Marjorie Taylor Greene Says Democrats ‘Giddy’ Over Gaetz, McCarthy Speakership Fight

Ryan Morgan
By Ryan Morgan
October 2, 2023Congress
Marjorie Taylor Greene Says Democrats ‘Giddy’ Over Gaetz, McCarthy Speakership Fight
(L–R) Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) speaks as Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) listen during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Nov. 17, 2022. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

A plan to oust House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) worried that the move will only throw the Republican majority into chaos and allow Democrats to extract political “prizes” in the process.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) has indicated he may pursue an effort to oust Mr. McCarthy from his speakership, following a contentious debate over the 2024 government budget that saw Mr. Gaetz and other conservatives split with Republican leadership.

Over the weekend, Mr. McCarthy brought forward a short-term government funding bill, known as a continuing resolution (CR), which passed with the support of 209 House Democrats and 126 House Republicans. Mr. Gaetz and 89 other Republicans opposed the bill, which they argued was closer to the “clean” CR that Democrats had sought during the budget process.

Ms. Greene was among the 90 Republicans who voted against the CR, and has often been aligned with Mr. Gaetz and other more populist conservatives in the House. While she referred to Mr. Gaetz as “my friend,” Ms. Greene argued that an effort to oust Mr. McCarthy would only hurt the Republican House majority.

In a lengthy thread on the X social media platform, Ms. Greene likened the efforts to oust Mr. McCarthy from the speakership to a “family feud” that “gives the upper hand to the Democrats.”

Democrats ‘Giddy’ for ‘Prizes’: Greene

Ms. Greene argued that the Republicans won control of the House in the 2022 midterms because the American public is dissatisfied with the Biden administration’s handling of the economy, border security, and the war in Ukraine. Though she cast the midterms as a repudiation of Democrats, she warned that infighting would distract Republicans from addressing the issues that had carried them to the House majority.

“All of this has the Democrats, who America’s electorate fired last congress, giddy with opportunity to take full advantage of gleaning prizes for themselves in exchange for votes,” she wrote.

Ms. Greene didn’t specify exactly what “prizes” House Democrats might glean from the Republican infighting, but Mr. Gaetz would likely need the help of some Democrats to elect a new speaker in the narrowly Republican-controlled House.

On Saturday, the New York Post reported Mr. Gaetz had offered to give Democrats subpoena power in the House as a reward for backing his efforts to oust Mr. McCarthy. A spokesperson for Mr. Gaetz’s office denied the claim, calling it “an absolute lie and a total fabrication.”

Earlier this month, Mr. Gaetz did ask Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) how many Democrats would support a bid to oust Mr. McCarthy, after Mr. Swalwell cast his talk of removing the speaker as “empty threats.”

Mr. Gaetz could also stand to lose in a showdown with the House Speaker. Amid the Florida Republican’s talks of ousting Mr. McCarthy, Fox News has reported that some House Republicans are preparing a motion to expel Mr. Gaetz. Such an effort to expel Mr. Gaetz would be tied to a forthcoming House ethics panel investigation over allegations he took bribes and used drugs. Mr. Gaetz has denied such claims, but a finding of guilt by the House ethics panel could present an opportunity for his House Republican critics to sweep him aside.

Ms. Greene said if House Republicans do back an effort to expel Mr. Gaetz, it would only further fragment the party.

“A Republican led effort to expel Matt Gaetz absolutely will not be tolerated by Republicans across the country. I can guarantee you that,” she said in an X post.

NTD News reached out to Mr. Gaetz’s office for comment, but did not receive a response by the time this article was published.

Congressional Calendar ‘Set Up For Producing Annual Failure’

Rather than blaming any particular Republican for the internal struggles during the budget process, Ms. Greene said Republicans seeking to force through budget reforms have the legislative calendar to blame.

“We are here because Congress operates on a calendar set up for producing annual failure. With a September 30th fiscal year end, and a calendar that sends congress home all of August & half of September, it’s obvious why there’s usually an emergency CR to avoid a shutdown usually resulting in a Christmas omnibus which is really like a giant lump of coal in the American people’s stockings,” Ms. Greene said. “No wonder we’re $33T in debt.”

Many Republicans balked last December as Congress passed a $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill. That bill was fresh on the minds of many Republicans as they took control of the House in January and spent days selecting the next House speaker and deciding on rules for the new session of Congress. In exchange for supporting Mr. McCarthy’s speakership bid, many Republican holdouts demanded budget reforms to avoid a similar outcome as last year’s omnibus bill.

“I agree with Matt Gaetz that things must change,” Ms. Greene said of Congress’s budget process. “But I don’t agree that a motion to vacate will effectively create the changes needed to solve the intentional systemic failure that create the annual never ending CR’s and Christmas omnibus mega spending packages.”

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