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A frustrated House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) reportedly dropped the “F” bomb during a closed-door meeting with his Republican caucus amid threats by conservatives to file a motion to remove him over the slow pace of impeachment against President Joe Biden.
During the meeting, McCarthy addressed threats by some House conservatives, including Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), to ‘vacate the chair’ — force a vote to remove him from his Speakership, The Hill reported.
“If you want to file a motion to vacate, then file the f‑‑‑ing motion,” McCarthy said, according to an account relayed by Rep. Brian Mast (R-Fla.).
The Hill added:
McCarthy’s comments follow Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) earlier this week explicitly threatening to call a motion to vacate if McCarthy does not follow through with a number of spending priorities and votes on bills that his detractors were promised in January.
And it also comes after hard-line conservatives, who have been battling with GOP leadership for months over topline numbers in spending bills, forced GOP leaders to punt consideration of a Department of Defense (DOD) appropriations bill Wednesday.
“I showed frustration in here because I am frustrated,” McCarthy told reporters following the meeting. “Frustrated with some people in the conference.”
“We had the [Defense Dept.] appropriations bill yesterday, couldn’t put it on the floor,” McCarthy continued. “I don’t have one complaint by any member of what’s wrong with this bill.”
Also, there is a government shutdown looming as well and federal funding runs out on Sept. 30 unless Congress can pass a stopgap funding measure that will extend the deadline until later this year.
But the House Freedom Caucus has also threatened to upend any deal and prevent a full government funding bill from passing unless certain demands are met.
The House adjourned after Thursday for the weekend in observance of Rosh Hashanah. “But when we come back, we’re not going to leave,” McCarthy said.
Following McCarthy’s comments, Gaetz responded.
“Instead of emotionally cursing, maybe the Speaker should just keep his word from January on balanced budgets, term limits and single-subject spending bills,” Gaetz told The Hill.
Earlier in the week, McCarthy also addressed his belief that Gaetz may want him to intervene in a House Ethics Committee investigation into the Florida Republican.
“He can threaten all he wants. I will not interject the Speaker into the independent Ethics Committee to influence it any way at all,” McCarthy told reporters.
“We don’t try to air our laundry, but again, you know, to that point, if somebody wants to file a motion to vacate, then file the f‑‑‑ing motion to vacate, and that’s it,” a frustrated Mast told reporters following the Thursday morning GOP conference meeting. “And stop holding up everybody’s work, stop holding it, you know, over people’s head like it’s, you know, like, it’s this noose that you’re going to try to get somebody to walk into.”
“Get to work with the conference; if you have a direction that you want to take, then step up in front of the microphone and voice what that direction is that you want to take,” Mast added. “Otherwise, get the f‑‑‑ out of the way.”
Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), who has forged a close alliance with McCarthy and was removed from the Freedom Caucus during the summer, echoed a similar viewpoint. She suggested that conservatives who have demands should address them within the conference and called out certain members for not attending the meeting, The Hill noted.
“If we’re going to be able to do our job, we need every single member in our conference to show up and face everyone else, and then we can work out our differences and fund the government,” Greene said.
But some Freedom Caucus members have pushed back.
“We’ve been very clear, about since July, what we thought ought to come out of each of the bills in order to make the pre-pandemic spending,” Rep. Keith Self (R-Texas) told the outlet. “This is not a new issue. We’ve been working on it since July, and we’ve given them specifics.”
“Nothing’s changed from my standpoint,” Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.) told The Hill. “We need to pass all 12 of our bills. We need to pass them implementing our priorities from a legislative standpoint, policy standpoint. And we also need to do them at the committed 2022 levels that we agreed to in January and that we all voted for in April, and send it to the Senate, and the Senate should then do its job and avoid a government shutdown.”