Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., conducts a news conference in the U.S. Capitol on border security, government funding, and other issues, on Friday, September 29, 2023.
Anna Moneymaker | Getty Images
Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida on Sunday said he will aim to file a motion to force out House Speaker Kevin McCarthy this week.
In an interview with Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Gaetz said, “When you host this show next week, if Kevin McCarthy is still the speaker of the House, he will be serving at the pleasure of the Democrats.”
The declaration from Gaetz comes less than a day after Congress passed a 45-day stopgap spending bill with 335 votes in favor, 209 from Democrats and 126 from Republicans. The bill was passed just hours before the deadline when a government shutdown would have taken place.
McCarthy resorted to negotiating the deal with Democrats after struggling to rally the requisite votes from his fellow Republicans.
That decision is already yielding political backlash from House Republicans like Gaetz who had threatened to oust him as speaker if he worked with the Democrats to get a deal done.
Gaetz needs 218 votes in order for a motion to vacate McCarthy to pass.
WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 30: House Freedom Caucus member Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) arrives for a meeting of the Republican House caucus on September 30, 2023 in Washington, DC. The government is expected to enter a shutdown at midnight if a last-minute budget deal is not reached by the House on Saturday. (Photo by Nathan Howard/Getty Images)
Nathan Howard | Getty Images News | Getty Images
“I have a requisite number of House Republicans, a sufficient number, to ensure that we don’t own Kevin McCarthy anymore. By week’s end, he will either not be speaker or he will be speaker serving at the pleasure of Democrats,” said Gaetz.
However, McCarthy may not find a safety net among Democrats either.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Sunday said that she would “absolutely” cast a vote to oust McCarthy.
“I think Kevin McCarthy is a very weak speaker. 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,” Ocasio-Cortez said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
She continued to say that if McCarthy wanted to lean on Democrats to save his job, he would have to make a deal: “Unless Kevin McCarthy asks for a vote, again, I don’t think we give something away for free.”