House Republicans slam Gaetz over removal of McCarthy

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The U.S. Capitol is seen following Joe Biden's State of the Union address, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023, in Washington, D.C. (Official White House photo by Adam Schultz)
The U.S. Capitol is seen following Joe Biden’s State of the Union address, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023, in Washington, D.C. (Official White House photo by Adam Schultz)

By Arjun Singh and Mary Lou Masters

Daily Caller News Foundation

Several House Republicans slammed Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz and other conservatives for voting to oust Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday.

The House voted 216 to 210 adopting the motion to vacate the speaker filed by Gaetz after McCarthy led the chamber in passing a 47-day continuing resolution to avoid a government shutdown over the weekend. Republican Reps. Don Bacon of Nebraska, Dan Crenshaw of Texas, Mike Collins of Georgia and Derrick Van Orden of Wisconsin, who all voted against the motion, criticized the eight GOP members who voted with Democrats to remove McCarthy from the speakership.

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“I’d love to have (Gaetz) out of the conference,” Bacon told CNN’s Annie Grayer following the vote. “He shouldn’t be in the GOP Party.”

Rep. Kelly Armstrong of North Dakota, who also voted against McCarthy’s ouster, told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that he expects there will be an effort to expel Gaetz, as well.

“If you’re voting with every single Democrat in the House to oust a Republican Speaker, it’s not about winning for your constituents. It’s not about winning for conservatives. Based on all the fundraising emails we are seeing, it’s only about personal attention,” Crenshaw wrote in a tweet. “There are people who fight for you, and people who fight for your attention. Big difference.”

Van Orden slammed Gaetz and the other Republicans who voted with Democrats to oust the speaker for “fundraising” off of the move.

“It is impossible to square this circle. 8 allegedly conservative Republicans just voted with every Democrat in The House for personal reasons. And now they are fundraising by calling me a RINO,” Van Orden wrote in a tweet.

Collins also expressed frustration with the Democrats’ success on Twitter following the vote.

“Walking down the halls of the Capitol you can hear Democrat offices cheering like they won the World Cup,” said Collins. “You tell me who just won.”

Rep. Dusty Johnson of South Dakota, who also opposed the motion to vacate, told Punchbowl News’ Mica Soellner that McCarthy’s removal was “in some ways [sic] inevitable.”

“We spent much of the last nine months trying to persuade the unpersuadable,” said Johnson.

Gaetz told reporters after he successfully led the effort to oust McCarthy that he isn’t intimidated by a possible expulsion.

“I’m afraid of $33 trillion in debt crushing the working people in my district. I’m afraid of the dollar losing its status as the global reserve currency. If they want to expel me, let me know when they have the votes,” said Gaetz.

Along with Gaetz, Republican Reps. Matt Rosendale of Montana, Ken Buck of Colorado, Nancy Mace of South Carolina, Andy Biggs of Arizona, Eli Crane of Arizona, Tim Burchett of Tennessee and Bob Good of Virginia voted with 208 Democrats to remove McCarthy, according to the House Clerk.

Financial Services Committee Chairman Patrick McHenry of North Carolina has been named speaker pro tempore, and McCarthy will not run again, according to multiple reports.

Burchett told reporters that he “slept like a baby last night” following his “yea” vote.

“McCarthy said something condescending to me. That sealed it right there,” said Burchett. “McCarthy could’ve met with the 15 or so of us and not gone on six weeks of vacation time.”

Buck criticized McCarthy for breaking promises he made during his speakership bid in a Twitter post following his “yea” vote.

“I supported Kevin McCarthy in January because I thought he was the person best positioned to keep our promises to our constituents. It’s clear that we need a principled Speaker who can keep his word not just to members of Congress, but to the American people,” said Buck.

Mace also took to Twitter after she supported the motion to vacate the speaker, and criticized McCarthy for advancing the CR rather than pass appropriations bills, not implementing legislation to address “women’s issues” and aired other grievances.

“Today I voted for the Motion to Vacate and remove the Speaker. This isn’t about left vs right. This isn’t about ideology. This is about trust and keeping your word. This is about making Congress do it’s job,” said Mace. “I promised the Lowcountry I would be an independent voice in Congress. That I would call the balls and strikes and do the right thing regardless of party. The Speaker has not lived up to his word on how the House would operate.”

Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma brought a motion to table the motion to vacate vote prior to McCarthy’s removal, which was rejected by the House 218 to 208, according to the House Clerk.

Neither Gaetz nor McCarthy immediately responded to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.

This story originally was published by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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