BREAKING: Matt Gaetz brings motion to vacate Kevin McCarthy as House Speaker

"Resolved that the office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives to be vacant."

Libby Emmons Brooklyn NY
Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz brought a motion to vacate House Speaker Kevin McCarthy from leadership. He stood before Congress in an anticipated move.

"Mr Speaker," he began, "Pursuant to Rule 2(a)(1) of Rule 9 I rise to give notice of my intent to raise a question of the privileges of the House."

He continued on to state the resolution, which was to "Declaring the office of the Speaker of the House to be vacant. Resolved that the office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives to be vacant."

And with that, he took his leave of the podium.

Speaking outside of Congress, Gaetz replied to a reporter's question as to whether or not he is worried about throwing the institution of the House into chaos that he is not, particularly.

Gaetz complained about the 45-day stopgap resolution, omnibus bills and the decline of the American petro-dollar. He said chaos is not a few motions and votes. "You don't know chaos until you've seen where this Congress and this uniparty is bringing us."

McCarthy replied simply, "Bring it on."

Gaetz vowed to bring the motion after the House passed a 45-day stop gap resolution to keep the government running, despite there not being a properly passed continuing resolution. McCarthy teamed with Democrats to pass the deal.

The motion to vacate means that Democrats will have to vote for McCarthy to keep him in power, vote present so that McCarthy needs less votes to hold the office, or vote against his leadership. Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal of Washington said "We're not saving the Speaker." 

Democrats, said one Freedom Caucus Member, are the "biggest part of this equation."

In terms of support from his own party, Gaetz said he has "Enough where House Democrats have a choice: adopt Kevin or ditch him. After this week Kevin McCarthy won’t belong to me anymore."

Gaetz has not indicated who he thinks could have the votes to become Speaker if McCarthy is ousted. New York Rep Hakeem Jeffries is the House Minority Leader. 

The Wall Street Journal issued a rebuke of Gaetz's planned move, saying "The rejectionists claim to be the only Republicans with principles, but their only apparent strategy—and only seeming goal—is to blow everything up."

Gaetz was able to bring the vote on his own due to the inclusion of the Jeffersonian Motion in the deal to gain McCarthy the Speakership in January. That tenet means that a single person could make a motion to remove McCarthy if "he goes back on his word or policy agenda," as Rep Anna Paulina Luna said at the time.

This is a breaking story and will be updated.
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