After former President Trump endorsed GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy of California for House Speaker, Rep. Matt Gaetz, the Florida Republican congressman-elect who rose to prominence under his wing, turned against the former leader.
Gaetz stated to Fox News Digital that the congressman’s opinion of the former president and GOP leader has not altered as a result of Trump’s support for McCarthy as speaker. It has also not affected the congressman’s vote.
Gaetz expressed his sadness in a statement on Wednesday. “This does not alter my opinion of McCarthy, Trump, or my vote.”
Gaetz has spearheaded the House Freedom Caucus’ opposition to McCarthy’s quest for the speakership, and with the help of 19 other Republican House members, they have effectively stopped the House from voting on McCarthy’s nomination while reiterating their support for Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan.
Jordan, who has previously stated that he does not want the position, supported McCarthy for speaker on the House floor on Tuesday, urging dissenters to support the GOP front-runner. Gaetz has cited Jordan’s hesitation to apply for the position as a sign of a strong leader.
Trump finally spoke out on Wednesday over the divisive House speaker election, which saw three ballots cast for the first time since 1923.
It’s time for all of our GREAT Republican House Members to VOTE FOR KEVIN after some incredibly fruitful discussions last night, Trump said on Truth Social.
“CLOSE THE DEAL, TAKE THE VICTORY, & WATCH CRAZY NANCY PELOSI FLY BACK HOME TO A VERY BROKEN CALIFORNIA,THE ONLY SPEAKER IN U.S. HISTORY TO HAVE LOST THE ‘HOUSE’ TWICE! REPUBLICANS, DO NOT TURN A GREAT TRIUMPH INTO A GIANT & EMBARRASSING DEFEAT. IT’S TIME TO CELEBRATE, YOU DESERVE IT,” the 2024 presidential candidate continued.
“Watch! Kevin McCarthy will perform an excellent job, and perhaps even a GREAT JOB!” Trump anticipated.
After McCarthy continually failed to garner enough support to win a majority of the lawmakers present, the House voted to pick a speaker three times on Tuesday. For the first time since 1923, the House did not elect a speaker on the first ballot.
Despite having Trump’s support, McCarthy is opposed by approximately 20 GOP lawmakers who feel that he is not sufficiently conservative and that he has not kept certain promises regarding changes to the rules that would decentralize authority in the House.
Over the course of the three votes, Democrats came together in support of Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., being the next speaker. Many of their members also made fun of the GOP’s disagreements in comments to the media and on social media.
Until a speaker is chosen, the House will continue to vote today.
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