Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) followed through on threats and filed a motion Monday to remove House Speaker Kevin McCarthy from his leadership position.
Gaetz’s action will now trigger a vote on a motion to vacate, although McCarthy’s allies are likely to try to sideline the motion by tabling it.
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The prospect of such a vote may mean the type of high drama seen in January, when the House voted 15 times before McCarthy, a Republican from California, was elected speaker. Gaetz was his leading nemesis throughout, and McCarthy had to make substantial concessions to the party’s right wing before he was finally elected to the position.
Gaetz has threatened to file a motion to vacate as McCarthy tried to pass resolutions to fund the government beyond September 30. A shutdown was ultimately averted, for now, when McCarthy moved to continue funding the government at current levels for the next 45 days. That resolution required the votes of Democrats.
Gaetz signaled earlier in the day that he planned to file the motion, accusing McCarthy of making an agreement with President Joe Biden to bring a Ukraine funding bill to the floor. McCarthy said that he had not talked to the president.
Gaetz, meanwhile, denied that he reached an agreement with Democrats to help him oust McCarthy.
“I have made no deal with Democrats, because I believe that Democrats should vote against Kevin McCarthy for free,” Gaetz told reporters after filing the motion. “It’s Kevin McCarthy who is out there offering deals to Democrats.”
“Bring it on,” McCarthy wrote on X/Twitter after Gaetz filed the motion.
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