On Tuesday, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) successfully led an effort to remove House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) from his position, with support from House Democrats and a group of fellow Republicans. Gaetz faced considerable criticism from leading Republicans and conservative figures, who viewed his move as driven by personal motivations related to a House Ethics Committee investigation into allegations against Gaetz.
Following the 216-206 vote in favor of his motion, Gaetz emphasized the need for a different Speaker of the House, criticizing McCarthy for his alleged failure to uphold his agreements and address pressing fiscal concerns. Gaetz voiced his concerns about the national debt, annual deficits, and the potential de-dollarization of the global economy, which he argued would adversely affect working-class Americans.
In his critique of McCarthy, Gaetz accused him of being a “feature of the swamp,” suggesting that McCarthy had ascended to power by accepting special interest money and using it to gain favors. He humorously remarked on the reactions of his colleagues, implying that they were going through the stages of grief following the vote.
Gaetz expressed a willingness to support House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) as Speaker, praising Scalise’s potential to excel in the role. He underscored his concerns about the country’s mounting debt and the potential consequences of losing the dollar’s status as the global reserve currency.
Regarding the potential paralysis of the House due to the need for multiple rounds of voting to find a new Speaker, Gaetz argued that McCarthy should accept the reality and step aside, suggesting that McCarthy’s tenure as Speaker had already failed due to various issues, including the appropriations process.
Gaetz portrayed his actions as a necessary step to address pressing issues and get the country back on the right track. Seven other Republican representatives joined Gaetz in supporting the motion to vacate the speakership, further highlighting the internal divisions within the party.