Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) was questioned this week about whether his actions the past week, which essentially stopped Congress right before war broke out in the Middle East, were “irresponsible.”
In an interview on NBC News’ “Meet The Press” with Kristen Welker Gaetz made these comments in response to a question on his effort to remove the Speaker of the House, which led to the first-ever removal of a Speaker in American history.
Welker cited comments made on the terror assaults in Israel by Representative Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), the speaker until this past week.
“At this very important time, the House of Representatives does not have a leader. Why would you deliberately get rid of a speaker in the middle of their term and make everyone question it?” McCarthy spoke up.
“Did the things that you did this week to get rid of the speaker put U.S. safety and national security at risk?” Welker asked.
Gaetz remarked, “Unfortunately, I don’t believe other nations give Kevin McCarthy’s speakership nearly as much thought as Kevin McCarthy does. Next week there will be a new speaker, and we’ll be ready to do our work.”
Gaetz claimed McCarthy was fired because he broke promises to several lawmakers, but over 200 Republicans chose to keep him as their Speaker. McCarthy has said that he thinks Gaetz’s actions had been personal and were caused by a probe into him by the House Ethics Committee.
Gaetz agreed that what was happening in Israel was terrible and that Israel had every right to protect itself.
“You say you support Israel and are prepared to defend Israel, Congressman,” Welker remarked. “But you can’t help Israel at all because you’ve paralyzed Congress. Don’t you agree?”
Gaetz answered with some back-and-forth: “We currently have a ten-year memorandum of agreement that provides Israel nearly $4 billion, but Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that there’s not a need in Israel that we couldn’t meet with the money we’ve already given Israel. We give Israel billions of dollars every year because we want Israel to have a better defense than everyone else in the area. That gives them an edge. Israel now has better air power, and we can see their armed trucks in the north. Israel hasn’t asked for anything that we cannot meet, because it will take us a few days to choose a new Speaker.”