House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) stood firm during a tense caucus meeting on Thursday, urging dissenting members to go ahead with their motion to unseat him.
A faction of GOP members, advocating for a government shutdown due to disputes over a spending bill, is at odds with McCarthy, who hopes to pass an interim bill allowing more time for discussions.
The root of the tension traces back to a spending agreement McCarthy made with President Biden. Some conservative members, unsatisfied with the current deal, are pushing for further cuts. However, the Senate, with its slight Democratic majority, and President Biden have shown resistance to such a proposal.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) highlighted these Republican concerns in a recent floor speech, where he criticized McCarthy for resorting to budget tricks instead of cutting spending. Gaetz hinted at introducing a motion to oust McCarthy from his leadership position.
In a spirited retort on Thursday, McCarthy reportedly challenged Gaetz and his supporters, citing a source from CNN, to initiate the said motion. Politico’s coverage expanded on the situation, mentioning McCarthy’s assertion that anyone succeeding him would be advocating for the same points he currently is.
In a rejoinder, Gaetz simply asked McCarthy to push forward with the spending bills.
McCarthy’s position as the speaker was secured after 15 rounds of voting, with conservatives like Gaetz trying to leverage their demands before backing him.