McCarthy was not happy!
Representative Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) recently announced his resignation from office effective at the end of the month, further diminishing the already narrow Republican majority in the House. This decision comes after a series of conflicts with Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who played a pivotal role in McCarthy’s removal as speaker in October.
The tension between McCarthy and Gaetz had been brewing for some time. In January, Gaetz led a charge against McCarthy during the speaker selection process, requiring 15 ballots before McCarthy secured the position. The Florida lawmaker eventually dropped his opposition on the 15th ballot in exchange for certain concessions, including a provision allowing a one-member threshold to trigger a House vote on the speaker’s removal.
In a recent exit interview with The Hill, McCarthy expressed mixed feelings about his departure, describing it as “kind of bittersweet.” McCarthy previously suggested that Gaetz’s efforts to oust him from the speakership were linked to McCarthy’s refusal to interfere in an Ethics Committee investigation involving Gaetz. Gaetz vehemently denies this accusation.
Describing Gaetz as “psychotic,” McCarthy hinted at the FBI’s involvement, possibly alluding to a Department of Justice probe into allegations of Gaetz’s involvement in the sex trafficking of a minor. Gaetz’s lawyers claimed earlier this year that their client would not face charges in connection with this investigation.
When reached for comment, Gaetz responded with sarcasm, offering “thoughts and prayers for the former congressman” and characterizing McCarthy’s departure as a self-serving move focused on personal power. Gaetz framed the situation as a consequence of a process that led to McCarthy’s removal, emphasizing the subsequent reduction in the Republican majority in the House.