1 of 4 | Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., (L) filed a formal motion Monday to remove House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R) from his leadership post, “declaring the office of the speaker of the House of Representatives to be vacant.” In this file photo, Gaetz is shown with McCarthy on January 6, 2023, after he reached a compromise to vote for McCarthy as the Speaker of the House during the 15th ballot at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. File photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI | License Photo
Oct. 2 (UPI) — Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz filed a formal motion Monday to oust House Speaker Kevin McCarthy from his leadership post, following through on threats he made in the wake of GOP lawmakers’ recent chaotic attempts to prevent a government shutdown.
According to House rules, the Florida lawmaker’s motion must be voted on within the next two days.
“Today I’m filing a motion to vacate against Speaker McCarthy,” Gaetz wrote in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.
“Declaring the office of the speaker of the House of Representatives to be vacant,” Gaetz announced on the House floor Monday, to which McCarthy wrote in his own post, “Bring it on.”
On ABC’s Sunday news program This Week, Gaetz, a member of the far-right Freedom Caucus and vocal supporter of former President Donald Trump, had said that he would bring a “motion to vacate” against McCarthy, criticizing how the speaker has handled budget fights.
The last time a motion to eject a House speaker was filed was in 1910, although it was unsuccessful.
As the House is required to vote on the motion by Wednesday, it is not clear whether Gaetz has the votes to eject McCarthy from his leadership role.
“I have enough Republicans where at this point next week one of two things will happen: Kevin McCarthy won’t be the speaker of the House or he’ll be the speaker of the House serving at the pleasure of Democrats,” Gaetz said, adding “I’ve made peace with either result.”
Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C., said Monday he wished Gaetz had held off on his motion in order to give Republicans more time to pass spending bills.
“We’ve got so many important things to do,” Norman said. “To divert all the attention on that — I think Americans don’t care who is speaker.”
“Let’s get over with it and let’s start governing,” McCarthy told CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday. “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.”
On Monday, McCarthy told reporters that he believes he will survive the vote, adding his support among House Republicans is “very strong.”
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