Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) criticized both Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) during a Sunday appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union” with Jake Tapper. She described Gaetz as a figure more interested in media attention than actual influence within the House.
Pelosi remarked, “He mainly appears on TV and fundraises online but has limited influence in the House of Representatives,” referring to Gaetz.
Earlier in the show, Gaetz mentioned his intention to submit a motion this week that could end McCarthy’s role as Speaker. This move puts Democrats in a pivotal position where their vote could either support or dethrone McCarthy, given the narrow Republican majority in the House.
While Pelosi remained non-committal on her voting intention, she advised Democrats to align with House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.). “I suggest my Democratic colleagues listen to the leader,” she commented.
She commended Jeffries’ efforts in averting a potential government shutdown, achieving a continuing resolution (CR) instead. “The CR was a win for Democrats and a setback for extreme right-wing Republicans,” said Pelosi.
Furthermore, Pelosi criticized the Republicans, pointing out what she believes is their inconsistent stance on fiscal matters. She emphasized that many of them had supported a significant tax reduction, which predominantly favored the affluent, but then opposed a government funding proposal, justifying their decision with fiscal conservatism.
She also took a subtle dig at former President Trump without naming him directly, saying, “It’s ironic when they cite spending concerns, especially after they approved a tax cut for America’s wealthiest, adding roughly $2.5 trillion to our national debt during his presidency.”
Following McCarthy’s removal, the timeline for the Republican majority to select a new leader remains uncertain. In January, when the 118th Congress was inaugurated, and the Republicans assumed control, McCarthy clinched the position after a challenging four days and 15 voting rounds.
His ascent to the role was marked by prolonged negotiations with the more conservative elements of the House Republican group. To gain their endorsement, McCarthy acquiesced to a number of their stipulations. Most notably, he agreed to reduce the prerequisites for the motion to vacate, enabling just one member to initiate a vote to unseat the Speaker.