Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) officially filed a motion to vacate House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).

“Resolved that the Office of Speaker of the House of Representatives is hereby declared to be vacant,” Gaetz said on the House floor late Monday.


Gaetz’s motion to vacate McCarthy “comes after Gaetz claimed McCarthy did a back door deal with Democrats regarding a future spending measure for Ukraine,” WLTReport reports.

“I have enough Republicans where at this point next week, one of two things will happen: Kevin McCarthy won’t be the speaker of the House or he’ll be the speaker of the House working at the pleasure of the Democrats,” Gaetz told reporters outside of the U.S. Capitol.

“Bring it on,” McCarthy responded.

“Because one thing I’m at peace with is when we stand here a week from now, I won’t own Kevin McCarthy anymore. He won’t belong to me. If the Democrats want to adopt him, they can adopt him,” Gaetz said.


The Associated Press reports:

It’s a historic moment: the first time in more than 100 years that a lawmaker may actually force a vote using the legislative tool that has been threatened against other House speakers, including in 2015, but never fully employed to try to remove them.

The bold strike to confront McCarthy carries potentially dire ramifications if enough lawmakers decide to remove his hold on the gavel, but also for Gaetz if it fizzles out. It also puts on stark display the warring factions that have roiled the Republican majority this year in the House and beyond.

So far, despite the deep divides over McCarthy’s leadership, only a handful of hard-right Republicans have signaled they are willing to vote to remove him. Others who have aligned with Gaetz on spending cuts or other priorities are parting ways with him on this one.

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) thinks it’s a “bad idea.”

“I fear that attempting to vacate Speaker McCarthy at this juncture is a bad idea that will lead to worse outcomes for conservatives,” Massie said.

Massie was one of the co-sponsors of the motion to vacate House Speaker John Boehner in 2015.

“Creating a Republican vacancy in the Republican controlled House, while Schumer & McConnell lead the Senate, seems like a recipe for an Omnibus. Forcing the existing Speaker or a new Speaker into a power sharing arrangement with House Democrats probably results in an Omni too,” Massie added.

Axios added:

Gaetz’s removal plan is meeting a mixed reception from some Democrats, Axios’ Andrew Solender reported on Sunday.


McCarthy plans to aggressively push back on Gaetz’s removal push, and said Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation” that “I’ll survive.”

McCarthy told reporters on Monday he “didn’t know” if Democrats would save him, adding that he hasn’t spoken with House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) about it.

Conservative hardliners are furious about McCarthy’s decision to bring a bill that didn’t include spending cuts or border funding, with members across the conference acknowledging he is in the more perilous position he’s faced since his initial struggles to obtain his position.

Ahead of the weekend’s passage of a continuing resolution, members of different factions floated potential alternatives.

Those included including Republican Study Committee Chair Kevin Hern (R-Okla.), House Budget Chair Jodey Arrington (R-Texas), House Rules Chair Tom Cole (R-Okla.), House Financial Services Chair Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) and House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-Minn.).

Multiple members have voiced that a “caretaker speaker” could be put in place while House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) undergoes cancer treatment.

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