(CNS News.com) — Explaining why he and several other House conservatives are not voting for Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to be the new Speaker of the House, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) said today that McCarthy had refused to accept some of the issues that conservatives wanted to address in the new Congress, such as term limits, a balanced budget, and a real plan to secure the U.S.-Mexico border.
Gaetz also revealed that some incoming committee chairmen threatened to remove him and other conservatives from committees if they did not fall in line and vote for McCarthy.
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“Those of us who will not be voting for Kevin McCarthy today take no joy in the discomfort that this moment has brought, but if you want to drain the swamp you cannot put the biggest alligator in charge of the exercise,” said Gaetz. “I am a Florida man and I know of what I speak.”
Speaking at the Capitol, Gaetz was flanked by other opponents of McCarthy, including Rep. Scott Perry (R-Penn.) and Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.).
“We offered Kevin McCarthy terms last evening that he rejected,” said Gaetz. “We’ve sought a vote in a first quarter of the 118th Congress on term limits. He refused. We wanted a budget from the Republican Study Committee that balances on the floor in the first quarter. He refused. We wanted the border plan that the Texas delegation put together on the floor. He refused.”
“And it is true that we struggle with trust with Mr. McCarthy because, time and again, his viewpoints, his positions, they shift like sands underneath you,” said Gaetz. “Even Kevin McCarthy’s own mentor recently said that, ‘the lies always change.’ And Mr. McCarthy is not only responsive to pressure from the right. Time and again, he has failed to achieve the goals that we seek on spending and on the fight.”
Gaetz continued, “For months we’ve been asking Mr. McCarthy for his battle plan. How do we ensure that we stand up for folks in the military who feel like they’re being purged? How do we ensure that if there’s a passage of a farm bill, it includes things like work requirements? And all we got was a handful of ‘Howdy’ and a mouthful of ‘Much Obliged.’”
“So we do not want to be here at this moment,” said Gatez. “We would prefer to have a unity of purpose. But we will not continue to allow the uniparty to run this town without a fight.”
“There’s very little difference between Nancy Pelosi and her California delegation-mate that seeks the gavel,” he added.
When asked by a reporter if he would be kicked off of committees because of his opposition to McCarthy, Gaetz said, “We were threatened by my committee chairman, to be on the Armed Services Committee, Mr. Rogers, that if we did not vote for Mr. McCarthy, we would be removed from committees.”
“I’m not here to participate in some kind of a puppet show where we pass a bunch of messaging bills, send them to the Senate, watch them die, refuse to use leverage, and don’t hold the Biden administration accountable,” said Gaetz.
“I don’t want to relive the Benghazi experience where it is just theater pretending to be oversight,” he said. “We can do better than that and that is our purpose.”
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