OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Rep. Matt Gaetz wasted no time fact-checking a partisan CNN anchor and “senior political correspondent” Abby Phillip during an on-air segment Friday evening after she incorrectly framed a floor vote.
The two were discussing the House GOP majority’s inability to pass a defense appropriations bill when she claimed that the Florida Republican voted against the bill on a procedural motion known as a “rule.”
But in fact, Gaetz had not done that.
“You did vote against the defense appropriations bill this week…that…the rule to advance…” she said as Gaetz interjected.
“No, I didn’t,” he insisted as she continued to make her false claim.
“Abby, this is going to be a very embarrassing moment when the internet corrects you on this,” Gaetz insisted. “I voted for the defense rule both times.”
“I stand corrected,” replied.
Matt Gaetz fact checks a liar on CNN pic.twitter.com/H6hhOUS5wU
— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) September 23, 2023
Gaetz also engaged in a fiery back-and-forth with Fox News host Maria Bartiromo, telling her as well that he voted twice for the defense appropriations bill, labeling her a “shill for [House Speaker] Kevin McCarthy” after the fact.
The Florida congressman was emphasizing what he views as the importance of passing clean single-bill appropriations measures when Bartiromo said GOP leadership was “efforting four bills this week, appropriations bills this week, to get through that would partially fund the government, the Defense bill as well. You wanted the Defense bill to move forward, did you not?”
“Yes, that’s why I voted for it, and I voted for the rule to proceed on to it,” responded Gaetz. “And by the way, don’t give Kevin McCarthy credit for the fact that we’re moving on these four appropriations bills. That was the deal that House conservatives foisted upon Kevin McCarthy when he couldn’t just move the big spending bills without moving the bills that cut spending.”
“Well, he’s doing the four bills next week-” she interjected, only to be interrupted by Gaetz: “‘Cause we’re making him. ‘Cause we’re making him.”
“So to push now, to blow up all of the wins that you all have had now,” Bartiromo noted further.
“Which wins? Please enumerate them,” Gaetz responded.
Bartiromo mentioned a number of investigations into the weaponization of government, China, and the impeachment inquiry, which newly formed committees are handling.
“None of those things are deliverables. Those are steps in a process. Setting up a committee is an end unto itself only in Washington, D.C., but the American people demand results…These committees have done nothing to reduce inflation. They’ve done nothing to actually constrain the Biden government,” Gaetz said.
This is how that went. pic.twitter.com/FKIOS6ffPm
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) September 24, 2023
Last week, House Republican leaders became frustrated after they were unable to advance the critical defense spending bill, leading McCarthy (R-Calif.) to delay a vote on a short-term funding measure as well.
The setback to leadership occurred when McCarthy postponed a procedural vote on a 30-day continuing resolution which was intended to prevent a government shutdown by month’s end and keep negotiations going, given that only one out of a dozen appropriations bills has been passed by the chamber thus far.
In a vote of 214-212, Democrats were joined by five Republicans in opposing the advancement of the 2024 defense resolution for consideration. The five GOP lawmakers were Reps. Ken Buck (R-CO), Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Dan Bishop (R-NC), Ralph Norman (R-SC), and Matt Rosendale (R-MT).
“I took down the rule — as I vowed I would — because the Conference continues not to have moved twelve appropriations bills at the spending level agreed to in January. I assume leadership believes me now,” Bishop said in a statement via Punchbowl News.
Several other GOP members voiced their frustration over the opposition to advancing the defense appropriations bill, which encompasses a wide range of provisions, including pay raises, border security measures, and a restriction on funds for transgender procedures.
“They’re confused and they just handed a win to the Chinese Communist Party as a result of this vote,” Rep. Mike Garcia (R-Calif.) said.