Democrat Asserts Matt Gaetz’s Ambitions Are Just ‘About TV Appearances’

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Fellow members of the House are not exactly universally enthused about the outrage from Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) upon the approval in that chamber and the Senate of a last-minute government funding deal that temporarily held off a federal shutdown and excluded many of the policy priorities that Republicans had been pushing.

Gaetz subsequently asserted he’d be filing a push to remove Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) as Speaker of the House, though there’s no established bloc of support for a replacement that would indicate such a fight would end differently from how the original selection process went in January. Though Gaetz and allies of his fought McCarthy’s ascent at the time, they lost — though not after a historically extended process of voting on who’d become House Speaker, a role that must be filled for the legislative chamber to function.

“Matt Gaetz has no interest in governing,” Rep. Greg Landsman (D-Ohio) said this week. “This is all about TV appearances for him. If he says it’s for any other reason, he’s lying. Just let us govern, which is what most of us came here to do.”

Much the same perspective was shared over the weekend by Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who remains in Congress despite exiting her leadership role. “And you’re wasting your time on that guy because he has no sway in the House of Representatives — except to get on TV and to raise money on the internet,” Pelosi said. She was speaking to CNN host Jake Tapper and referring to Gaetz, who’d appeared that morning on the same program.

Republicans had been specifically pushing in the lead-up to the funding deadline for policy wins in areas like the border. Republicans held a vote on a legislative deal that would have temporarily extended government funding with attached border policy like a jump-start to border wall construction and increased restrictions on accepting people into the United States for processing. The measure even fought against using funds at the Department of Homeland Security to explore alternatives to detention for migrants. It failed — though many Republicans backed it.