Matt Gaetz says he will move to oust House Speaker Kevin McCarthy
Washington, DC - Leading hardline Republican Matt Gaetz said Sunday that he will move to oust House Speaker Kevin McCarthy for striking a deal with Democrats to avert a US government shutdown without the spending cuts demanded by the right-wing caucus.
"I do intend to file a motion to vacate Speaker McCarthy this week," Congressman Matt Gaetz told CNN. "I think we need to rip off the Band-Aid."
Gaetz is a leading figure within the House Freedom Caucus, a small group of hardline Republican legislators who had brought the government to the brink of shutdown with their refusal to adopt fresh federal funding without deep spending cuts.
The group was furious when McCarthy struck a stopgap deal with Democrats late Saturday to keep the government open for a further 45 days at current spending levels.
"I think we need to move on with new leadership that can be trustworthy," Gaetz told CNN, though he added that it was unclear whether his group could actually succeed in removing the speaker.
"The only way Kevin McCarthy is speaker of the House at the end of this coming week is if Democrats bail him out," Gaetz said. "Now, they probably will."
In addition to Democratic support, pro-McCarthy Republicans will work to prevent his ousting.
"The only responsible thing to do was to keep the government open and funded while we complete our work," Republican Mike Lawler told ABC's This Week on Sunday. "By putting this motion to vacate on the floor, you know what Matt Gaetz is going to do? He's going to delay the ability to complete that work over the next 45 days."
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