House Speaker Kevin McCarthy recently received a lot of praise from a group of people who he may need more support from in order to keep his job.
On Saturday, Democrats praised McCarthy for putting forth a temporary spending bill that ultimately prevented the government from shutting down. To do so, he relied on Democrats in the lower chamber to get support from at least two-thirds of the membership, since he wasn’t able to garner full support from his own party.
Hard-line Republicans refused to give their support for a continuing resolution, saying they would only support a spending bill that included significant cuts to spending. That forced McCarthy to rely on Democrats to pass what he called a “clean” stopgap bill that will fund the government for 45 more days.
That bill garnered strong support from both sides of the aisle, passing by a vote of 335-91, with 209 Democrats voting to support it. The Senate then passed the bill 88-9, and President Joe Biden signed it before the midnight deadline.
Now, the House will have until mid-November to negotiate a spending bill that will fund the government for a long-term period.
Many Democrats praised McCarthy for sticking his neck out there and negotiating with liberals, putting the country before the interests and wants of far-right members of the House GOP.
That praise came as some of those GOPers, namely Representatives Andy Biggs and Matt Gaetz, have criticized their party’s leader and even threatened to bring a resolution up that would seek to remove McCarthy as Speaker.
Responding to the sharp criticism from Biggs and Gaetz, Democratic Representative Eric Swalwell from California posted on X, the social media site formerly known as Twitter, wrote:
“I really admire [Speaker McCarthy] for putting clowns like Biggs and Gaetz in an absolute box. They’ll never have the courage to try and remove him. McCarthy has really played him.”
New York Representative Daniel Goldman agreed, posting in response to that post from Swalwell:
“I agree. I didn’t think [Speaker McCarthy] had the backbone to stand up to the MAGA extremists, but he did today. Finally, he chose to be Speaker of the whole House, not just Speaker of the MAGA cult. I guess he thinks Gaetz doesn’t have the cajones to vacate him.”
But, cajones are exactly what Gaetz says he has. He told CNN over the weekend that he would call a vote to remove McCarthy as Speaker – something that he and other far-right GOPers in the House won the right to do as part of the intense negotiations that made McCarthy Speaker in the first place.
On Monday, Gaetz said that McCarthy would probably be able to survive a “motion to vacate,” but he’d need Democrats to support him once again to do so. The Florida representative did say that if his motion failed a first time around, he’d keep calling votes to remove him, which would force his colleagues in the GOP to continually vote to support McCarthy.
As Gaetz said:
“It took Speaker McCarthy 15 votes to become the speaker. So, until I guess the 14th or 15th, I don’t think I’m being any more dilatory than he was.”