U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz is photographed inside the Rayburn House Office Building Feb. 27, 2019. Alex Wong/Getty Images
WASHINGTON — The U.S. House likely faces a decision this week on whether Kevin McCarthy should keep the role of speaker, after Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz on Monday night offered a motion to remove the California Republican.
The so-called motion to vacate gives House GOP leaders up to two days to hold a vote on the resolution, and McCarthy indicated during a press conference on Saturday that he wouldn’t avoid a floor vote.
“If somebody wants to make a motion against me — bring it,” McCarthy said. “There has to be an adult in the room. I am going to govern with what is best for this country.”
McCarthy reinforced that sentiment shortly after Gaetz introduced his resolution, when he wrote “Bring it on” on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.
But GOP leaders could use procedural steps to try to avoid a direct vote on the resolution, including tabling it, which would permanently put it on hold, or sending it to a committee.
Gaetz has never been a fan of McCarthy holding a position of power within the House Republican Conference and was one of the members who repeatedly voted against McCarthy’s ascension to speaker in January, when it took 15 ballots before he held the gavel.
Gaetz has been saying for weeks that if McCarthy worked with Democrats to pass a stopgap spending bill, that would be one reason to try to remove him from the speaker’s office. He’s also called on McCarthy to fulfill all the commitments he reportedly agreed to in January in a private deal in order to secure the votes to become speaker.
A few hours before Gaetz offered the motion to vacate, he gave a floor speech rebuking McCarthy for reportedly agreeing to hold a floor vote on additional military and humanitarian assistance for Ukraine.
Gaetz called on McCarthy to say publicly whether he had made such a promise to President Joe Biden.
“Members of the Republican Party might vote differently on a motion to vacate if they heard what the speaker had to share with us about his secret side deal with Joe Biden on Ukraine,” Gaetz said.
Biden on Sunday said that McCarthy agreed to find the votes needed to pass a supplemental spending bill to provide additional military and humanitarian relief for Ukraine as it resists invasion by Russia.
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