Politics /

McCarthy Acknowledges His Speakership Is In Jeopardy

'If Five Republicans Go ... I'm Out'

Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy acknowledged he would likely be ousted from his Speakership in the upcoming vote to vacate his seat.

Yesterday evening, Florida Representative Matt Gaetz, who has been an outspoken critic of McCarthy, introduced a motion to vacate the office of Speaker of the House. A vote on the motion is expected Tuesday.

McCarthy spoke with a reporter Tuesday morning who asked if he needed support from Democrats in Congress to survive the motion introduced by Gaetz.

“If five Republicans go with Democrats, then I’m out,” he said.

The reporter said it seemed he would likely be removed as Speaker, to which McCarthy responded, “Probably so.”

During a Monday appearance on ABC’s Face the Nation, McCarthy said Gaetz’s intention to file a motion to vacate the Speaker’s seat was “nothing new.”

“He’s tried to do that from the moment I ran for office,” McCarthy told host Margaret Brennan.

He said he would survive a potential motion to vacate and claimed contention from Gaetz was “personal.”

“Matt voted against the most conservative ability to protect our border. … He’s more interested in securing TV interviews than doing something,” McCarthy said of the Florida representative. “He wanted to push us into a shutdown, even threatening his own district with all the military people there who would not be paid, only because he wants to take this motion.”

“So be it,” McCarthy said. “Bring it on. Let’s get over with it, and let’s start governing.”

McCarthy similarly posted to X, “Bring it on.”

After Gaetz introduced the motion to vacate McCarthy as Speaker, the Florida representative shot back, “Just did.”

“Speaker McCarthy made an agreement with House conservatives in January,” Gaetz told CNN host Jake Tapper during a Monday appearance on State of the Union, referring to McCarthy’s historically contested Speaker vote. “Since then, he’s been in brazen, repeated, material breach of that agreement.”

The Florida representative said McCarthy’s agreement with House Democrats on the short-term government funding bill was the “last straw.”

“Then overnight I learned that Kevin McCarthy had a secret deal with Democrats on Ukraine,” Gaetz said.

Gaetz said he had “enough” Republicans in support of McCarthy’s ousting, adding McCarthy would be “serving at the pleasure of Democrats” if he is still the Speaker of the House by next week.

The Florida representative said the only way McCarthy remains Speaker of the House is if Democrats in Congress “bail him out.”

“I will make no deal with Democrats and concede no terms to them,” Gaetz declared. “I actually think Democrats should vote against Speaker McCarthy for free. I don’t think I should have to deal with that.”

Last month, a resolution declaring the office of Speaker of the House of Representatives to be vacated was reportedly seen circulating through the House. The alleged resolution, dated Sept. 15, appeared to be authored by Gaetz.

A motion to vacate the office of Speaker of the House of Representatives has only been introduced once in U.S. history against former Speaker Joseph Cannon in 1910. The vote to vacate Cannon’s seat proved unsuccessful.

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