Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) said Tuesday that passage of a debt-free deal without a Republican majority in the House would trigger an “immediate” movement to oust Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).
“If a majority of Republicans are against a piece of legislation and you use Democrats to pass it, that would immediately violate the agreement we made with McCarthy to allow him to ascend to the speakership. What was for, and it will probably trigger immediately. The motion to vacate,” Gaetz told NewsMax.
“I think Speaker McCarthy knows that,” he added. “That’s why he’s working so hard to make sure he gets 120, 150, 160 votes. And that’s why those of us who are not supporters of this bill are trying to convey that. That many changes are cosmetic in nature.
Gaetz is one of at least 25 House Republicans — out of 222 members of the Republican Conference — who have said they would No vote For a deal reached between McCarthy and President Biden to raise the debt ceiling.
However, the Florida Republican said Friday that before a deal could be reached, he saw that “No serious threat” for McCarthy’s speakership and predicted that the deal would pass with “between about 80-100 Democrat votes and 140-160 Republican votes.”
“Literally nobody but the press is talking about removing McCarthy right now,” Gaetz said on Twitter last week.
Gaetz was among a group of 20 hard-line conservatives who ran for McCarthy’s speakership in January, eventually winning an agreement to lower the threshold to vote to oust the speaker to just one member. .
However, despite some conservative backlash over his deal with Biden, McCarthy said Sunday that he “Not at all” concerned About losing your leadership position.
Representative Dean Bishop (RN.C.) became the first Republican. Public support Tuesday to oust the speaker over the debt ceiling deal, but he did not commit to filing a motion to vacate, saying he would “decide that with others.”