Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., said he would move to take away House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s gavel “every day” if the GOP leader is not in “compliance” with key demands he listed out on the House floor Tuesday.
“No continuing resolutions — individual spending bills or bust. Votes on balanced budgets and term limits. Subpoenas for Hunter Biden and the members of the Biden family who’ve been grifting off of this country. And the impeachment for Joe Biden that he so richly deserves,” Gaetz listed. “Do these things or face a motion to vacate the chair.”
Gaetz spoke less than two hours after McCarthy, R-Calif., announced he was directing relevant committees to open an impeachment inquiry into President Biden.
Speaking to reporters on a conference call after his speech, Gaetz called the inquiry notice a “baby step.”
“But I have fallen for this mirage before,” Gaetz continued. “I remember in January, when Kevin McCarthy ran down to the border to gaslight an impeachment of [Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas], and he tried then to subjugate all the threats to his power, as impediments to a Mayorkas impeachment.”
“McCarthy wasn’t serious” at the time, he said.
Gaetz told reporters there was a written agreement between McCarthy and his conservative hardliner critics made in January, when he won the speakership on a 15th round vote after facing 14 rounds of opposition. He said it was that agreement that he now expected McCarthy to adhere to, or face a call for removal.
Some of the details of McCarthy’s deal had been made public, such as a House rules change to allow just one member to call for him to be removed from leadership — known as a motion to vacate — to trigger a House-wide vote on it.
“If we who worked to craft that deal aren’t willing to enforce it, then we just look like every other bulls— artist in Washington DC, and it’s a fate that I’m not willing to endure,” Gaetz said.
“So we’re either going to get compliance or we’re going to start having votes on motions to vacate, and we’re gonna have them regularly. I don’t anticipate them passing immediately. But I think that, you know, if we have to begin every single day in Congress with the prayer, the pledge, and the motion to vacate, so be it.”
Lawmakers are working to hash out a deal on funding the government for the next fiscal year. If no agreement is struck or if Congress fails to at least extend the current year’s spending priorities via continuing resolution by Sept. 30, the federal government could be forced into a partial shutdown.