UPDATE: Joan McCarter
All of the reporting this morning from the Democrats’ meeting is of a unified conference that isn’t going to sit this out, and is not going to support McCarthy. The reasons: “McCarthy’s actions on Jan 6, his trip to Mar a Lago, his attempt to discredit the Jan 6 Cmte, his reneging on debt limit deal and his actions this weekend are all the reasons.”
UPDATE: Joan McCarter
Rep. Abigail Spanberger, Virginia, is one of the vulnerable Frontline Democrats, and often speaks for them. She’s definitely not going to help McCarthy.
“He’s a man who cannot be trusted. He’s a man who has excused the inexcusable time and time and time again. He is in this circumstance because he was willing to give up and negotiate anything to become speaker. So I think anyone who thinks it might be some sort of strategy for Frontliners to try and help McCarthy is kind of fundamentally misunderstanding the fact that to us, nothing is more important than our principles.’
Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz finally made good on his threats Monday afternoon, quietly filing his motion to oust House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. The rules of Congress say that the issue has to be dealt with within two days, though there are a few ways that can go.
McCarthy was typically, inexplicably confident Tuesday morning going into a closed-door meeting of his whole conference, telling reporters he was ready to have the motion come up Tuesday and following through in the meeting by informing members the vote will happen in the first vote series early Tuesday afternoon.
This is the first time since 1910 that the motion will be considered on the floor. It’s been threatened a few times since but never deployed, in part because it’s hard to pull off. It’s a simple majority vote, and the numbers are everything today—how many of Gaetz’s hard-liner supporters will vote with him, how many members are on the floor at the time, and where the Democrats land.
House Democrats also met Tuesday morning to decide whether they give McCarty any help on this one. McCarthy reached out to Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries Monday night but would not negotiate for his support. "They haven't asked for anything. I'm not going to provide anything," he said early Tuesday. McCarthy insists that the issue is not about him but about the institution, and that that should be enough for Democrats to help him out. “I think this is a question to the institution itself. I know in the past, the other leaders together believed that this should never be in play.”
In an MSNBC appearance Tuesday morning, Jeffries had no comment beyond saying, "We are in the midst of a Republican civil war and it is undermining the ability of the congress to solve problems on behalf of hardworking taxpayers.” Jeffries might ask for his members to vote—or abstain from voting—as a bloc, or tell them to vote their conscience. If it’s the latter, McCarthy should worry because Democrats have an extensive list of reasons why the man can’t be trusted, from his vote to overturn the 2020 election, to his reneging on the debt ceiling deal he made with President Joe Biden, to his capitulation to hard-liners on Biden’s impeachment. The capper happened Sunday, after Democrats saved his bacon by giving him the votes to avert a government shutdown. McCarthy went on “Face the Nation” and told host Margaret Brennan that Democrats “tried to do everything” to force a shutdown of the federal government.
So how will this go Tuesday afternoon? There are a few possibilities. They could put Gaetz’s motion immediately to a vote. From there, it’s up or down on McCarthy by a simple majority of those present and voting. Either he wins, or he loses. Or there could first be a motion to table Gaetz’s resolution, or to refer it to a committee that will bury it. If the motion to table passes, McCarthy survives. If it fails, they then vote on Gaetz’s motion, and we’re back to the simple majority to save him or boot him. He can afford to lose only four votes if every House member is present and voting.
As of Tuesday morning, Gaetz had three likely supporters: Reps. Bob Good of Virginia, Tim Burchett of Tennessee, and Eli Crane of Arizona. There were a handful known to be leaning toward booting McCarthy: Reps. Matt Rosendale of Montana, Dan Bishop of North Carolina, and Andy Biggs of Arizona.
You can follow along with all the action this afternoon in live coverage at Daily Kos.
Matt Gaetz files motion to oust McCarthy. Will Democrats join the effort or save his hide?
Chaos reigns in House as hard-liners plot McCarthy ouster
The Gaetz-McCarthy feud gets even nastier as shutdown looms