‘McCarthy Faces Imminent ‘Vote to Vacate the Chair’ Threat’

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., warned Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., that he’s at risk of losing the House leadership position unless he quickly lives up to concessions agreed upon this year.

Gaetz in January joined a group of other House conservatives in challenging McCarthy’s effort to become speaker. Among the concessions McCarthy made then was allowing a single lawmaker to make a motion to “vacate the chair,” essentially calling a vote to oust the speaker.

Firebrand Gaetz reminded McCarthy of that agreement from the House floor on Tuesday.

“I rise today to serve notice, Mr. Speaker, that you are out of compliance with the agreement that allowed you to assume this role,” Gaetz said on the House’s first day in session following the August recess. “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.”

McCarthy on Tuesday said he’s directing a House committee to open an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden over his family’s business dealings – something that took too long to announce, according to Gaetz.

“Moments ago, Speaker McCarthy endorsed an impeachment inquiry,” Gaetz said. “This is a baby step following weeks of pressure from House conservatives to do more.”

Gaetz mentioned several demands he said were part of the initial speakership agreement that have not materialized. He spoke of a vote on term limits, budget cuts, access to Jan. 6 surveillance tapes, and subpoenas issued against Hunter Biden and other members of the president’s family. 

“I will concede that the votes I have called for will likely fail,” Gaetz said. “I have prepared for that eventuality because at least if we take votes, the American people get to see who’s going to tolerate the business as usual.”

With Congress facing a Sept. 30 deadline to fund the government for the 2024 fiscal year, Gaetz said he would advance a motion to vacate if McCarthy puts forward a stopgap continuing resolution to avert a shutdown.

Republicans hold a slim 222-212 advantage in the House, so McCarthy will need Democrat support to pass legislation is he loses the support of a relatively small number of members from his conference.

“And if Democrats bail out McCarthy, as they may do, then I will lead the resistance to this uniparty and the Biden-McCarthy-Jeffries government that they are attempting to build,” Gaetz said, referring to House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-NY.

McCarthy at first brushed off those comments, the Washington Examiner reported.

“Look, Matt’s Matt,” McCarthy said.

Charlie McCarthy

Charlie McCarthy, a writer/editor at Newsmax, has nearly 40 years of experience covering news, sports, and politics.

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