McCarthy’s Problem With Matt Gaetz Gets Worse

Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

( – In a recent development, GOP Congressman Jim Jordan faced a setback in his bid for House Speaker, with diminishing support from his party following a critique from ex-Speaker Kevin McCarthy who pointed fingers at Representative Matt Gaetz for the unsuccessful attempt.

Jordan secured only 199 affirmations in a repeat voting process that took place on Wednesday, falling short as 22 Republicans opposed him, showing a slight increase in dissent from his initial attempt the previous day. Contrastingly, all 212 Democratic members remained consistent in their support for Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries.

The tension escalated after supporters of Gaetz were targeted by a fundraising campaign accusing “RINOs” (Republicans in name only) and “radical Democrats” of obstructing Jordan’s path. This came especially after Gaetz had initiated a rare motion leading to McCarthy’s removal from the speakership earlier.

Although Gaetz disassociated himself from the fundraising email, apologizing and attributing it to an oversight by his staff, McCarthy expressed his frustration to CNN’s Manu Raju, highlighting what he perceived as Gaetz’s double standards.

McCarthy attributed the ongoing disarray within the Republican ranks in the House to Gaetz and the group of eight Republicans who supported the motion, holding them responsible for the turmoil. He expressed irritation particularly over Gaetz’s fundraising efforts, which he viewed as an attack on Republicans potentially willing to collaborate with Democrats, while Gaetz himself had engaged in such partnerships.

Asked to elaborate, Gaetz’s office referred Newsweek to the apology he issued on X, the platform previously known as Twitter. In his statement, Gaetz assured that steps would be taken to prevent such incidents and agreed to heed Jordan’s advice against intra-party conflicts during these challenging times.

Notably, among the 22 Republicans who diverged in the second vote was Mike Lawler, who showed support for McCarthy. With the House narrowly divided, the Republican side cannot afford more than four dissenting voices if they are to successfully nominate a speaker.

The failure of the second vote led Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry to pause proceedings, with expectations of a third vote. Despite dwindling support, a representative for Jordan conveyed his determination to persist in seeking the position.

Concurrently, legislators from both sides of the aisle were contemplating a contingency, enabling McHenry to facilitate the House’s routine activities until a definitive Speaker is elected, given his present role is restricted to supervising the new speaker’s election.

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