Embattled Speaker of the House, Kevin McCarthy, who became speaker just 19 months ago after 15 rounds of voting, is apparently facing an impasse as left, right and moderate lawmakers engage in a financial battle.
Threats on the horizon from lawmakers in his own party include those who may not vote for the national budget due to its size and those threatening to vote no because of a multibillion dollar aid package to Ukraine, which some believe was an unwise accommodation McCarthy made to President Biden.
The latter is an issue important to Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL). Gaetz has vowed to file a “motion to vacate the chair,” potentially forcing McCarthy to step down as speaker if a budget including substantial funding for Ukraine passes.
RTM reported that Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-IN) threatened to resign and not vote on the budget, or a possible “motion to vacate the chair” proposal that threatens Speaker McCarthy if her recommendation to create a new bipartisan financial accountability committee is not established.
Her resignation would mean that McCarthy had only a projected four vote margin to hold his position as speaker.
Last Sunday, Gaetz reiterated his intent to file a motion to vacate the speaker. Angering Gaetz was McCarthy’s shrewd move to enlist House Democrats to pass a 45-day continuing resolution to avoid a government shutdown while budget negotiations continue.
Angering conservative Republicans, McCarthy previously agreed to President Biden’s demand for a budget higher than many GOP members found acceptable. Republicans are also leery of claims that Democrats pledged to support McCarthy’s budget in exchange for a pledge by McCarthy that he will halt the impeachment inquiry into President Biden, according to the Daily Caller.
According to Politico, backroom deals also include McCarthy allowing Democrats more seats on key committees, additional aid to Ukraine and equal representation on the important Rules Committee.
An angry Gaetz told CNN’s Jake Tapper: “The only way Kevin McCarthy is Speaker of the House at the end of this coming week is if Democrats bail him out. Now, they probably will. I actually think that when you believe in nothing, as Kevin McCarthy does, everything’s negotiable and I think he’ll cut a deal with the Democrats.”
Gaetz told CNN that he believes Republicans in the House will support his motion to vacate the speaker, even if he secures support from Democrat representatives.
The public feud flared on Sunday when McCarthy responded to Gaetz’s threats by saying, “bring it on” during an interview on “Face the Nation.”
During the interview, McCarthy said of Gaetz:
This is personal with Matt. Matt voted against the most conservative ability to protect our border, secure our border.
He’s more interested in securing TV interviews than doing something, like he wanted to push us into a shutdown, even threatening his own district with all the military people there who would not be paid only because he wants to take this motion. So be it, bring it on, let’s get over with it and let’s start governing.
If he’s upset because he tried to push us into a shutdown, and I made sure government didn’t shut down, then let’s have that fight.
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