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Matt Gaetz Threatens to ‘Resign’ If Dems Strike Deal With Republicans for Speaker

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Florida “Firebrand” Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz made it as clear as possible this week that he is opposed to any deal House majority Republicans might strike with Democrats in order to select a speaker after GOP leader Kevin McCarthy of California has failed to garner the required 218 votes to secure the position after 11 votes.

Gaetz said flatly he would “resign” from Congress were a Democrat-moderate Republican deal for a speaker to happen. But that said, the Florida Republican also expressed confidence that all 212 Democrats would continue voting for Rep. Hakeem Jefferies (D-N.Y.), to be speaker after selecting him to become the leader of the party, replacing Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

“These 212 Democrats are going to vote for Hakeem Jeffries every single time. He’s a historic candidate. They’re not going to cleave off,” Gaetz told Fox News’s Laura Ingraham on Thursday.

“If Democrats join up to elect a moderate Republican, I will resign,” Gaetz said, going on to note that no amount of concessions would get him to support McCarthy.

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“He’s the masthead of the lobby core. I resent to which Kevin McCarthy utilizes the lobbyists and the special interests to be able to dictate how political decisions are made. How policy decisions are made, how leadership decisions are made. Kevin McCarthy has been in the leadership for 14 years. He’s sold shares of himself to special interests, to political action committees, and that’s why I don’t think he’s right,” Gaetz added.

He also said he believes that Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) could get enough votes to become speaker if McCarthy were to bow out.

“If Kevin McCarthy got out of this race, Jim Jordan would get into it,” Gaetz said. “And I believe he would win and invigorate our movement. He’s broadly trusted in every corner of the Republican Party and with a lot of our donors and supporters and activists. That’s the type of option if McCarthy bows out.”

But if the California Republican does wind up with the position, he “have to live the entirety of his speakership in a straitjacket constructed by the rules that we’re working on now,” Gaetz said.

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The party’s inability to pick a speaker is wearing on supporters.

“Look, I got bad news for Kevin’s opponents. He’s got a lot more than 20 friends. So, there are more than 20 people that are going to say, you know what? We are not ever voting for anyone else. Bret, you got a guy who’s got 200 votes and the next leading vote-getter for very good reasons doesn’t want to be the speaker of the House,” Gowdy said during an interview on Fox News.

“And, yet, this kamikaze wing within the Republican Party knows better than 85 percent of the rest of the conference. Jimmy doesn’t want the job for a very good reason. I don’t know what happens. I will say this. They didn’t want a secure border. That is not what the negotiation was over, Bret. It was — there are a handful of people who want gavels and want things that they can’t get based on merit, and they can’t get it based on intelligence, but they want it given to them by the speaker of the House, and Kevin said no,” Gowdy added.

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“Fox & Friends” morning co-host Brian Kilmeade also vented his frustration earlier this week after successive failed speaker ballots, suggesting that some Republicans are thinking only of themselves.

“If they said ‘Hey, listen, he won’t do anything on the border. He’s not doing anything with Hunter Biden. He is not going to do anything to go reduce spending.’ None of this is true, so it’s almost as if they’re debating things that are their egos, nothing to do with America. I’m not even talking about Republicans. Republicans or Democrats. They can’t grab onto anything except for, I guess, they want to get a little bit more notoriety in their lives,” he said.

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He was also furious with the concessions McCarthy had to make in order to secure some of the votes that are needed for him to become Speaker.

“How are you supposed to do your job?” he said. “You have over 200 people you are going to be representing. If five don’t like what you do, then you are out… You can’t kiss everyone’s butt in order to do that job. You have got to do what’s better for the whole, or dare I say, better for the country.”

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