Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida defended his efforts to oust Kevin McCarthy as House Speaker.
AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein
Rep. Gaetz on Sunday seemingly has no regrets after leading the push to oust McCarthy as speaker.Gaetz told NBC’s Kristen Welker it would “absolutely” be worth it if he lost his seat over the vote.He had a much more favorable view of Steve Scalise and Jim Jordan, who are both running to succeed McCarthy.
Last Tuesday, Rep. Matt Gaetz’s longstanding grievances against fellow Republican Kevin McCarthy came to a head as he engineered the ouster of the California lawmaker — a stunning development that immediately caused chaos on Capitol Hill.
But on Sunday, Gaetz strongly defended his successful push to bring forth a motion to vacate to chair, which subsequently passed in a 216-210 vote and led to McCarthy’s removal.
During an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” host Kristen Welker asked Gaetz if his work to oust McCarthy would be “worth it” if he lost his congressional seat located in the conservative Florida Panhandle.
The congressman’s response: “Absolutely.”
“I am here to fight for my constituents and I’m here to ensure that America is not on a path to financial ruin,” he said. “Your average American family right now is spending $700 more each and every month for the same household goods and services.”
EXCLUSIVE: Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) responds to reports of Republican colleagues seeking to kick him out of Congress.@kwelkernbc: “If you lose your job, will it be worth it?”@RepMattGaetz: “Absolutely.” pic.twitter.com/QKtps0oX1l
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) October 8, 2023
“People are going to be crushed and debt and inflation are driven by government spending that cannot continue,” he continued. “We’re spending $7 trillion a year and taking in five. So, to me, people who are willing to drive $2 trillion annual deficits are the agents of chaos. The people who want budgets are actually agents of regular order.”
Gaetz then told Welker that he was “eager” to vote for the speaker candidate — which at the moment is largely a contest between House Majority Leader Steve Scalise of Louisiana and Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio — who will receive the strongest backing from the House Republican Conference.
“If either of those men get the most support in the conference, I’m eager to vote for him on the floor,” he said.
But Gaetz also reiterated that he wanted to hear policy speeches from both Scalise and Jordan regarding government spending, an issue that he hammered McCarthy over during the former speaker’s tenure.
“I want to hear both of their specific plans on spending and on single-subject appropriations bills,” he said.