2024 Election

Matt Gaetz’s Vote Succeeds in Ousting Kevin McCarthy as Speaker

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) on Tuesday succeeded in his effort to oust Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).

The vote was held by roll call in alphabetical order. The motion to remove McCarthy succeeded, 216-210.

Reps. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Ken Buck (R-CO), Tim Burchett (R-TN), Eli Crane (R-AZ), Bob Good (R-VA), Nancy Mace (R-SC), Matt Rosendale (R-MT), and Gaetz voted to remove McCarthy.

The House voted on Rep. Tom Cole’s (R-OK) motion to table Gaetz’s move, which was rejected with the support of ten House Republicans.

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Regarding his move to oust McCarthy, Gaetz said:

Cole said moving to oust McCarthy would “plunge us into chaos.”

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) said that McCarthy has been “rock solid” as a leader in the House and believes that he has kept his word.

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) called the move to oust McCarthy “terrible.” He called it a “referendum” on regular order, and if it fails, then “no one will try it again.” He added that McCarthy made the majority more “fair and even,” which included putting conservatives on the influential Rules Committee.

Rep. Ashley Hinson (R-IA) said that lawmakers could either be a “chaos agent” or “get back to work.”

House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) said that McCarthy opened up the process and allowed members to be “more engaged” on the floor.

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Rep. Garret Graves (R-LA), a McCarthy ally, said it was disgusting for Gaetz to fundraise from his move to oust McCarthy.

“Using official actions to make money, it’s disgusting,” Graves said, which resulted in shouts of “shame” from the Republican side.

During the debate on the resolution to remove McCarthy, Gaetz had to speak from the Democrat side of the chamber because allies of McCarthy blocked the Republican microphones on the House floor.

Gaetz first started teasing that he would use the motion to remove McCarthy after the speaker led the House to pass a continuing resolution (CR), a stopgap spending bill, through the House.

The Florida congressman’s move is controversial even among House Republicans, as a majority of the House Freedom Caucus opposes the move.

In the Democrat conference meeting, Rep. Dan Goldman (D-NY) told colleagues that he received a call from former Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), a Never Trumper, telling them to “get rid of” McCarthy.

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) shook Gaetz’s hand on the House floor ahead of the vote to remove McCarthy.

Now that McCarthy has been ousted, the House is obligated to elect a new speaker until the chamber chooses its new leader. It is possible that the House could reelect McCarthy as speaker.

While former President Donald Trump did not speak directly on the House fight, he did question why Republicans often engage in infighting instead of focusing their energy against the “Radical Left Democrats.”

He asked, “Why is it that Republicans are always fighting among themselves, why aren’t they fighting the Radical Left Democrats who are destroying our Country?”

Massie, who sponsored the original motion to vacate then-Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), said he opposed the move and even warned that removing McCarthy would lead to worse outcomes for conservatives. Massie credited McCarthy during a House Republican Conference meeting on Tuesday, saying that he has been transparent and far better than prior Republican speakers.

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FreedomWorks President Adam Brandon came out against Gaetz’s motion on Monday, calling it a “waste of time” to engage in a “personality conflict.”

Gaetz also appeared to be fundraising off of his move to oust McCarthy.

Conservative pundit Ann Coulter also opposed Gaetz’s move, writing, “Please stop doing this @mattgaetz. You make great points, but your fellow Republicans aren’t all in safe seats like yours. YOUR NO. 1 JOB: WIN MAJORITIES IN THE HOUSE & SENATE. Then get a better speaker.”

CNN’s Jake Tapper said Sunday that he had seen “personal communications” from the congressman blaming McCarthy for the Ethics Committee investigation against him. Tapper suggested the vendetta against McCarthy may be personal and not about how the House should operate.

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Ella Ford is a mother of two, a Christian conservative writer with degrees in American History, Social and Behavioral Science and Liberal Studies, based in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area.

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