Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) has demanded House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) reveal the details of a “secret side deal” he allegedly secured for Ukraine with President Joe Biden and the Democrats.
Gaetz claims McCarthy negotiated the deal with Biden and the Democrats in order to avoid a government shutdown.
The demands come as Gaetz has also vowed to introduce a motion “this week” for McCarthy to vacate the speakership.
According to Gaetz, Republicans are presumably set to vote on the speaker’s potential ouster later this week.
After addressing the House floor, Gaetz told reporters on the steps of the Capitol that he still planned to introduce a motion to vacate McCarthy’s speakership “this week.”
He noted that the vote could not be held as soon as Monday because all members aren’t back in Washington D.C. yet.
Gaetz repeated that his fight against McCarthy is not personal, despite the speaker’s assertion otherwise.
He also accused McCarthy of stepping outside the Republican conference in order to negotiate an agreement on a resolution over the weekend.
The resolution, which passed in a weekend vote, avoids a government shutdown for another 40 days.
“The speaker of the House gave away to Joe Biden the money for Ukraine that Joe Biden wanted,” Gaetz said.
“It is going to be difficult for my Republican friends to keep calling President Biden feeble while he continues to take Speaker McCarthy’s lunch money in every negotiation.
“Ukraine has lost the support of a majority of the majority.
“The last time there was a freestanding Ukraine vote on this floor, it was last week, 101 Republicans voted for it, 117 Republicans voted against it.
“According to the Hastert Rule, which Speaker McCarthy agreed to in January, you cannot use Democrats to roll a majority of the majority, certainly on something as consequential as Ukraine,” he said.
“So for all the crocodile tears about what may happen later this week about a motion to vacate, working with the Democrats is a yellow brick road that has been paved by Speaker McCarthy.
“Whether it was the debt limit deal, the C.R., or now the secret deal on Ukraine.”
“It is becoming increasingly clear who the speaker of the House already works for, and it’s not the Republican conference,” Gaetz said.
“Mr. Speaker, I would ask that these questions be answered soon because there may be other votes coming today or later this week that could – be implicated by the answers to these questions.
“Members of the Republican Party might vote differently on a motion to vacate if they heard what the speaker had to share with us about his secret side deal with Joe Biden on Ukraine.
“I’ll be listening. Stay tuned.”
Speaking before the House, Gaetz further argued that funding for Ukraine and the border should not be rolled into one massive spending package.
Instead, they should be considered as single-subject bills, he said.
The congressman noted the “spirit of the January agreement” the House Freedom Caucus reached with McCarthy during his speakership fight.
“You know how we should stand up for our border?” Gaetz said.
“Demand that the United States Senate take up our single subject appropriation bill that funded the border.
“It created Republican unity. We voted for it.
“It has the policy demands that the continuing resolution that Speaker McCarthy advocated for on this floor did not.
“Our DHS funding bill requires E-Verify,” he said.
“And then hours later, after we passed that, the speaker wanted us to vote for a continuing resolution that didn’t include E-Verify.”
“Retreat is never a strategy to win anything.”
Matt Gaetz puts forth questions for Speaker McCarthy.
“Working with Democrats is a yellow brick road that has been paved by Speaker McCarthy. Retreat is never a strategy to win anything.” It is going to be difficult for my R friends to keep calling Biden feeble while he… pic.twitter.com/HPX3e7fJUb
— SweetPeaBelle (@SweetPeaBell326) October 2, 2023
Gaetz also claimed to have spoken with President Donald Trump on the potential motion to vacate.
He declined to elaborate further, however.
“You talk about chaos, as if it’s me, forcing a few votes and filing a few motions,” Gaetz told reporters.
“Real chaos is when the American people have to go through the austerity that is coming if we continue to have $2 trillion annual deficits.
“You don’t know chaos until you’ve seen where this Congress and this uni-party is bringing us.”
Meanwhile, reports emerged on Sunday that House Republicans are preparing a motion to expel Gaetz if the ethics committee report comes back with findings of guilt.
The House Ethics Committee has been investigating Gaetz since 2021.
The allegations include campaign finance violations as well as claims of taking bribes and using drugs.
The congressman has vehemently denied the accusations.
It takes a two-thirds vote to expel and Republicans are skating on thin ice with their majority.
The House is down to 433 members.
It’s currently unclear where things stand with federally indicted Rep. George Santos (R-NY).
If members are expelled, retire, or die, the majority could be right on the edge for the GOP.