Republican colleagues of Rep. Matt Gaetz are seeking to expel him from office as the outspoken Florida lawmaker spearheads an effort to remove House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
Gaetz has pledged to file a motion to vacate the speakership of Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from California.
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) October 1, 2023
Long frustrated with Gaetz, who has consistently criticized GOP leadership and undermined his own party, some Republicans are eager to expel him if the House Ethics Committee, currently investigating him, finds evidence of wrongdoing, according to a report by Fox News on Sunday.
“No one can stand him at this point. A smart guy without morals,” one lawmaker told the outlet.To pass a motion for expulsion, a two-thirds vote is required, which means that Democrats would need to support it, given the current makeup of the lower chamber with 221 Republicans and 212 Democrats.
Gaetz has consistently asserted his innocence in the ongoing ethics probe, which is reportedly approaching its conclusion. The investigation is focused on allegations ranging from sexual misconduct and illicit drug use to potential public corruption.
With Republicans holding only a narrow four-seat majority in the lower chamber, Gaetz presents a significant challenge to McCarthy’s position as Speaker of the House.
Kevin McCarthy fires back at Matt Gaetz over their Speaker fight.
"This is personal with Matt… He's more interested in securing TV interviews than doing something."
"So be it. Bring it on. Let's get over with it and let's start governing. If he's upset because he tried to… pic.twitter.com/eSTs972a21
— Kyle Becker (@kylenabecker) October 1, 2023
On Sunday, Kevin McCarthy fired back at Matt Gaetz over their Speaker fight. Margaret Brennan asked McCarthy if he could survive a Speaker fight.
“Yes, I’ll survive,” McCarthy replied. “This is personal with Matt. Matt voted against the most conservative ability to protect our border, secure the border. He’s more interested in securing TV interviews than doing something.”
“He wanted to push us into a shutdown, even threatening his own district with all the military people there who would not be paid,” he added. “Only because he wants to take this motion.”
“So be it. Bring it on,” he added. “Let’s get over with it and let’s start governing. If he’s upset because he tried to push us in a shutdown and I made sure government didn’t shut down, then let’s have that fight.”
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich weighed in on the House battle.
The effort to expel Matt Gaetz for being a destructive, irresponsible anti-Republican may be a step too far. Expulsion from the House requires a two thirds vote. However expelling him from the House Republican Conference and eliminating all his committee assignments and all…
— Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) October 1, 2023
“The effort to expel Matt Gaetz for being a destructive, irresponsible anti-Republican may be a step too far,” Gingrich said on X. “Expulsion from the House requires a two thirds vote. However expelling him from the House Republican Conference and eliminating all his committee assignments and all resources other than those an individual member is entitled to would be a rational response to his suicidal efforts to cripple the House GOP.”
Gaetz has been ratcheting up his pressure on McCarthy for allegedly failing to comply with agreements he made with Republican conservative members.
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