Matt Gaetz in loud throwdown with ‘McCarthy shill’ Maria Bartiromo. This is how that went.

A Fox News host’s defense of the House speaker spurred a sparring match over the government shutdown that left one legislator slamming her for a “shill.”

Entering the final week of negotiations and voting to either fund the government or shutter it until a deal can be worked out, Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz (R) joined host Maria Bartiromo on “Sunday Morning Futures.” A disagreement ensued over what should actually be considered a win for congressional Republicans as House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) was described as orchestrating “failure theater.”

Gaetz took to X to highlight the fiery exchange and captioned the nearly nine-minute back-and-forth, “@MariaBartiromo tried to shill for her friend @SpeakerMcCarthy this morning. This is how that went.”

Having come on after his Ohio colleague Rep. Jim Jordan, the Florida congressman emphasized the importance of single subject spending bills when presented with the fact leadership was “efforting four bills this week, appropriations bills this week, to get through that would partially fund the government, the Defense bill as well. You wanted the Defense bill to move forward, did you not?”

“Yes, that’s why I voted for it, and I voted for the rule to proceed on to it,” responded Gaetz. “And by the way, don’t give Kevin McCarthy credit for the fact that we’re moving on these four appropriations bills. That was the deal that House conservatives foisted upon Kevin McCarthy when he couldn’t just move the big spending bills without moving the bills that cut spending.”

“Well, he’s doing the four bills next week-” she tried only to be interrupted, “‘Cause we’re making him. ‘Cause we’re making him.”

Undeterred, Bartiromo added, “So to push now, to blow up all of the wins that you all have had now.”

The suggestion the accomplishments should merit the label “win” was a bridge too far for Gaetz who challenged back, “Which wins? Please enumerate them.”

The host pointed out investigations on the weaponization of the government, the Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party and the impeachment inquiry as examples. To that, the congressman ripped, “None of those things are deliverables. Those are steps in a process. Setting up a committee is an end unto itself only in Washington, D.C., but the American people demand results…These committees have done nothing to reduce inflation. They’ve done nothing to actually constrain the Biden government.”

While Gaetz was tearing into actions from Capitol Hill that made for good talking points, but not necessarily meaningful results, the speaker had decried the negotiating process that, in some ways, made dealing with Democrats easier.

“Well, when you’re negotiating with a Democratic White House, you’re negotiating with one-on-one persons with a few of the staff. When you’re negotiating here, everybody’s king,” he told a press gaggle. “Because one person can close it down, then once one person gets something, everybody has to get something, then somebody else has to get something now.”

McCarthy went on to suggest that not everyone had been dealing in “good faith,” and Gaetz lobbed his own shot in return, telling Bartiromo, “If Kevin McCarthy was actually serious about pursuing the Bidens, he would have sent Hunter Biden a subpoena by now. That’s how you know this is sort of failure theater that you’re observing.”

“Kevin McCarthy has been dilatory. He’s been fiddling like Nero as Rome burns,” the congressman concluded, a point to which many on social media agreed.

Kevin Haggerty

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