McCarthy’s embrace of a bipartisan deal to avert a U.S. government shutdown triggered a mutiny by far-right Republicans to depose him as House speaker.
Florida Republican Matt Gaetz said on Sunday he’ll file a motion to vacate the chair this week, seizing on a parliamentary process that has not resulted in a speaker removal vote since 1910. McCarthy responded defiantly, telling CBS News he’ll survive any attempt to remove him.
“I do intend to file a motion to vacate against Speaker McCarthy this week,” Gaetz said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “I think we need to rip off the Band-Aid. I think we need to move on with new leadership that can be trustworthy.”
Gaetz’s announcement came just hours after the House and Senate passed a temporary spending bill that attracted support from both sides.
Gaetz said his move stemmed from McCarthy’s embrace of a bipartisan deal that didn’t enact the steep spending cuts ultra-conservatives have demanded. That, he has said, is the latest in a string of promises McCarthy made to be elected speaker and has since broken.
“This isn’t personal. This is about spending,” Gaetz said. “This is about the deal Kevin McCarthy made.”
McCarthy, who portrayed himself as the “adult in the room” during the maneuvering that led to the deal, said he’s ready for the fight.
“Bring it on, let’s get over with it and let’s start governing,” McCarthy said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “If he’s upset because he tried to push us into a shutdown and I made sure the government didn’t shut down, let’s have that fight.”
McCarthy needs only a simple majority of House members voting to stop the effort to remove him. Republicans hold a slim majority and just five could join unified Democrats to bounce McCarthy from the speaker’s office.
Representative Byron Donalds, a Republican from Florida, said he thinks McCarthy’s “in trouble.”
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