Gaetz files motion to remove Speaker McCarthy from leadership position

WASHINGTON−Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., introduced a motion Monday night to remove Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., from the top position in the House.

His motion comes after a contentious week of negotiations to avoid a government shutdown, during which Gaetz had previously threatened to oust McCarthy if the Speaker looked across the aisle for support.

Shortly after Gaetz moved to oust him, McCarthy gave a succinct statement on X, formerly Twitter: "Bring it on."

Hours before Saturday's midnight deadline, McCarthy and Republicans put forward a temporary deal to fund the government through Nov. 17. The stopgap, known as a continuing resolution, received bipartisan support in the House, with 209 Democrats and 126 Republicans voting in favor.

Gaetz confirmed his intent to file the motion to vacate Sunday morning, telling CNN "we need to rip off the Band-Aid" and "move on with new leadership that can be trustworthy."

"The only way Kevin McCarthy is speaker of the House at the end of this coming week is if Democrats bail him out," Gaetz said.

Gaetz's motion to vacate needs 218 votes to successfully remove McCarthy.

McCarthy defended his actions in the face of Gaetz's challenges, telling reporters Saturday, "If I have to risk my job for standing up for the American public, I will do that."

Gaetz had an easier path to file this motion, thanks to McCarthy's own concessions at the start of the year. In exchange for votes from hardline House Republicans for his speakership — and to put an end to days of voting — McCarthy allowed House rules to say that any one member of either party can bring forward a motion to vacate.