In an interview on CNN, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) struggled to make the case for his version of the Republican agenda this week as the federal government hurtles towards what could be another shutdown. The House, where Republicans have a slim majority, has struggled to approve basic funding bills, and Gaetz has been clamoring amid these struggles for the potential removal of Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) as House Speaker. However, Gaetz doesn’t have a fully developed plan ready to go should that actually succeed, it seems.
“Getting rid of McCarthy, if he has failed us for eight months, if he has delayed the appropriations process, as even his allies conceded earlier this evening in the Rules Committee, then getting rid of him is sort of an end unto itself,” Gaetz claimed. “Because it shows that we’ve got the ability to pivot.” Somebody has to be Speaker! Under further questioning from host Abby Phillip, Gaetz expressed confidence in the ability of Republicans in the scenario of McCarthy’s ouster to somehow muster a replacement, besides just furthering his general criticism of McCarthy.
On-again, off-again Gaetz ally Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) was among the Republicans who recently helped sink even the prospect of simply moving forward procedurally with a round of proposed funding that would support areas within the military. She and five other Republicans were opposed, meaning the House GOP failed to even move forward towards approving anything they themselves wanted amid the broader appropriations process.
Without Democrats eventually joining in support, the federal government would have already failed to secure a raise to the debt limit after a similar outburst of far-right opposition threatened to just sink the associated deal that Republicans tried to assemble. The negotiations process extended beyond the simple question of raising the debt limit, which helps provide for past spending obligations, because of Republicans, who were the ones pushing to attach extra legislative priorities.
“In addition to the pain a shutdown causes America, @RepMattGaetz gets to show how little he understands about effective governing,” Mark Hertling, a former commanding general in the U.S. Army, said after Gaetz’s interview on CNN.
— MarkHertling (@MarkHertling) September 23, 2023