Republican Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz blasted House Speaker Kevin McCarthy while making remarks to the press on Monday.
Gaetz filed a motion to vacate McCarthy from his house leadership position on Monday. The move could lead to the house voting on whether McCarthy retains his speakership role. Gaetz has been critical of McCarthy’s deal with the Biden White House to raise the debt limit. He also claims that McCarthy has failed to reduce government spending levels. (RELATED: Matt Gaetz Files Motion To Remove Kevin McCarthy As House Speaker)
A reporter suggested to Gaetz that McCarthy could simply run for the speakership again if his attempt to remove him is successful. That scenario could result in no one having the necessary votes. Gaetz brushed off this potentiality, pointing out that McCarthy needed 15 rounds of votes to become the speaker, and saying he should “take a hint” that he is no longer wanted in the role.
Another reporter asked Gaetz who his ideal replacement for McCarthy would be.
“Look, our number two is Steve Scalise. I think very highly of Steve Scalise. I would vote for Steve Scalise,” Gaetz said.
Gaetz outlined McCarthy’s supposed failures as speaker, including his inability to pass appropriations bills in an efficient manner. He said that it took a “political gun to the speaker’s head” to get appropriations bills passed.
“We’d only passed one of our appropriations bills, the veterans bill,” Gaetz said after slamming the apparent lack of work put in by lawmakers.
“The American people are tired of Washington, D.C., not having a budget, running $2 trillion annual deficits, sitting atop a $33 trillion debt,” Gaetz added.
Another reporter asked him if it is hypocritical to criticize McCarthy for working with Democrats when he will need Democratic votes to oust the speaker. Gaetz stated that the “yellow brick road of working with Democrats has been paved, constructed, engineered, and architected by Kevin McCarthy.”
“Look no further than the debt limit deal, a deal he passed with Democrats. Look no further than the last continuing resolution, which he passed with Democrats. And by the way, if he’s able to stay in power, it will be him working for the Democrats, continuing to do their bidding. So this is a revealing exercise, and I think it will show the country who’s really in charge,” Gaetz said.
McCarthy brushed off Gaetz’s announcement of his attempt to remove him from the speakership, saying that the Florida representative has tried similar stunts before.
“That’s nothing new. … He’s tried to do that from the moment I ran for office. … Yes, I’ll survive. You know, this is personal with Matt,” McCarthy said on ABC News’ “This Week.”