(The Hill) — Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) assessed Sunday that it would be “absolutely” worth it for him to lose his seat in Congress for spearheading the removal of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) from the top leadership post last week.
“Absolutely,” Gaetz said when NBC’s Kristen Welker asked him on “Meet the Press” on Sunday about whether the effort to oust McCarthy was worth it. “Look, I am here to fight for my constituents. And I’m here to ensure that America is not on a path to financial ruin.”
Gaetz spearheaded booting McCarthy from the Speaker’s office last week after months of threatening to do so following McCarthy’s deal with Democrats to avoid a government shutdown. Eight Republicans joined with all of the Democrats remove McCarthy, making him the first Speaker to ever be ousted in U.S. history.
Now, the House GOP is slated to meet this week to choose a new Speaker. Gaetz predicted that it would not take a week to choose a new Speaker, despite the Speakership election in January taking 15 rounds of voting over five days to elect McCarthy.
He also said some Republicans’ suggestion to remove him from Congress was “crazy,” noting that he was sent to Congress with about 70 percent of his district’s vote.
Welker asked Gaetz if it was “irresponsible” for him to pursue a motion to vacate when there was no clear replacement for Speaker.
“Not only do we have a clear replacement, we have two. We have two men who are incredibly respected,” he responded.
McCarthy has said that he will not seek the Speakership again, while two lawmakers — Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) — announced they will pursue the job. Gaetz also declined to voice support for either contender Sunday.