- Rep. Matt Gaetz rejects the notion that the lack of a speaker has halted lawmaker responsibilities.
- “I think that the chaos narrative is a bit overplayed, particularly in the Beltway,” he told CNN.
- Gaetz, who led the conservative push against Kevin McCarthy, backs Jim Jordan’s speakership bid.
Rep. Matt Gaetz has a message for critics concerned about the current vacancy in the Speaker’s office: relax.
The Florida Republican, who led the effort by conservative hardliners to remove Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California from the speakership, took to CNN on Saturday to argue that the temporary absence of a speaker is not preventing lawmakers from doing their jobs.
“I find it a little ridiculous, right? Like, oh no, the world is ending because the House of Representatives isn’t passing ceremonial resolutions this week,” Gaetz told host Michael Smerconish.
“The entire United States Senate was out all week,” he continued. “The House of Representatives takes seven weeks off every single year for essentially a summer vacation. There are days when all we vote on are procedural votes and post offices.”
Gaetz then dismissed any concerns that other countries were dismayed by the disruptive chain of events that have enveloped the House in recent weeks.
“I think that the chaos narrative is a bit overplayed, particularly in the Beltway, because the lobbyists and the special interests want someone in the speakership that they totally control. They had that in Kevin McCarthy,” he said.
“Just because lobbyists and special interests have been disempowered by the motion to vacate doesn’t mean it was the wrong decision,” he continued. “And it doesn’t mean that we’re in chaos because there were 10 days when the lights were off on the House floor. We have not put our pencils down.”
Gaetz went on to say that lawmakers have been paying close attention to the Israel-Hamas war, reviewing intelligence briefings regarding the conflict in the region.
“Don’t believe that just because there isn’t floor action, that somehow all of our representatives aren’t working,” he said. “We in fact, are continuing the work of the Congress.”
Gaetz has already thrown his support behind Rep. Jim Jordan’s bid for the speakership, but it remains unclear if the Ohioan will be able to secure the 217 votes on the House floor needed to claim the speaker’s gavel.