Gaetz vows to keep dragging out McCarthy drama
Rep. Matt Gaetz reiterated Monday that even if he fails on his first attempt to oust Speaker Kevin McCarthy — which he has not formally begun, 24 hours after promising to on national TV — he will keep trying.
The Florida Republican dug in against McCarthy moments after a floor speech that Capitol Hill watched closely, expecting that Gaetz might use it to launch his speaker-booting bid. Instead of making the first official move against a speaker in 113 years, Gaetz used his time to vent about McCarthy’s spending deals with Democrats, particularly on Ukraine funding.
After his remarks, Gaetz affirmed to reporters that, as he’s long hinted at, he doesn’t plan to limit his foray against McCarthy to a single vote.
“It took Speaker McCarthy 15 votes to become the speaker. So until I get to 14 or 15, I don’t think I’m being any more dilatory than he was,” Gaetz said.
He announced on Sunday that he plans to file a formal motion against McCarthy this week, though he has not revealed when specifically he intends to do so.
Gaetz declined to address any further details of his planning on Monday, including how much GOP and Democratic support he has for his current ejection push or the nature of discussions he’s had with Donald Trump on the matter.
His Monday speech was largely directed at reports, including by POLITICO, that McCarthy had agreed with Democrats and Senate Republicans to put a standalone Ukraine aid package on the floor — even as the issue divides his own GOP conference.
“It is going to be difficult for my Republican friends to keep calling President Biden feeble while he continues to take Speaker McCarthy’s lunch money in every negotiation,” Gaetz said on the floor.
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