Speaker McCarthy confronts critics within his own party amid contentious spending fight.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) dared Republican colleagues to make good on their threat to come after his leadership position by filing a motion to vacate the chair during a closed-door meeting on Sept. 14.
Rep. Brian Mast (R-Fla.) confirmed to The Epoch Times that Mr. McCarthy directly confronted the threat made by some hardline GOP House members, saying that “Kevin doesn’t live in fear.”
Mr. McCarthy reportedly dared opponents to put forth “the [expletive] motion.”
The speaker has been under fire from hardliners who are angered, believing he has failed to deliver on promises made to them in January in exchange for supporting his bid for the speakership.
“On this very floor in January, the whole world witnessed a historic contest for House speaker. I rise today to serve notice. Mr. Speaker, you are out of compliance with the agreement that allowed you to assume this role. The path forward for the House of Representatives is to either bring you into immediate total compliance or remove you, pursuant to a motion to vacate the chair,” Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) said in a floor speech on Sept. 12.
The same day, Rep. Andy Clyde (R-Gaa.) said in a press conference that the passage of an unqualified or unrestricted continuing resolution on spending “would endanger the Republican majority and endanger Speaker McCarthy’s leadership.”
Upon Mr. McCarthy’s election as speaker in January, after a nearly unprecedented 5-day, 15-ballot ordeal, House rules were changed to allow a single House member to call for a vote to vacate the chair, which could remove the speaker with a majority vote.
The back-and-forth between House Republicans comes immediately after Mr. McCarthy made the controversial announcement to open an impeachment investigation concerning President Joe Biden’s alleged dealings in his son’s business affairs. Many believe the move, which McCarthy initially resisted, was an attempt to placate ultra-conservative Republicans who have clambered for a Biden impeachment.
The House is also in the midst of a contentious battle over setting spending levels for the 2024 fiscal year, which begins in 17 days. Absent an agreement between the House and Senate, signed by the president, or a continuing resolution to allow spending after Sept. 30, non-essential government operations would be shut down.
House Republicans have been working to set spending levels for 2024 in keeping with the Limit Save, Grow Act, which they passed in April. The Senate has been working to set spending levels in keeping with the Fiscal Responsibility Act, a compromise bill resulting from an agreement between Mr. McCarthy and President Biden.
Conservative Republicans held a press conference on Sept. 12, calling on Mr. McCarthy and Republican colleagues to cut spending even further.