Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) has issued a warning to his GOP colleagues after they voted to remove Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) from her seat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Gaetz said he believes that he’ll “be the one” that the Democrats will “come for” over the move.
The congressman issued the warning during his podcast show, “Firebrand with Matt Gaetz.”
Although Gaetz recognized that he supported Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) in the vote, he warned that similar actions could come from the Democrats if they were to control the House again at a later date.
“I voted with the majority on that matter, but I can’t say that it was the best feeling in the world to look at speech as some sort of threshold for someone’s participation in the political process,” Gaetz said.
“Frankly, if Ilhan Omar hadn’t voted against Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar, I might have viewed things differently, but she voted against folks who had done nothing wrong and did not deserve to be removed from her committees.
“And maybe the only way we get past this and stop this tit-for-tat is to once and for all end it.
“So I voted with the speaker, I believed Speaker McCarthy deserved a deference on this matter.
“But know this my viewers, my friends, my supporters, those of you who participate in our podcast project, if the way this works by rhythm, whenever the House of Representatives change hands, there’s this implicit requirement that the new majority go and zap members of the other side because of their speech, well, I mean, I’m gonna be the one they come for.
“I’m gonna say something edgy or not aligned with the dogma of the day in the Armed Services Committee or the Judiciary Committee.
“And they’ll say, ‘Oh, Gaetz is promoting gun violence because he believes in the Second Amendment.’ ‘Oh, you know, because Gaetz doesn’t want wokeness in the military.’ ‘He’s advancing anti-trans tropes.’
“You know what? You don’t get to pick the lineup of the other team.
“The Democrats made that mistake on the January 6th committee.
“They made that mistake vis-a-vis Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar.
“And my hope is that this is the end of it.
“So while Ilhan Omar says things that I find detestable that I totally disagree with, I didn’t vote against her because of her speech.
“I voted against her because she engaged in this effort to de-platform my friends, Paul Gosar and Marjorie Taylor Greene.
“And this has to end.
“And I thought this was the only way to make it end.
“And actually, there’ve been some pretty productive behind-the-scenes discussions with Kevin McCarthy, that I’ve had conversations between Hakeem Jeffries and Kevin McCarthy, where we recognize that this activity of stripping other sides from committees, is really beneath the dignity of the institution.
“And we ought to be willing to confront bad ideas with our own speech and our own ideas,” Gaetz said.
“And that is what I endeavor to do for all of you and for my constituents each and every day.”
People rarely pay attention to the work their colleagues do on committees or the work I do on foreign affairs, but @mattgaetz does.
Here’s what he had to say about my work on the committee and why he think I am being removed from a committee where I have been very effective in. https://t.co/1vSxzdiHQ9
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) January 31, 2023