Rep. Gaetz Threatens to Remove McCarthy Over Shutdown Threats

( – Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz blasted House Speaker Kevin McCarthy from the House floor on Sept. 12. Gaetz told McCarthy that he was “out of compliance” with the agreements that were previously made between him and other lawmakers. McCarthy was only able to secure the votes to become Speaker back in January by agreeing to adopt a set of rules that hardline Republicans demanded. Gaetz listed several of the promises that McCarthy made, including bringing forward single-issue spending bills rather than cramming unrelated expenditures into stop-gap measures like the continuing resolution that is currently being drafted in the House.

Lawmakers have until Sept. 30 to pass a continuing resolution or else the government will shut down. Gaetz is not the only Republican lawmaker who is opposed to the continuing resolution, as members of the House Freedom Caucus have indicated that they will not vote for anything that continues the wasteful spending that has become commonplace in recent years. Back in May, McCarthy negotiated a debt ceiling increase with Democrats and President Biden, ignoring the objections of his Republican colleagues. Gaetz and others backed off of their threats to make a motion to vacate the chair, but it appears that this time may be different.

Gaetz told McCarthy that he had to come into “immediate, total compliance” or he would make a motion to vacate the chair. McCarthy faces a tough road ahead as he must include demands from the Freedom Caucus in the continuing resolution unless he wants to lean on Democrat support again. However, if he offers nothing to the caucus and works with the Democrats, Gaetz will attempt to have him removed as Speaker. A motion from one lawmaker followed by a simple majority vote would be all it would take to vacate the chair. The House would then be unable to conduct normal business until another Speaker is elected. On September 14, Speaker McCarthy appeared to be fed up with the threats, offering an expletive when asked about a potential motion to vacate.

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