Things got heated between Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Maria Bartiromo during his appearance on Fox's Sunday Morning Futures discussing the ongoing budget battle. Rep. Gaetz explained his hardline stance as him "being here to hold [Speaker] Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to his word" in regards to single-subject spending bills.
Rep. Gaetz launched an attack almost as soon as Bartiromo introduced him, calling her discussion with Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH) just before "painful" because Rep. Jordan spoke of fighting against Ukraine funding, the ongoing investigation into former President Donald Trump by Special Counsel Jack Smith, and the border, yet supported the continuing resolution.
"So I think we need to fight on all fronts," said Gaetz, adding that the Departments of Labor and Education temporarily shutting down is not "optimal, but I think it is better than continuing on the current path we are [on] to America's financial ruin."
Bartiromo then asked why he was "threatening" Speaker McCarthy "trying to shut down the government" when House Republicans have uncovered evidence of the alleged Biden influence-peddling scheme, only for Gaetz to answer that "we do not put our pencils down in the investigation of President Biden during a shutdown."
Furthermore, he said, "If Kevin McCarthy was actually serious about pursuing the Bidens, he would have sent Hunter Biden a subpoena by now. That is how you know this is sort of failure theater that you are observing. During the first year of Democratic control of Congress, they brought in Donald Trump Jr. three times over a nothing burger. And so we seem to be fundamentally unserious in our oversight."
Additionally, Gaetz clarified that he was not in favor of shutting down the government. Instead, he is demanding single-subject spending bills, which McCarthy spoke of in January, "he is in breach of that promise. So I am not here to hold the government hostage. I am here to hold Kevin McCarthy to his word."
Moreover, he added that "the lobbyists and special interests who own Kevin McCarthy want to put us in this position where we are backed up against the wall facing shutdown politics. And what that does is it centralizes power to the people that they buy off with PAC donations and lobbyist donations, and then the membership does not get to make real contributions to that process. I am trying to democratize it."
Bartiromo pointed out that four of the twelve appropriations bills, including one for defense spending, will be voted upon this week. Gaetz said he favored those bills, but he and the other hardliners had to get McCarthy to put them on the floor.
"They are coming in with a political gun to their head. And you are welcome, America. We are going to keep making them do it."