As the 118th Congress begins on Tuesday, Republicans in the House of Representatives are locked in a heated skirmish over who the next Speaker of the House should be, and Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., is fit to be tied.
In a statement made to the press, Gaetz made it clear that he would not be voting for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., noting, “Those of us who will not be voting for Kevin McCarthy today take no joy in this discomfort that this moment has brought, but if you want to drain the swamp, you cannot put the biggest alligator in charge of the exercise. I’m a Florida man and I know of what I speak.”
He added, “We offered Kevin McCarthy terms last evening that he rejected. We sought a vote in the first quarter of the 118th Congress on term limits. He refused. We wanted a budget…that balances on the floor in the first quarter. He refused. We wanted the border plan that the Texas delegation put together on the floor. He refused. And it is true that we struggle with trust with Mr. McCarthy because time and again, his viewpoints and positions shift like sands underneath you.”
Gaetz tweeted his support for Rep. Jim Jordan for the position of House Speaker.
On Tuesday afternoon, McCarthy lost his first ballot for the speakership, which was expected. Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., announced on Twitter that she had defiantly cast her speaker vote for Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio.
Senior Digital Strategist for X Strategies Greg Price remarked on Twitter, “BREAKING: We didn’t make it out of the C last names and McCarthy already lost 5 GOP votes, which means he does not have the votes on the first ballot to be Speaker. The Speaker vote will go to a second ballot for the first time in 100 years.”
McCarthy did not have enough votes on a second ballot to win the speakership.