House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., needs 218 votes to become the next speaker of the House, and with five Republican lawmakers firm in their opposition to his ascent, the GOP leader does not have enough votes to take possession of the speaker’s gavel.
At the forefront of that opposition is U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., who appears to be adamant that McCarthy will not become speaker, and he penned a scathing op-ed making his case — chief among his complaints is that with just a four-seat majority, McCarthy “failed in his duties to deliver a resounding House majority.”
“Every single Republican in Congress knows that Kevin does not actually believe anything. He has no ideology,” Gaetz wrote. “Some conservatives are using this fact to convince themselves that he is the right leader for the moment, as McCarthy is so weak he’ll promise anything to anyone. As his mentor recently confessed, ‘He lies. He’ll change the lie if necessary.'”
Referring to the GOP leader as “Cavin’ McCarthy,” the Florida lawmaker said that McCarthy voted in favor of the $40 billion Ukraine aid package in May and pushed the Biden administration to further escalate the conflict with Russia while calling for fighter jets to be transferred to Ukraine. Gaetz added that McCarthy called for a no-fly zone to be enforced in Syria while the Russian military was operating there under the Obama administration.
He further accused McCarthy of buying into the Russia hoax and highlighted that he “took a knee to Black Lives Matter when it mattered.”
“McCarthy joined Democrats last year to vote to remove historical monuments from the U.S. Capitol building,” Gaetz charged. “This is who Kevin is. He sticks his wet finger in the air to decide what position to take.”
Noting that McCarthy was previously honored as one of “the tech industry’s best friends in Congress,” Gaetz said he opposes legislation that would break up companies like Amazon and Apple.
“Would it surprise you if you found out that Jeff Miller, Kevin McCarthy’s ‘confidant,’ was a registered lobbyist for Apple and Amazon? Apple and Amazon paid Miller’s firm over $1 million to lobby Republican members against breaking up Big Tech,” he said. “Why exactly again are we supposed to coronate a man whose top adviser is a corporate lobbyist for the likes of Pfizer?”
As for Pfizer, Gaetz opened the editorial with a reference to vaccine mandates.
“The McCarthy camp is spinning that Kevin must be accepted because ‘we have to avoid chaos.’ Chaos for who exactly? The special interests that are counting on McCarthy as their lapdog? I’m worried about chaos in the lives of my constituents. They live under the chaos of vaccine mandates pushed by Kevin’s donors,” he said.
Gaetz appeared on One America News Network this week to talk about the so-called “chaos.”
Kevin McCarthy, when are you going to realize you don't have the votes to be Speaker? When are you going to step aside so that we don't encounter a challenge on January 3rd?
Any sort of "chaos" on that day would be caused by McCarthy’s denial, not by our principled stand. pic.twitter.com/fPMJg6LnXo
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) December 22, 2022
“In sports, when the team loses games it is supposed to win, the coach gets fired,” the Gaetz editorial concluded. “In business, when earnings vastly miss projections, the CEO is replaced. In Republican politics, a promotion shouldn’t be failure’s chaser.”
“McCarthy knows he will end up failing Republicans and caving to liberals,” the right-of-center lawmaker continued. “That’s why he opposes reinstating the motion to vacate, which was in place from 1801 to 2018. He wants to make sure conservative congressmen can’t fix the problem once it’s too late.”
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