Rep. Matt Gaetz talks to reporters on Friday. Gaetz said Sunday that he plans to try to oust House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
“Speaker McCarthy made an agreement with House conservatives in January and since then he’s been in brazen, repeated material breach of that agreement,” Gaetz told Jake Tapper on “State of the Union” on Sunday. “This agreement that he made with Democrats to really blow past a lot of the spending guardrails we set up is a last straw.”
“I do intend to file a motion to vacate against Speaker McCarthy this week,” Gaetz continued. I think we need to rip off the Band-Aid. I think we need to move on with new leadership that will be trustworthy.”
McCarthy responded to Gaetz on Sunday, saying, “I’ll survive.”
“This is personal with Matt,” McCarthy said on CBS. “Let’s get over it. Let’s start governing.”
With three hours to spare on Saturday, McCarthy proposed a bill that passed both chambers with bipartisan support and was signed by President Joe Biden to keep the government funded until Nov. 17 at current levels. Hard-line conservatives had insisted on passing a measure that included spending cuts.
As part of his negotiations to win the speaker position in January, McCarthy restored the ability for just one member to make a motion to oust the speaker, which would then prompt a House floor vote. Last week, Gaetz said he would constantly try to oust McCarthy.
“We are going to have [votes] regularly,” he said. “If we have to begin every single day in Congress with the prayer, the pledge and the motion to vacate then so be it.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) told Tapper on Sunday that she would “absolutely” vote to oust McCarthy.
“I think Kevin McCarthy is a very weak speaker,” she said. “He clearly has lost control of his caucus. He has brought the United States and millions of Americans to the brink, waiting until the final hour to keep the government open, and even then, only issuing a 45-day extension, so we’re going to be right back in this place in November.”