Rep. Matt Gaetz sent a letter to the Capitol Architect on Tuesday demanding they look into Rep. Kevin McCarthy “occupying” the House Speaker’s office.
Gaetz is one of the most vocal members voting against McCarthy becoming House Speaker.
The Florida congressman asked how long McCarthy would be allowed to stay in the office after three failed votes before being considered a “squatter.”
The Speaker of the House Office in the Capitol is currently being occupied by Kevin McCarthy.
Kevin McCarthy is not the Speaker of the House. He lost 3 consecutive votes today.
I’m demanding answers from the Architect of the Capitol. pic.twitter.com/AIZ8bFks6W
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) January 4, 2023
The letter to Architect of the Capitol J. Brett Blanton began, “I write to inform you that the Speaker of the House Office located in the U.S. Capitol Building is currently occupied by Rep. Kevin McCarthy. As of this morning, the 117th Congress adjourned sine die, and a Speaker from the 118th Congress has not been elected. After three undeciding votes, no member can lay claim to this office.”
“What is the basis in law, House rule, or precedent to allow someone who has placed second in three successive speaker elections to occupy the Speaker of the House Office?” Gaetz continued. “How long will he remain there before he is considered a squatter?”
Gaetz concluded, “Please write back promptly as it seems Mr. McCarthy can no longer be considered Speaker-Designate following today’s balloting.”
The House held three votes for Speaker on Tuesday, with 20 members refusing to vote for McCarthy. It was the first time this vote had gone to multiple ballots since 1923.
McCarthy needs a majority of 218 votes in order to win. Voting is set to resume on Wednesday, but his detractors have shown no sign of being willing to change their minds.
Former President Donald Trump urged the “Never Kevin” representatives to “close the deal” in a post to Truth Social on Wednesday morning.
“Some really good conversations took place last night, and it’s now time for all of our GREAT Republican House members to VOTE FOR KEVIN, CLOSE THE DEAL, TAkE THE VICTORY,” Trump wrote. “REPUBLICANS, DO NOT TURN A GREAT TRIUMPH INTO A GIANT & EMBARRASSING DEFEAT.”
McCarthy has claimed that Gaetz said that he does not care if Democrat Rep. Hakeem Jeffries is elected to the position as long as it means keeping McCarthy out.