Rep. Matt Gaetz on fallout over House speaker vote

Morning In America

WASHINGTON (NewsNation) — On the 15th attempt to elect a new House speaker, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) voted “present” to lower the tally Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., would need to win.

Gaetz technically never voted for McCarthy, holding true to his previous promise he would never vote for McCarthy as a member of the “Never Kevin” campaign.

During an appearance on NewsNation’s “Morning in America,” Gaetz said, “It was a big win for the House of Representatives and the people of our country.”

He explained that McCarthy was willing to decentralize power — to give individual members the opportunity to isolate spending, to call it out and to force a vote — in exchange for becoming speaker.

“The number one goal of our transformational rules change was to ensure that we never again had an omnibus vote where you had to vote up or down on every bit of money to fund the government for nine months, 12 months at a time. We think that there should be individual appropriations bills. That way spending can get specific scrutiny,” Gaetz said.

As a proclaimed former President Donald Trump supporter “through and through,” Gaetz did not vote for McCarthy following Trump’s endorsement of McCarthy on Truth Social.

He explained that while he supports Trump, he learned from him that sometimes a better deal is made with a little extra time.

“The concessions are important because they allow us to tackle America’s real challenges,” Gaetz said.

But Gaetz’s style of getting things done did not align with everyone.

Tensions rose and last-minute fireworks ensued amid the House voting process, during which members literally had to be restrained on the House floor.

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) got heated toward Gaetz on Friday and was pulled back by another member.

Gaetz said Rogers was frustrated with the position he had taken but said it was “OK” that Rogers was animated and frustrated with him because they had a close working relationship with each other for the past six years.

But Gaetz used the cameras in the room as a scapegoat, saying cameras don’t usually film members of Congress on the floor.

“And here the American people got to see some of the chats some of the disagreements and I think that’s actually a good thing for the Republic,” he said.

However, the House speaker vote was not the first time cameras were allowed to record Congress on the floor. According to a report by Reason, the nonprofit cable channel C-SPAN has aired live, unedited footage of Congress on the floor before and since 1979. The channel is allowed to bring in cameras during “high-profile events,” the report said.

But regardless, Gaetz concluded that they all share the same goals in the Republican Party: they want to get the economy moving again as well as a regulatory climate that’s on the side of the American people.

Watch Rep. Matt Gaetz full interview in the video player above.

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