Gaetz Claims He’s Still A No Go Even After McCarthy Makes New Round Of Concessions

One of Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s most obstinate opponents in his candidacy for House Speaker is vowing not to give up and to keep the current impasse going until the California Republican either complies to the defectors’ demands or drops out entirely.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), one of McCarthy’s most vociferous opponents, has vowed not to back down in the House speaker battle, escalating what has already been a days-long battle as the chamber seeks to elect its next leader. The House will reconvene at noon on Thursday for the third day of leadership elections after members adjourned the previous night without appointing a speaker.

“I think this ends in one of two ways,” Gaetz said after the House adjourned on Wednesday. “Either Kevin bows out, realizing there is no path to becoming speaker of the House even with one or two or three or five of the 20 who have opposed him half a dozen times on the floor, or he essentially has to wake up, call the House into session, and put on a straitjacket with a rules package that we’ve presented to him that doesn’t allow the speaker of the House a lot of discretion.”


McCarthy made a new round of concessions to some of his most obstinate opponents on Wednesday after failing to make ground in three rounds of roll call votes. McCarthy agreed to a request to add more Freedom Caucus members to the House Rules Committee as part of his latest concessions, as well as lowering the number of members required to call for a floor vote to oust a sitting speaker, according to CNN.


The agreement builds on prior concessions in which McCarthy promised to reduce the number of votes required to remove him from the office if he is elected, marking a huge victory for far-right conservatives such as Gaetz.

“We’ve demanded it because we don’t trust Kevin McCarthy, and that’s not a little body of work,” the Florida Republican explained.

Even if those criteria are met, Gaetz has stated that he will not support McCarthy’s candidacy.

“I’m not voting for McCarthy, but I expect some of the other 20 would if we control the Rules and Appropriations Committees,” Gaetz added. “If things continue as they are, I believe the opposition will increase.”

In the most recent round of voting, twenty Republican members voted against McCarthy to support Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL), with one Republican voting present. Donalds supported McCarthy in the first two roll call votes before switching to Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) in the third round on Tuesday, admitting that “at the end of the day, we’ve got to get to 218.”




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