On Tuesday (January 3), Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) presumptuous maneuver moving into the Speaker’s Office was called out by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) in a letter to the Architect of the Capitol, querying McCarthy’s presence in the office.
Gaetz begins by informing the Architect of the Capitol that McCarthy is currently occupying the Speaker’s Office despite not having the role.
The letter states that a Speaker is yet to be elected from the 118th Congress “After three undeciding votes” and asserts that “no member can lay claim to this office.”
McCarthy failed to get the Speaker’s gavel after three consecutive votes, causing Republican leaders to adjourn for the day and resume the vote on Wednesday (January 4).
Gaetz was part of a group of 19 Republicans who opposed McCarthy in all three consecutive votes, thwarting his ambitions to become Speaker.
In the final vote, the 19 Republicans were joined by Representative-elect Byron Donalds (R-Fla.).
McCarthy also criticized Gaetz for reportedly asserting that he didn’t mind incoming Democratic Leader Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (N.Y.) becoming House Speaker rather than McCarthy because of the group’s unwavering opposition.
McCarthy also found fault with Gaetz’s position, noting that Gaetz didn’t “care if we got a plurality, and we elect Hakeem Jeffries.”
Gaetz’s fervent opposition has also drawn the criticism of other Republicans, including Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.)
In a tweet on Tuesday, Mace complained that Gaetz’s “full ego was on display today,” describing the Florida Republican as a “political D-Lister” who could help elect another Pelosi to Speaker with his antics.