Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) voted for former President Donald Trump as Speaker of the House on Thursday.
The vote arose during the seventh round of voting in the heated speakership debate that was into its third day.
Gaetz is one of the nearly two dozen Republicans who refuse to support Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as Speaker of the House, which has led to multiple votes this week—an occurrence that the nation hasn't seen for 100 years. In a letter addressed to the Architect of the Capitol, Gaetz inquired as to why McCarthy occupied the office of the speaker even though he did not hold the position.
Rep. Gaetz tweeted: “The Speaker of the House Office in the Capitol is currently being occupied by Kevin McCarthy. Kevin McCarthy is not the Speaker of the House. He lost 3 consecutive votes today. I’m demanding answers from the Architect of the Capitol.”
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) is one of those Republicans who have criticized her colleagues for refusing to stand with McCarthy, even throwing her “friend” Gaetz under the bus.
“Let me remind every everyone this Matt Gaetz who has compared Kevin McCarthy to Paul Ryan—my friend Matt Gaetz—he supported Paul Ryan almost more than anyone,” she stated. “It's still on his social media.
“As a matter of fact, his first vote in Congress was for Paul Ryan as Speaker and then he cheered him on for nearly a year and a half or more, when people like me were at home furious at Paul Ryan's speakership because it wasn't passing the MAGA agenda that we all supported,” she continued.
According to the POLITICO Playbook, McCarthy may be working in private with his GOP opponents, discussing specific concessions that include House Rules Committee seats for Freedom Caucus members, a lower threshold for a “motion to vacate,” modifications to the appropriations process, and an opportunity to vote on the issue of term limits.
“I felt as though we had a very good discussion,” McCarthy stated. “I think what you should gauge is, being able to do that [adjournment] vote, is that the discussions are going well and they’re continuing.
“That doesn't mean they're done or anything like that,” the rep said.
Gaetz's vote for the former president comes following Trump’s official announcement of his support for McCarthy after initially refusing to choose a side.
“Some really good conversations took place last night,” Trump said in a statement, urging Republicans to “VOTE FOR KEVIN, CLOSE THE DEAL, TAKE THE VICTORY, & WATCH CRAZY NANCY PELOSI FLY BACK HOME TO A VERY BROKEN CALIFORNIA,THE ONLY SPEAKER IN U.S. HISTORY TO HAVE LOST THE ‘HOUSE’ TWICE!”
“REPUBLICANS, DO NOT TURN A GREAT TRIUMPH INTO A GIANT & EMBARRASSING DEFEAT. IT’S TIME TO CELEBRATE, YOU DESERVE IT,” he added. “Kevin McCarthy will do a good job, and maybe even a GREAT JOB – JUST WATCH!”
Gaetz described Trump's support for McCarthy as “sad,” but he is reportedly raising money from his opposition to McCarthy.
In the meantime, Trump offered a note of optimism on Wednesday. He said that the Republican Party will be “STRONGER and more UNITED than ever before” when the negotiations are concluded.