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Oct 2, 2023, 7:56pm EDT
politicsNorth America

Matt Gaetz files motion to oust Speaker Kevin McCarthy

U.S. Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) runs up the East Capitol stairs as the deadline to avert a partial government shutdown approaches on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 30, 2023.
REUTERS/Ken Cedeno
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Hard right conservative Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla. formally moved Monday to oust House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, which could trigger a vote to remove McCarthy from his post.

“It is going to be difficult for my Republican friends to keep calling President Biden feeble, while he continues to take Speaker McCarthy’s lunch money in every negotiation,” Gaetz said on the House floor, before filing a “motion to vacate” in the evening.

The Florida congressman said over the weekend that he planned to file the motion after McCarthy teamed up with Democrats to pass a short-term spending package to avert a government shutdown at the last minute.

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“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 told CNN on Sunday.

McCarthy, who was elected speaker in January following a grueling 15 ballots, welcomed the challenge. “Bring it on,” he tweeted shortly after Gaetz announced his motion.

To win the support necessary to assume the speakership from conservatives in January, McCarthy agreed that it would only take one member to bring a resolution to remove him from office.

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Gaetz’s motion could trigger a vote on the House floor within days. Reports suggest that several hardline Republicans are prepared to vote to oust McCarthy, so his fate could be in the hands of Democrats, Semafor reported Monday.

Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries hasn’t publicly signaled his position, but Democrats reportedly may demand concessions in exchange for support, including a vote on Ukraine aid.

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