Fiery Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) threatened to overturn House on Tuesday Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-California) if he fails to fulfill his obligations to Republican hardliners.
Gaetz promised to move forward with the motion to vacate the presidency if McCarthy allows an interim measure or continuing resolution to be approved for a floor vote.
“No continuing resolutions, individual spending bills, balanced budget votes and term limits,” Gaetz warned.
“Subpoenas for Hunter Biden and Biden Family Members. Impeach Joe Biden. Do these things or face a motion to vacate the presidency.”
McCarthy has indicated he supports a continuing resolution to prevent a government shutdown until the end of the month.
Every fiscal year, Congress must fund the government or it will be shut down. During the debt ceiling dispute, both parties agreed to fund the government through 12 budget bills instead of a massive omnibus bill.
But Congress is still a long way from getting that done before the end of the fiscal year. That’s why many lawmakers have supported continuing the order to keep the government open and buy more time.
Even Gaetz acknowledged this reality in his speech.
“There is now no way to pass all budget bills,” admitted Gaetz. “And it’s not like we didn’t know when September 30 would appear on the calendar.”
If Congress does not act through the 12 budget bills or a continuing resolution by September 30, the government will shut down.
Passing the budget legislation is complicated by the major disagreement between the House of Representatives and the Senate over the level of spending.
Although the two chambers agreed on maximum spending levels in the Fiscal Responsibility Act, which ended the debt ceiling impasse, McCarthy has bowed to pressure from conservative hardliners and tasked his supporters with crafting thinner bills.
McCarthy’s right wing, namely the House Freedom Caucus, is calling for even deeper spending cuts.
A recall motion only requires one vote, and given the GOP’s razor-thin majority of 222 seats to 212, few Republicans would need to join forces with Democrats to oust him.
On Monday, McCarthy downplayed the threat from Gaetz, who was considering collaborating with Democrats to oust him from the speakership.
“Look, Matt is Matt,” McCarthy said.
Gaetz, who is under an ethics investigation that his allies have blamed on McCarthy, voted “present” for McCarthy earlier this year to end his battle over the gavel, which required a historically unprecedented 15 votes.
To break the deadlock and secure the speakership, McCarthy struck a variety of deals with Republican hardliners. Gaetz notified him on Tuesday.
“Mr. Mr. Speaker, you are violating the agreement that allowed you to assume this role. The path forward for the House of Representatives is to either bring you into full compliance immediately or remove you,” Gaetz added.
Earlier Tuesday, McCarthy moved a step closer to one of Gaetz’s demands, announcing that he would launch an impeachment inquiry into President Biden.
In doing so, McCarthy disregarded his own prior public commitment that “If we move forward with an impeachment inquiry, it would be through a vote on the floor of the House of Representatives, not through a statement from one person.”
The House reconvened Tuesday after a six-week break and has 11 days left on its legislative calendar through the end of the month.