In a blistering speech on the House floor, Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida took aim at House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, accusing him of failing to uphold promises made earlier this year. Gaetz’s remarks on Tuesday came amid growing tensions within the Republican Party over its direction and leadership.
Gaetz began by referencing the contest for House Speaker in January, stating, “Mr. Speaker, you are out of compliance with the agreement that allowed you to assume this role.” He went on to criticize McCarthy for not holding votes on term limits or balanced budgets and for not releasing the January 6th tapes in full. Gaetz also expressed his frustration over what he perceived as a lack of action against the “Biden crime family.”
Drawing a contrast between the current Congress and its Democratic predecessor, Gaetz pointed out that during Democratic control, Donald Trump Jr. had been brought in for questioning three times, while no subpoenas have been sent to Hunter Biden. Gaetz blasted the 118th Congress for “electing Kevin McCarthy speaker and underwriting Biden’s debt.”
Gaetz also took issue with the current leadership’s approach to budgetary matters, stating, “A vote for a continuing resolution is a vote to continue the Green New Deal, a vote to continue inflationary spending.” He further criticized the continuing resolution as a vote to support the “election interference of Jack Smith.”
McCarthy held a sudden press conference Tuesday morning where he announced the beginning of impeachment proceedings against Biden, an about-face move that aligns the Republican leader with conservatives in his conference who have been champing at the bit to strike back at Biden after years of investigating his alleged wrongdoings.
“I am directing our House committees to open a formal impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden. Over the past several months, House Republicans have uncovered serious and credible allegations into President Biden’s conduct—a culture of corruption,” wrote McCarthy on X where he posted a short video clip of his remarks.
Gaetz did not mince words, stating, “Joe Biden deserves impeachment for converting the vice presidency into an ATM machine for virtually his entire family.” He acknowledged McCarthy’s recent endorsement of an impeachment inquiry but argued that it was a mere “baby step” and that the House needs to move faster.
In a final call to action, Gaetz urged McCarthy to revisit their January agreement, demanding individual spending bills, votes on balanced budgets and term limits, subpoenas for Hunter Biden, and impeachment proceedings for President Biden. He warned McCarthy, “Do these things or face a motion to vacate. It might not pass at first, but it might before the 15th vote.”
Closing his speech, Gaetz declared his intent to resist any “uniparty” attempts and to hold McCarthy accountable to his word, stating, “I know that Washington isn’t a town where people are known for keeping their word. Well, Speaker McCarthy, I’m here to hold you to yours.”
Gaetz, like other Republicans, underscore a deep division within the Republican Party that could set the stage for potential future clashes between its members.