Gaetz throws down gauntlet: ‘Critical mass of GOP lawmakers are with me, not Kevin [McCarthy]’

The war of words between Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy continues to rage with matters set to come to a head during ongoing negotiations to hammer out a deal on funding with a potential government shutdown looming.

McCarthy has faced threats by the fiery Florida Republican that he will move for a motion to vacate if he fails to honor the terms of an agreement struck with conservative lawmakers back in January that allowed him to assume the Speaker’s gavel after a humiliating series of votes that dragged on for days, but Gaetz has yet to pull the trigger on what would be a dramatic move.

In a Sunday morning post to X, previously known as Twitter, Gaetz rejected McCarthy’s assertion that the feud between the two GOP lawmakers stems from an Ethics Committee issue, an explanation that he insists has no basis in reality.

The congressman wrote that McCarthy, “tries to subjugate my critique of his failures as some sort of Ethics Committee reaction. This is, of course, a pathetic lie. A lie told by a man who 90% of the 23,000+ people who took this survey don’t trust,” referring to his polling of X users on whether the House leader can be trusted to reduce spending.

“Know this – I do not stand alone. A critical mass of Republican lawmakers are with me, not Kevin. Kevin will only remain Speaker if he either: 1. Complies with the January agreement, or 2. Gets bailed out by Democrats, who will in turn own him. The battle is ahead,” Gaetz said, thanking his supporters for having his back.

However, there is skepticism in the ranks that Gaetz will follow through and one House lawmaker whose profile has risen, Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) appeared on Sunday morning’s edition of ABC’s “This Week” where she was asked by host Jonathan Karl if she would support a measure to vacate against McCarthy.

“It hasn’t happened yet, and I am not going to comment on conjecture here. Either he is going to file it or he’s not. If he’s going to do it, put his money where his mouth is,” Mace said.

Mace also suggested that she feels that some promises made to her haven’t been kept and that “everything is on the table.”

“We’ll see how it turns out but I will tell you, I’m one of those members who were made certain promises,” she said. “I’ve worked on women’s issues. I’ve worked on issues you know, related to gun violence, that I feel are very important. And you know, it’s fallen on deaf ears. And if I if I give a handshake to someone, I expect them to follow through.”

McCarthy doubled down on his ethics committee accusations of Gaetz during a chat on this week’s edition of “Sunday Morning Futures” with Fox News host Maria Bartiromo.

(Video: Fox News)

Tensions seem to be getting to McCarthy who according to one GOP lawmaker, melted down in a Thursday closed-door meeting with House Republicans, reportedly spewing f-bombs in a heated tirade.

“If you want to file a motion to vacate, then file the f**king motion,” he allegedly said.

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Chris Donaldson

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