Gaetz's Gambit puts Florida Republicans in Check

Gaetz's Gambit puts Florida Republicans in Check

Jackson Bakich
Jackson Bakich
September 13, 2023

After a very active day in the United States Congress which included a formal impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden (D) from House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), as well as a threat from Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) to remove the Speaker from his position, more of Florida’s elected officials are reacting to the whirlwind of events.

Generally, it seems all of Florida’s Republican U.S. lawmakers are in favor of the Speaker’s impeachment inquiry, such as Representative Kat Cammack (R-FL), who stated that “The American people deserve the truth.”

"Moving forward with an impeachment inquiry into President Biden is the next logical and necessary step to restoring accountability in Washington. Since Republicans took back the People's House in January, we've been hard at work investigating the extent of the president's shady business dealings with his son and foreign entities. The American people deserve the truth and it is the role of the House of Representatives to pursue it,” stated Rep. Cammack.

However, not a single Florida leader – including those in the Freedom Caucus who voted against McCarthy’s leadership in January – has openly expressed their support of Rep. Gaetz in his attempt to push the Speaker to do more.

When calling out the Speaker, Rep. Gaetz expressed his frustration with the deals that were cut, including the debt limit debacle.

“We’ve had no vote on term limits or on balanced budgets as the agreement demanded and required. There’s been no full release of the January 6 tapes. As you promised, there has been insufficient accountability for the Biden crime family and instead of cutting spending to raise the debt limit, you relied on budgetary gimmicks and recisions, so that you ultimately ended up serving as the valet to underwrite Biden’s debt and advance his spending agenda,” said Gaetz on the House floor.

Moreover, Gaetz blasted McCarthy for his failure to use the power of the purse to hold the Biden administration accountable.

“Mr. Speaker, we told you how to use the power of the purse: Individual, single-subject spending bills that would allow us to have specific review, programmatic analysis, and that would allow us to zero out the salaries of the bureaucrats who have broken bad, targeted President Trump, or cut sweetheart deals for Hunter Biden,” mentioned Gaetz.

The closest thing to any sort of endorsement of Gaetz’s actions from a Florida legislator has come from allusions to failed Republican leadership, but not specifically Speaker McCarthy.

For instance, Senator Rick Scott (R-FL), who at one point vied for the Senate Minority Leadership, “Thanked God for the Freedom Caucus” on his X account.

“Thank God for the Freedom Caucus and all they are doing to ensure Washington does its job and reins in Democrats’ reckless spending. Since 2019, the population is up 1.8%, but budgets have grown by 55%. It makes no sense, drives inflation & must be stopped,” stated Sen. Scott.

Additionally, Representative Anna Paulina Luna (R-Fl), a member of the Freedom Caucus that also voted against McCarthy in January, reposted a video of Representative Chip Roy (R-TX) asking, “When is it enough [for Republicans] to stand up?

“When is it enough? When is it enough [for Republicans] to stand up – and do what you campaigned to do – and use the power of the purse to stop this administration from trampling the American people?” said the Texas congressman.

Another member of the Freedom Caucus, Representative Byron Donalds (R-FL), who was at one point nominated by Congressman Roy for the Speakership, blamed “massive inflation” on President Biden and former Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

He also mentioned that “we need to curtail that (inflation).” He did not mention Speaker McCarthy in his comments, nor has he addressed Gaetz’s comments on the House floor.

It appears Rep. Gaetz’s queen’s gambit has put his fellow congressional colleagues in check.

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Jackson Bakich

Jackson Bakich

Born in Orlando but raised in Lake County, Florida, Jackson Bakich is currently a senior at Florida State University. Growing up in the sunshine state, Bakich co-hosted the political talk radio show "Lake County Roundtable" (WLBE) and was a frequent guest for "Lake County Sports Show" (WQBQ). Currently, he is the Sports Editor of the FSView and the co-host of "Tomahawk Talk" (WVFS), a sports talk radio program covering Florida State athletics in Tallahassee.

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