A heated exchange occurred behind closed doors between Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Representative Matt Gaetz during a House GOP conference meeting. Gaetz accused McCarthy of being involved in a social media campaign aimed at targeting Gaetz, which the Speaker denied. Tensions have been escalating between the two, with Gaetz threatening to force a vote to remove McCarthy as Speaker if his demands on spending and legislation are not met. McCarthy denied any involvement in the anti-Gaetz campaign and his legal counsel sent a cease-and-desist letter to the person responsible for the solicitations. The feud comes as lawmakers rush to fund the government before the looming shutdown deadline on September 30th.
The exchange between McCarthy and Gaetz took place as social media posts circulated showing a message soliciting work for an advocacy campaign against Gaetz and the government shutdown. Gaetz accused McCarthy of orchestrating the campaign, a claim that the Speaker denied. McCarthy’s legal counsel sent a cease-and-desist letter to the person behind the solicitations, stating that the claim was false and violated the law. The feud between the two has become more intense as Gaetz threatens to forcibly remove McCarthy as Speaker, and tensions have heightened amidst the race to fund the government before the shutdown deadline.
As the deadline approaches, McCarthy has expressed his intention to pass a GOP-crafted stopgap bill to keep the government running. However, Gaetz and other conservative lawmakers have vowed not to support a continuing resolution under any circumstances. The Senate has advanced a bipartisan stopgap bill that includes funding for Ukraine and disaster assistance, but Gaetz warned that if McCarthy brings the bill to the floor, he will face a vote on his removal. McCarthy, on the other hand, has stated that he will not hold a vote on the measure if it advances Democrat priorities. The disagreement between the two Republicans further complicates efforts to fund the government before the deadline.