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 May 25, 2023

Rep. Matt Gaetz says he has 'no plans' to remove Speaker Kevin McCarthy

U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) says that he has "no plans" to remove House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) from the speakership position. 

Gaetz said as much in a statement that he provided to the Washington Examiner. 

"I have no plans to seek the removal of Speaker McCarthy barring some dramatic, unexpected turn of events," Gaetz said.

He added:

You don’t remove someone simply because you disagree with them. By that standard, no speaker would last a single day. Speaker McCarthy simply must deliver on the promises he made in January. So far, his record doing so is admirable. So far.

McCarthy, the reader may remember, was not a shoo-in for the speakership position. He, in fact, faced significant resistance from the likes of Gaetz and other House Republicans due to concerns about McCarthy's ability to stand up to the Democrats and the Washington D.C. establishment.

Accordingly, to become House speaker, McCarthy had to make several concessions. And, one of those concessions allows a single lawmaker to commence the process to remove the speaker.

In recent weeks, McCarthy has been negotiating the debt ceiling with President Joe Biden. Negotiations came after House Republicans, in April passed the Limit, Save, and Grow Act. If McCarthy and Biden do not reach a deal within the next week or so, the U.S. government will default on its debts.

McCarthy, the Examiner reports, is thus facing pressure from "two fronts: one from the White House to make concessions on the GOP's debt ceiling bill and one from his own party to cut spending and avoid a looming debt crisis."

According to the Examiner, there are "anywhere from 20 to 40 Republicans expected to be a hard 'no' unless the [Limit, Save, and Grow Act] remains the same as when it was passed last month."

In other words, McCarthy is going to need to get about 200 House Republicans in favor of a new debt ceiling bill. But, if he departs too far from the Limit, Save, and Grow Act by making too many concessions to Biden, he'll lose between 20 and 40 House Republicans.

Additionally, if McCarthy makes too many concessions, one or more of these 20 to 40 House Republicans could seek McCarthy's removal from the House speakership position.

Gaetz, at the moment, seems to be happy with the job that McCarthy is doing.

The question is whether Gaetz and others will remain happy with McCarthy.

This may be McCarthy's biggest test as House speaker thus far. If McCarthy blinks and fails to win the battle over debt ceiling concessions, Gaetz and other Republicans will be more than happy to ditch him.

Written By:
Robert Ayers

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