GOP Congressman May Be Expelled
House Republican members are reportedly preparing to file a motion to expel Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) from Congress pending a forthcoming report from the House Ethics Committee about his alleged behavior. The news comes as Gaetz prepares to file a motion to oust Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) this week, in what some top Republicans view as a personal vendetta against McCarthy.
According to sources, CNN reported over the summer that the Ethics Committee investigation, which was launched during the last Congress when Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was Speaker, is currently focused on allegations of sexual misconduct, illicit drug use, and other misconduct.
The allegations include claims that Gaetz might have engaged in sexual misconduct, shared inappropriate images or videos on the House floor, misused state identification records, converted campaign funds for personal use, and accepted a bribe or impermissible gift. Gaetz has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
Some House Republican members have indicated that they will seek to expel Gaetz from Congress if the Ethics Committee report finds him guilty. One member told Fox News that “no one can stand him at this point” and that he is viewed as a “smart guy without morals.”
However, not all Republicans are on board with the idea of expelling Gaetz. Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL) defended Gaetz, saying it is “unethical” to threaten his expulsion for using house rules that the entire conference agreed to.
Conservatives got the whole of the House GOP to agree to cut the government by 8% as their opening negotiation with the Senate, but Matt Gaetz decided his grudge against Speaker McCarthy was more important. So he helped scuttle cuts, and now the government is going to grow.
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) September 30, 2023
Gaetz has recently come under fire for sabotaging a short-term government funding bill that included spending reductions, money for border security, and a commission on the growing federal debt. According to the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board, Republicans did not get any of these provisions because Gaetz and a few other Republican lawmakers rejected the bill, forcing a last-minute deal with Democrats to keep the government open.
Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (R-MO) criticized Gaetz, saying that the only way he can be successful is if he has the support of Democrats. Smith also accused Gaetz of working with Pelosi and House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries in order to remove McCarthy as Speaker. If successful, this move would put Democrats in power and potentially stall any ongoing investigations into Gaetz’s conduct.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich questioned Gaetz’s motives, tweeting “Is Gaetz secretly an agent for the Democratic Party?” Conservative media personality Mark Levin also criticized Gaetz and other Republicans for sabotaging the conservative spending bill, stating “THEY did this. And predictably, they desperately blame everyone else.”
It remains to be seen what impact these latest developments will have on Gaetz’s political career. However, it is clear that there is growing division within the Republican party over whether to continue supporting the embattled congressman. With the Ethics Committee report still pending, the situation is likely to intensify in the coming weeks.