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Rep. Matt Gaetz to file motion for removal of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., said Sunday he will file a motion this week to remove Rep. Kevin McCarthy as House speaker following the passage of a stopgap government funding bill over the weekend. File Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI
1 of 3 | Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., said Sunday he will file a motion this week to remove Rep. Kevin McCarthy as House speaker following the passage of a stopgap government funding bill over the weekend. File Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 1 (UPI) -- Rep. Matt Gaetz said Sunday he will file a motion this week to remove Rep. Kevin McCarthy as House speaker in the wake of this weekend's passage of a stopgap government funding bill.

Gaetz, the leader of a group of hard-right Republican lawmakers who opposed efforts to keep the government open, told CNN he thinks the GOP needs to "rip off the band-aid" and select "new leadership that can be trustworthy."

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""Look, the one thing everybody has in common is that nobody trusts Kevin McCarthy," he said. "He lied to Biden, he lied to House conservatives. He had appropriators marching to a different number altogether. And the reason we were backed up against the shutdown politics is not a bug of the system. It's a feature."

The comments by Gaetz come after McCarthy tapped help from Democrats to pass a federal spending resolution and avert a government shutdown on Saturday. The stopgap bill was subsequently passed the Senate and signed by President Joe Biden with minutes to spare before an 11:59 p.m. deadline.

McCarthy invited the challenge from Gaetz in an appearance on CBS's Face the Nation.

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"I'll survive. So be it, bring it on, let's get over with it and let's start governing." McCarthy said. "If he's upset because he tried to push us in a shutdown and I made sure government didn't shut down, then let's have the fight."

McCarthy has received support from GOP lawmakers as well -- only 90 of the 221 House Republicans voted against the continuing resolution. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told CBS he believes McCarthy is "the right guy at the right time."

Democrats are meanwhile mulling the opportunity to see McCarthy removed as speaker.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., said she does not intend on voting to keep McCarthy as House speaker, and in fact would vote to remove him, according to POLITICO.

"I believe that it's up to the Republican Conference to determine their own leadership and deal with their own problems," Ocasio-Cortez said. "It's not up to Democrats to save Republicans. From themselves, especially."

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