Florida Representative Matt Gaetz is calling for the Speaker to be removed. Photo: AP
The hardline Republican followed through by threatening to remove Kevin McCarthy as House speaker.
Matt Gaetz, a far-right Florida representative, accused McCarthy of betraying his party's interests when he passed a resolution declaring the position “vacant.” “
This sets in motion a process that could lead to a vote within days to oust Mr. McCarthy as speaker, a role that puts him second in the line of presidential succession.
p> >It came just days after Mr. McCarthy reached a compromise with Democrats to avert a government shutdown.
As a temporary measure, the funding will continue for another 45 days to allow the troubled Republican Conference to -on McCarthy to agree on the spending bill.
“It is becoming increasingly clear who the Speaker of the House is already working for, and this is not the Republican conference,” Mr. Gaetz said earlier Monday.
He went on to say that McCarthy was allowing Joe Biden to take his “money.” for lunch throughout the negotiations.”
The threat of being overthrown has hung over McCarthy like the sword of Damocles since he was elected Speaker. in January.
To gain an advantage, Mr. McCarthy agreed to a rule change that would have allowed any House member to call early votes to remove him from office amid stiff opposition from Mr. Gaetz and 19 other House members. Republican hardliners
In a surprise move Saturday, McCarthy bypassed conservatives and turned to the Democratic minority at the eleventh hour to push through a stopgap spending bill.
The measure passed with the support of 209 Democrats, who joined 129 Republican centrists in agreeing to fund the government for another 45 days.
To win Democratic support, Mr. McCarthy abandoned conservative demands for deep spending cuts and immigration restrictions .
His only concession to the Republican right was to exclude further funding for Ukraine.
However, Gaetz, 41, accused McCarthy of making a “secret side deal with Joe Biden” to continue funding Ukraine.
“Go ahead,” Mr. McCarthy responded quickly. But the vote exposes the growing chasm between the moderate and conservative factions of the Republican Party.
Earlier on Monday, McCarthy, 58, said a vote to remove him would be “devastating for the country.” but suggested that he would welcome a speedy resolution of the republican struggle.
“I want to win the vote to get the job done for the American people,” he said. “There are certain people who have been doing this since the day we came.”
Marjorie Taylor Greene, Congresswoman from the Georgia party often clashed with Mr. McCarthy. Photo: AP
A majority would be needed to pass a resolution to vacate the speaker's post, but it was unclear how many Republicans planned to join Mr. Gaetz.
Even some of McCarthy's fiercest GOP critics have dismissed the prospect of removing him in recent days.
The speaker will have to make the proposal within two legislative days, but he could do so even sooner.
It remains to be seen whether Democrats will come to Mr. McCarthy's aid.
Historically, the opposition party votes against the speaker. But Democrats may be reluctant to punish McCarthy for his decision to work with them to avoid a shutdown and may be wary of his potential Republican replacements.
Democrats could simply skip the vote altogether or vote “present” to make it easier to keep Mr. McCarthy in office without voting affirmatively.
However, Mr. McCarthy called disturbance. from Democrats over his decision to greenlight an impeachment inquiry against Biden.
Progressives including New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have said they would vote to remove him.
“I don't think we're giving away votes for free,” she told CNN over the weekend.