In a scathing takedown of prominent politicians in both major parties, Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL) delivered a monologue on the floor of the House worthy of a standup comedy club and singling out embattled New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) who faces charges related to bribery.
“We are devaluing American money so rapidly that in America today you can’t even bribe Democrat senators with cash alone. You need to bring gold bars to get the job done, just so that the bribes hold value,” said Gaetz with a straight face, referencing a small mountain of gold and $480,000 in cash found stuffed into hiding spaces inside Menendez’s home during a recent raid. The New Jersey lawmaker and former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is alleged to have pressured Egyptian officials to accept business from a New Jersey halal products producer who rewarded Menendez with vast sums of money, fancy cars, and other favors.
The Florida Republican’s time at the microphone was mostly devoted to critiquing the House’s persistence in funding the government by a continuing resolution, a temporary measure to keep federal money flowing in lieu of an annual budget. A bill he spoke in favor of would do away with that stopgap.
“The one thing I agree with my Democrat colleagues on is that for the last eight months, this House has been poorly led, and we own that and we have to do something about it,” said Gaetz, a not-so-veiled reference to his continued efforts to oust House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) from his perch atop the Republican caucus.
“My Democrat colleagues will have an opportunity to do something about that too. And we will see if they bail out our failed Speaker,” he added.
On Monday, Senator Bob Menendez attempted to explain away oodles of cash and gold found inside his home, saying his time as a resident of Cuba taught him to be prepared for a worst-case scenario at all times. The senator did not address why fingerprints belonging to his co-conspirators were found on the gold bars, and he has told his fellow Democrats he’s not going anywhere despite a growing chorus of calls for his resignation.