‘Move the F*cking Motion’: McCarthy Reportedly Defiant in Heated Closed-Door Meeting as He Faces Down GOP Mutiny
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was defiant in a meeting with his caucus on Thursday, reportedly telling the members threatening a mutiny to “move the fucking motion” to remove him from his position.
Some GOP members are urging McCarthy to shut the government down over spending bill disputes with both the Senate and White House, while McCarthy is seeking to pass a stopgap bill to give himself more time to negotiate.
Conservatives were frustrated by two-year spending agreement hatched by McCarthy with President Joe Biden earlier this year and are seeking additional cuts on top of those that have already been agreed to. But the Senate, which is narrowly controlled by the Democrats, as well as Biden have signaled that they will not sign on to such a bill.
In a fiery floor speech earlier this week, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) made the veiled threats of Republican holdouts explicit.
“Instead of cutting spending to raise the debt limit, you relied on budgetary gimmicks and rescissions so that you ultimately ended up serving as the valet to underwrite Biden’s debt and advance his spending agenda,” declared Gaetz before threatening to raise a motion vacate the chair (McCarthy).
McCarthy responded to the threat on Thursday morning, telling Gaetz and his allies to go ahead and “move the fucking motion,” according to CNN’s Melanie Zanona.
NEW: A fired up Speaker McCarthy, addressing his conference behind closed doors, made clear to his members he is not afraid of his critics forcing a vote to oust him as speaker, according to three sources in the room.
“Move the fucking motion,” he said, according to the sources.
— Melanie Zanona (@MZanona) September 14, 2023
Politico’s Olivia Beavers added more context to the quote, reporting that McCarthy told them “If you think you scare me because you want to file a motion to vacate, move the fucking motion,” and insisted that if he ended up being replaced, his successor would be making the same exact arguments he was.
Gaetz reportedly responded to McCarthy’s arguments by asking him to “Just move the fucking spending bills.”
McCarthy won the speaker’s gavel after 15 rounds of voting earlier this year, as Gaetz and other conservative holdouts sought to extract concessions from him ahead of time.
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