McCarthy may be about to lose the speakership

October 2, 2023
Robert Ayers

U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) is about to launch an effort to remove U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) from his House speakership position. 

Gaetz, according to The Hill, indicated as much in an interview that he did with CNN during Sunday's broadcast of State of the Union. 

"I do intend to file a motion to vacate against Speaker McCarthy this week," Gaetz said.

The congressman added, "I think we need to rip off the Band-Aid. I think we need to move on with leadership that’s trustworthy."

What is going on?

It is not really clear that Gaetz and McCarthy have ever really seen eye-to-eye. The reader may remember that Gaetz is one of those Republicans who firmly opposed McCarthy's speakership bid.

But, what set Gaetz - and other House Republicans - off here is the way that McCarthy handled the recent government shutdown situation.

Gaetz was among the group of House Republicans who stood against McCarthy's attempt to avoid a government shutdown with a stopgap spending bill. Gaetz argued that doing so would cede too much ground to the Democrats.

McCarthy, however, managed to get a stopgap measure passed anyway - with the help of House Democrats.

This is why Gaetz is now planning on trying to get McCarthy removed from his speakership position. Gaetz is arguing that McCarthy has violated the agreement that he entered into with other House Republicans in order to gain the speakership.

McCarthy's response

The House speaker has been asked to respond to the reports that Gaetz will try to get him removed.

"So be it. Bring it on. Let's get over with it and let's start governing," McCarthy said.

This separate report from Fox details the procedural process that will follow if Gaetz does move forward with his attempt to remove McCarthy from the speakership position.

Newsmax explains:

McCarthy has the support of a large majority of House Republicans, but because the GOP holds such a slim 221-212 majority, he may need votes from some Democrats to keep his job. When asked how many Republicans he had on board, Gaetz said he had enough to ensure that if McCarthy retains the speakership he would "be serving at the pleasure of the Democrats."

Gaetz said, "The only way that McCarthy will be Speaker of the House is if Democrats bail him out. Now they probably will. If Democrats want to own Kevin McCarthy by bailing him out, I can’t stop them, but then he’ll be their Speaker, not mine.”

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