evolving landscape within the party.
A Pledge of Support
In a display of unity, Gaetz pledged his unwavering support for Speaker Johnson, declaring, “I will be right by his side, doing everything possible to see that Mike Johnson is successful, to see that the House of Representatives is successful in our oversight goals, and that, ultimately, the American people are successful.”
This commitment underscored the party’s focus on delivering results for the nation.
A Strong Connection with Trump
Gaetz also noted the strong rapport between former President Trump and Speaker Johnson, emphasizing their compatibility and shared vision for the party’s future.
Happiness Over Speaker Choice
This bond added to the optimism surrounding Johnson’s speakership.
An Unprecedented Ousting
Kevin McCarthy’s removal marked a historic moment in American politics, as it was the first time in history that a Speaker of the House had been successfully removed.
The resolution to oust McCarthy passed with 216 yeas to 210 nays, a dramatic culmination of weeks of internal strife within the Republican Party.
Weeks of Intense Debate
Since McCarthy’s ousting on October 3, House Republicans had engaged in fervent debate and negotiations to determine his successor.
The battle for leadership had become increasingly intense, with multiple candidates vying for the role.
Late on Tuesday, Mike Johnson, a four-term congressman from Louisiana, received his nomination for the speakership.
He became the fourth nominee for Speaker, emerging as the party’s choice after Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., withdrew his bid shortly after securing the nomination.
Johnson’s victory wasn’t without its challenges—rival candidates, including Reps. Steve Scalise, R-La., and Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, struggled to garner support from their House Republican colleagues.
This lack of consensus ultimately played in Johnson’s favor.
Accusations of Sabotage
Notably, Gaetz accused the former Speaker, Kevin McCarthy, of trying to sabotage the nomination process.
According to Gaetz, McCarthy sought to block a motion that allowed a smooth voting process, revealing a contentious internal battle.
McCarthy’s Alleged Machinations
Gaetz elaborated on McCarthy’s alleged interference, claiming that McCarthy attempted to undermine the chances of other candidates, including Steve Scalise and Jim Jordan. This accusation further fueled the internal discord.
A Delayed Voting Process
McCarthy’s purported efforts to block the vote on Johnson led to a three-hour delay in the nomination process.
During this time, McCarthy reportedly contemplated reinstating himself as Speaker while designating Jim Jordan as a “deputy Speaker.”
McCarthy’s Failed Bid
Newsweek reported that McCarthy secured only 43 votes on a secret ballot, a far cry from his initial promise of 100 votes.
As support for Johnson grew, a roll-call vote was called, forcing McCarthy and his supporters to identify themselves publicly.
A Unifying Moment
The outcome of the roll-call vote was striking. Gaetz recounted, “When we called for the roll call, do you know how many people voted for Kevin McCarthy? Zero.”
This turn of events confirmed that the division within the party was not due to Gaetz’s actions but rather McCarthy’s own political maneuvers.
Paralysis in the House
Gaetz concluded with a critical assessment, asserting that the House of Representatives had been paralyzed for the past three weeks due to McCarthy’s pursuit of his own self-interest.
His actions were perceived as an attempt to regain power within the party, resulting in internal turmoil.
In the end, Rep. Mike Johnson’s election as Speaker of the House marked a significant turning point in the Republican Party’s leadership, with Matt Gaetz playing a central role in shaping the party’s future direction.
The internal struggles and fierce competition that led to this moment will undoubtedly impact the political landscape.
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