As House Republicans narrowly failed in their effort to pass articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Tuesday night, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) found himself wishing former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy was still in the lower chamber.
That’s the same Kevin McCarthy who resigned from Congress in December two months after he was dramatically ousted from the speakership as a result of a campaign led by Matt Gaetz. Speaking to Eric Bolling on Newsmax on Tuesday, Gaetz said he found himself thinking it would’ve “been nice” to have had McCarthy’s vote on his side as the resolution failed in a 216-214 split.
Gaetz appeared on the show to commiserate with Bolling as four Republican lawmakers joined with Democrats in rejecting the impeachment. Gaetz explained that Rep. Blake Moore (R-UT) had only changed his vote from “yes” to “no” in a strategic move to allow the measure to be reconsidered at a later time.
“We didn’t have any of our people that were part of the 215 that had voted ‘no,’” Gaetz said. “So, trust me, Blake Moore wants Mayorkas impeached.” He then said he wished some of his former congressional colleagues had still been around to help push the resolution over the line.
“As I’m watching that board and it’s 215 to 215, I have never missed George Santos more,” Gaetz said. He went on to add: “I also wondered like, wouldn’t it have been nice to still have Kevin McCarthy in the House of Representatives? Never thought you’d hear me say that.”
Gaetz bemoaned that McCarthy “took his marbles and went home” following his downfall as speaker in October—the first time in American history that the House of Representatives voted to remove a sitting speaker.
At the time of McCarthy’s ouster, Gaetz publicly insisted he’d been motivated to introduce his motion to vacate because McCarthy had breached an agreement made with conservative lawmakers in January during his campaign for the role. The Daily Beast last month revealed that in private, however, Gaetz indicated it was actually revenge for a House Ethics Committee probe into allegations of sex trafficking and other wrongdoing against Gaetz, with the Florida lawmaker holding McCarthy responsible for the investigation’s revival.