Florida Representative Matt Gaetz said he was “disappointed” Congress would not reconvene until next Tuesday after California Representative Kevin McCarthy was removed from the office of Speaker of the House Tuesday afternoon.
After McCarthy was removed, North Carolina Representative Patrick McHenry assumed Speaker pro tempore until a vote is held to appoint a new Speaker of the House. McHenry reportedly sent Congress home for the remainder of the week.
“I was very disappointed that Mr. McHenry said that we won’t be engaging in the people’s work until … Tuesday of next week,” Gaetz told a reporter after McCarthy’s ousting. “I think that’s burning a lot of time.”
Gaetz, who spearheaded McCarthy’s ousting, suggested a vote to select a new Speaker would not be held until next Tuesday.
“I think we should stay. We should work. We should have a Speaker election this week,” he continued. “I think we could easily come together as a conference to do that.”
“I just hate when we pause the clock. I hate when we stop our work and don’t do the people’s business,” he added.
After McCarthy says he won't run again for speaker, Reps. Gaetz and Good react. Gaetz says he's "disappointed" the House won't be back til Tuesday, when they'll have a candidate forum for speaker candidates.
Good: "I would say there's been a blow dealt to the status quo." pic.twitter.com/xP9I8F9Cxc
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) October 4, 2023
Virginia Representative Bob Good, who also supported McCarthy’s removal, said McHenry’s decision to postpone a new Speaker vote until next week provided House members vying for a Speaker bid to make their intention to run known, socialize, and garner support. Good said Congress will meet Tuesday night to hold a “candidate forum” and “hopefully” vote for a new Speaker on Wednesday.
“My position on the situation was well documented,” Good said of his vote to remove the former Speaker. “This was always about what I believe is best for the country.”
“There has been a blow dealt to the status quo,” he continued. “If Americans are concerned that things don’t seem to change in Washington … I think this is a step in the right direction.”
Discussions to vacate McCarthy’s seat have been raised in recent weeks after a potential government shutdown was averted when Congress passed a short-term funding bill late Saturday. The bill did not include funding for Ukraine, which has been a priority for Democrats and some Republicans in Congress.
Shortly after the bill’s approval, it was revealed McCarthy had made a secret deal with Democrats in the House to allocate future aid for Ukraine.
Gaetz introduced a motion to vacate the office of Speaker of the House on Monday evening. The motion passed and the House voted 216 to 210 in favor of removing McCarthy as Speaker.
The former Speaker reportedly announced he will not run for Speaker again in a closed GOP meeting, per Fox News. McCarthy confirmed the report in a press conference following the House’s vote to remove him from the seat.
“Unfortunately, 4% of our conference can join all the Democrats and dictate who can be the Republican Speaker in this House,” McCarthy said after his removal. “I believe I can continue to fight, maybe in a different manner.”
“I will not run for Speaker again. I’ll have the conference pick somebody else,” he added.
McCarthy is the first Speaker in U.S. history to be vacated from the seat.