Rep. Matt Gaetz is already questioning interim House Speaker Patrick McHenry for suspending the House of Representatives and sending lawmakers home to “cry for a week.”
Gaetz, whose procedural motion toppled former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, was among the first to bad-mouth McHenry, who stepped in as interim chairman pro tempore while Republicans struggled to choose a replacement.
Finding someone who can muster 218 votes is a challenge, and McHenry will fill the role at least until next Wednesday, when the House of Representatives will meet to elect a new speaker.
Gaetz said Tuesday that the House would prefer to find someone to replace McCarthy “tomorrow” after he had already identified successors he could support.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) criticized a decision by Rep. Patrick McHenry (RN.C.), the new interim chairman pro tem, to send lawmakers home. He wanted to go to the elections earlier
“But instead these people had to go home and cry for a week? Do they have to wring their hands and wet the bed for a week because Kevin McCarthy is no longer a speaker? This institution is about more than one man,” he said in a speech to Conservatives Newsmax network and even push to expel him from the conference.
“I have to make some pretty sharp criticism of the new pro tem of the House of Representatives, Patrick McHenry,” he told interviewer Eric Bolling on his program “The Balance.”
He complained, “We met tonight and he sent us home until Tuesday next week.”
Republicans will rejoin on Tuesday and vote for their chairman in the House of Representatives on Wednesday.
Gaetz has been busy defending his own reputation and the decision to oust McCarthy. The move caused numerous Republicans in the House of Representatives to criticize him before the vote and some to hold him accountable.
‘I find it despicable. I think Matt Gaetz is looking for clicks,” Rep. Carlos Gimenez (R-Fla.) complained. He said Gaetz “wants attention” and “has very few friends at the conference.”
“Gaetz may have some friends in the delegation. But I’m not one of them,” he added.
Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, asked Tuesday night if he had any advice for the next speaker, responded: ‘Change the rules’
Speaker of the House of Representatives Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry decided to adjourn the House for a week as one of his first steps
Republican colleagues accused Gaetz (center) of “heresy” and compared his actions to terrorism
“I think Matt Gaetz is looking for clicks,” Rep. Carlos Gimenez (R-Fla.) complained.
After McCarthy went down, Gimenez smoked about his disappointment, ‘because it means that a group of terrorists has won.’
Rep. Anthony Esposito of New York also criticized Gaetz before the vote, casting Gaetz’s actions in religious terms.
“I think we saw one of the biggest acts of heresy I’ve seen in a while from Matt Gaetz yesterday. He has literally sent one of our oldest institutions into a tailspin, over selfish needs, over Twitter feeds and raising money.”
The anger is so great that some Republicans want to change House rules so that the speaker is no longer subject to a removal motion by a single member.
It was one of the demands of a group of House conservatives when McCarthy was elected on the fifteenth ballot.
McCarthy himself, asked Tuesday night if he had any advice for the next speaker, replied: “Change the rules.”
Gaetz denied Tuesday that he went after McCarthy for failing to sideline an ethics investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct, use of illegal drugs and misuse of funds.
He told Fox News host Laura Ingraham that the revenge story was “completely false.”
“I’m the most scrutinized man in the entire United States Congress. I’ve been cleared by the FBI, DoJ, the Federal Election Commission,” he said, calling it a “urban legend.’
Without a speaker, the House of Representatives can’t do regular business, like passing appropriations bills to keep the government running, with funding set to expire in November.