Gaetz sees ‘no serious threat’ to McCarthy in bipartisan debt ceiling deal

·2 min read

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) said he sees “no serious threat” to Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif) Speakership amid the ongoing bipartisan debt ceiling deal.

As House Republicans and the White House scramble to come up with a debt ceiling deal, Gaetz predicted on a Twitter Spaces livestream that a bipartisan deal would pass with “about 80-100 Democrat votes and between 140-160 Republican votes.”

“I think there is no serious threat to McCarthy’s speakership,” the Florida representative added.

Gaetz was one of the most vocal opponents to McCarthy’s election of Speaker earlier this year, as 1 of the 20 hard-line conservatives who withheld support from the California Republican throughout the Speaker election. During the election, McCarthy agreed to lower the threshold needed to hold a vote on removing the Speaker.

Conservatives in Congress have made it clear that they will oppose any debt ceiling deal that includes major concessions by Republicans to President Biden. McCarthy needs to walk a fine line in negotiating a deal, as any member of his conference can call a motion to vacate the chair, which is a move Gaetz acknowledged in comments to Semafor earlier this week.

“I believe the one-person motion to vacate has given us the best version of Speaker McCarthy, and I think he’s doing a good job,” he said.

Gaetz also rejected suggestions earlier this week that said people may hold a vote to remove McCarthy as the speaker, tweeting, “Literally nobody except the press is talking about removing McCarthy right now.”

The White House and House Republicans have been locked in a standoff over debt ceiling negotiations as the deadline to raise the debt ceiling looms over the country. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said earlier this week that Congress has until June 1 to raise the debt ceiling before the country defaults on its bills.

The two parties have moved closer to a deal in the last 48 hours but still have not reached a consensus ahead of the Memorial Day weekend. McCarthy told reporters Friday that he hopes “to make progress again today.”

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