Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Republican representing Florida in the House of Representatives, submitted a motion on Monday evening to remove House Speaker Kevin McCarthy from his position of leadership, so setting the stage for a possible vote in the House of Representatives. This decision by Gaetz has garnered a lot of attention since it occurred in the midst of an inquiry of him by the House Ethics Committee, which many people feel is the result of a personal vendetta against McCarthy.
Gaetz stated during his statement that the position of Speaker of the House is open, citing his discontent with McCarthy’s performance as well as unmet pledges as his reasons. In 1910 was the last time the Speaker of the House was put to a vote in the House of Representatives.
McCarthy’s answer was that he was up for the task, and he said, “Bring it on.”
According to the reports, the Democratic members of the House laughed out loud as Gaetz was leaving the floor of the chamber.
Gaetz has stated that he is determined to keep submitting the motion until he has accumulated enough votes to depose McCarthy. He drew a connection between this process with the road that McCarthy followed to become Speaker, which also required numerous votes.
The claims of sexual misbehavior, drug usage, exchanging inappropriate photographs, abuse of identifying documents, converting campaign funds for personal use, and taking bribes or gifts in violation of House ethics rules are at the focus of the investigation into Gaetz being conducted by the House Ethics Committee. Members of the Republican caucus in the House have given indications that they may move to have Gaetz expelled from the chamber if the report from the ethics committee finds him guilty of wrongdoing.
Throughout the course of the inquiry, Gaetz has steadfastly denied any wrongdoing and has upheld his position that he is innocent.
This new information sheds insight on the dynamics that exist inside the Republican Party as well as the possibility for political squabbling at the highest levels of leadership.