WASHINGTON — Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) filed a resolution on Monday to force a vote to remove Kevin McCarthy as speaker of the House.
Gaetz has been a nagging thorn in McCarthy’s side ever since Republicans took over the chamber earlier this year. The House must now vote on whether to keep McCarthy on as speaker but face a Wednesday deadline.
Speaking to reporters as he exited the Capitol, Gaetz predicted he has the votes to oust McCarthy as long as Democrats don’t step in to help him.
“I have enough Republicans where, at this point next week, one of two things will happen: Kevin McCarthy won’t be the speaker of the house, or he’ll be the speaker of the House working at the pleasure of the Democrats. And I’m at peace with either result because the American people deserve to know who governs them,” Gaetz said.
If all 212 Democrats voted to remove McCarthy, he would need only four Republicans to join them to be ousted.
“I have made no deal with Democrats because I believe that Democrats should vote against Kevin McCarthy for free. It’s Kevin McCarthy who’s out there offering deals to Democrats,” Gaetz told reporters. “I’m not offering anything and I won’t offer anything. … When we stand here a week from now, I won’t own Kevin McCarthy anymore; He won’t belong to me. So if the Democrats want to adopt him, they can adopt him.”
McCarthy and his allies have accused Gaetz, a Florida Republican, of seeking attention and holding up the process of the chamber.
Just minutes after Gaetz filed the motion, McCarthy delivered a message on X: “Bring it on.”
“The only way that the motion to vacate can be successful is if 200-plus Democrats join with him because 200-plus Republicans are adamantly opposed to his motion to vacate,” said Jason Smith (R-Mo.), a top McCarthy ally.