Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) filed a motion on Monday night to oust House Speaker Kevin McCarthy from his leadership position, setting the stage for a vote in the Congress’ lower chamber.
The move comes after Gaetz has faced significant criticism in recent days over what many say is a personal vendetta against McCarthy over a House Ethics investigation into him that started during the last Congress.
“Mr. Speaker, pursuant to clause two A1 of Rule nine, I rise to give notice of my intent to raise a question of the privileges of House,” Gaetz said. “Declaring the office Speaker of the House of Representatives to be vacant. Resolved that the office of Speaker of the House Representatives is hereby declared to be vacant.”
Gaetz maintains that he is seeking to oust McCarthy because he claims McCarthy “has not fulfilled his promises.”
The last time that the House held a vote challenging the Speaker of the House was in 1910, according to CNN.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) filed a motion to vacate the chair, setting up a vote to oust Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) within two legislative days. pic.twitter.com/lBOdFJqp6c
— CSPAN (@cspan) October 2, 2023
McCarthy responded on X: “Bring it on.”
Bring it on.
— Kevin McCarthy (@SpeakerMcCarthy) October 2, 2023
Punchbowl News founder Jake Sherman reported, “The Democratic side of the House erupted in laughter as Gaetz left the floor.”
Gaetz told reporters earlier in the day that if his motion fails that he plans to keep refiling it until McCarthy is out.
“Like I’ve said, it took speaker McCarthy 15 votes to become the speaker. So until I get to 14 or 15 I don’t think I’m being any more dilatory than he was,” he said.
CNN reported over the summer that House Ethics investigators who are reviewing allegations against Gaetz are focused on claims that he may have engaged in various types of misconduct.
When Democrats launched the probe in 2021, they announced that they were looking into allegations that Gaetz “may have engaged in sexual misconduct and/or illicit drug use, shared inappropriate images or videos on the House floor, misused state identification records, converted campaign funds to personal use, and/or accepted a bribe, improper gratuity, or impermissible gift.”
Fox News reported on Sunday that House Republican members will “will seek to expel Gaetz if the ethics committee report comes back with findings of guilt.”
Gaetz has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and responded to Fox News’ report with the following post on X:
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) October 1, 2023
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