The decade's most triggering comedy
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) said Sunday that she would “absolutely” cast a vote to oust Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) should a motion be brought to the House floor.
Ocasio-Cortez made the comments during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union” with host Jake Tapper shortly after Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) told the host that he would file a motion to vacate against McCarthy sometime this week. The Democratic congresswoman blasted McCarthy for his leadership and said he waited too long to avert a shutdown.
“Do you think that there will be any Democrats that might vote to save McCarthy?” Tapper asked.
“I mean, I certainly don’t think that we would expect to see that unless there’s a real conversation between the Republican and Democratic caucuses and Republican and Democratic leadership about what that would mean, but I don’t think we give up votes for free,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
“But would you vote to vacate? Would you vote to get rid of McCarthy as speaker?” Tapper pressed.
“Would I cast that vote? Absolutely. Absolutely. I think Kevin McCarthy is a very weak speaker, he clearly has lost control of his caucus,” the New York Democrat said.
Ocasio-Cortez went on to criticize McCarthy for waiting until the “final hour” to pass the stop-gap spending measure, which 126 Republicans and 209 Democrats voted in favor of. She said the country would be “right back in this place” in November when the measure’s 45-day extension expires. Had the House and Senate not sent the bill to President Joe Biden’s desk, a government shutdown would have ensued at 12:01 a.m. Sunday.
AOC on CNN says she'd "absolutely" vote to oust McCarthy as speaker pic.twitter.com/Cl2ECx99jt
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 1, 2023
The bill includes $16 billion for U.S. disaster relief aid but no additional funding to Ukraine. However, reports suggest McCarthy may have made a side deal with Democratic House leadership, who said they “expect” McCarthy to “advance a bill to the House floor for an up-or-down vote that supports Ukraine” when the House returns.
Gaetz claimed the speaker did not inform Republicans of this until after the continuing resolution passed, calling it “more deceit” from McCarthy. On Sunday, Gaetz went further, saying he would file a motion to vacate the chair to oust the California Republican.
“I do intend to file a motion to vacate against Speaker McCarthy this week,” Gaetz told Tapper. “I think we need to rip off the Band-Aid. I think we need to move on with new leadership that will be trustworthy.”
Gaetz accused McCarthy of repeatedly breaking the promises he made while seeking the role and said the “last straw” was the “agreement that he made with Democrats to really blow past a lot of the spending guardrails we set up.”
On Sunday morning, McCarthy said he wasn’t fazed by Gaetz’s threat, saying, “Let’s get over with it. Let’s start governing. If he’s upset because he tried to push us into a shutdown and I made sure government didn’t shut down, then let’s have that talk.” McCarthy also said he would “survive” the vote and claimed Gaetz was “more interested in securing TV interviews” than other pressing issues.
Gaetz told Tapper that the “only way” McCarthy retains his position is if Democrats “bail him out,” which he said is likely.
“I actually think that when you believe in nothing as Kevin McCarthy does, everything’s negotiable and I think he’ll cut a deal with the Democrats,” Gaetz said, explaining that he would “absolutely not” cut a deal with Democrats to oust McCarthy, saying instead they should vote against McCarthy “for free.”