House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has been increasingly threatened with removal from his tenuously-held leadership position by some members within his own GOP caucus over his alleged failure to abide by agreements made in January when he first won the speaker's gavel.
The speaker's frustration at that mounting removal threat apparently boiled over on Thursday and resulted in McCarthy dropping the "F-bomb" in an explicit dare for his detractors to go ahead and make their move against him, according to The Hill.
The most likely target of McCarthy's expletive-laced rant was Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who nearly prevented McCarthy from initially becoming the speaker in January and is now threatening to take action to force McCarthy out of that position.
During a closed-door meeting on Thursday, Speaker McCarthy addressed the threats against his leadership coming from Rep. Gaetz and others about filing a motion to force a vote to vacate the chair and oust the speaker from his position.
Per McCarthy ally Rep. Brian Mast, the frustrated speaker exclaimed, "If you want to file a motion to vacate, then file the f‑‑‑ing motion!"
According to CNN reporter Melanie Zanona, Gaetz later replied to that reported outburst from McCarthy with an "F-bomb" of his own and said, "How about just move the f---ing spending bills?"
Gaetz also tweeted in response to a prior post from Zanona, "Sounds like @SpeakerMcCarthy is having a total normal one -- not rattled at all. Truth is Kevin controls his own fate. So instead of emotionally cursing, let’s do this: Single-subject spending bills. Term limits vote. Balanced budget vote. Release J6 tapes to all. Subpoena Hunter. We must begin immediately. Pull yourself together, Kevin!"
At issue here, according to The Hill, are complaints from Rep. Gaetz and a few other House Republicans that Speaker McCarthy has failed to follow through on promises made during the January battle over his speakership with regard to conservative spending priorities and passing separate appropriations bills instead of a massive combined omnibus bill or, worse, a continuing resolution that simply extends current spending levels for a period of time.
It was on Tuesday that Fox News reported that Gaetz took to the House floor and rattled off a list of his demands: "No continuing resolutions -- individual spending bills or bust. Votes on balanced budgets and term limits. Subpoenas for Hunter Biden and the members of the Biden family who've been grifting off of this country. And the impeachment for Joe Biden that he so richly deserves. Do these things or face a motion to vacate the chair."
Later, while speaking to reporters, the Florida congressman referenced the deal that had been reached in January for him and others to drop their opposition to McCarthy becoming speaker, and said, "If we who worked to craft that deal aren't willing to enforce it, then we just look like every other bulls--t artist in Washington D.C., and it's a fate that I'm not willing to endure."
"So we're either going to get compliance or we're going to start having votes on motions to vacate, and we're gonna have them regularly," Gaetz added. "I don't anticipate them passing immediately. But I think that, you know, if we have to begin every single day in Congress with the prayer, the pledge, and the motion to vacate, so be it."
According to The Hill, Speaker McCarthy briefly addressed his reported blow-up after the meeting while speaking with reporters and said, "I showed frustration in here because I am frustrated. Frustrated with some people in the conference."
Rep. Mast also spoke to reporters in defense of the speaker and said, "We don’t try to air our laundry but again, you know, to that point, if somebody wants to file a motion to vacate, then file the f‑‑‑ing motion to vacate, and that’s it."
"And stop holding up everybody’s work, stop holding it, you know, over people’s head like it’s, you know, like, it’s this noose that you’re going to try to get somebody to walk into," he added. "Get to work with the conference; if you have a direction that you want to take, then step up in front of the microphone and voice what that direction is that you want to take. Otherwise, get the f‑‑k out of the way."