Matt Gaetz Questions When McCarthy Will Be Considered a 'Squatter' in Speaker's Office After Losing 3 Votes
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) wants to know how long House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) will be able to stay in the House Speaker’s office.
In a letter to the Architect of the Capitol on Tuesday night, the Florida congressman noted, “The Speaker of the House Office located in the U.S. Capitol is currently being occupied by Kevin McCarthy.”
“As of this morning, the 117th Congress adjourned sine die, and a Speaker from the 118 Congress has not been elected. After three undeciding votes, no member can lay claim to this office,” he continued.
Gaetz asked, “What is the basis in law, House rule, or precedent to allow someone who has placed second in three successive speaker elections to occupy the Speaker of the House Office? How long will he remain there before he is considered a squatter?”
He suggested the votes yesterday mean McCarthy “can no longer be considered Speaker-Designate.”
Check out the letter below:
Gaetz sent a letter to the Architect of the Capitol questioning why McCarthy is allowed to occupy the Speaker’s office. pic.twitter.com/gOlXOtlHQj
— Juliegrace Brufke (@juliegraceb) January 4, 2023
The letter comes after the House failed to elect a speaker on Tuesday.
It was the first time since 1923 the chamber had to vote more than once to choose the speaker.
And before the votes started on Tuesday, it seemed McCarthy was poised to lose between five and 12 votes — he could only afford to lose four.
However, he lost the speaker vote three times. In the first two rounds of voting, 19 Republicans voted for other candidates. And in the third round, the number of defectors increased to 20. The House then recessed for the day.
In all three rounds, he failed to win the most votes. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), the incoming House minority leader, received the most votes as every Democrat voted for him each time — though he was also short of the required 218 votes to become speaker.
Earlier this week, Haley Talbot, a Capitol Hill producer for NBC News, shared a video of crates being wheeled into the speaker’s office suite.
“GOP Leader McCarthy has moved into the speaker’s suite but if he fails to secure 218 he will have to move all his stuff back out,” she wrote.
GOP Leader McCarthy has moved into the speakers suite but if he fails to secure 218 he will have to move all his stuff back out @AllieRaffa pic.twitter.com/Lb2swMgQ2p
— Haley Talbot (@haleytalbotnbc) January 2, 2023
While McCarthy’s future was still uncertain as of Wednesday morning, former President Donald Trump urged Republicans to vote for him for speaker.
“DO NOT TURN A GREAT TRIUMPH INTO A GIANT [and] EMBARRASSING DEFEAT. IT’S TIME TO CELEBRATE, YOU DESERVE IT. Kevin McCarthy will do a good job, and maybe even a GREAT JOB,” he wrote on Truth Social.
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