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Gaetz delaying effort to oust McCarthy as speaker until he explains 'secret side deal on Ukraine'

Gaetz said on Sunday he plans to introduce a motion to vacate this week

Published: October 2, 2023 1:10pm

Updated: October 2, 2023 4:47pm

Conservative Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) announced on the House floor Monday that he's holding off on introducing a motion to vacate until House Speaker McCarthy explains an alleged "secret side deal" he made with President Biden related to Ukraine war funding.

Gaetz said on Sunday he plans to introduce a motion to vacate this week.

On Monday, he said that McCarthy's explanation related to Ukraine might affect members' votes on the motion to vacate.

"I would ask that these questions be answered soon because there may be other votes coming today or later this week," he said. "Members of the Republican Party might vote differently on a motion to vacate if they heard what the Speaker had to share with us about his secret side deal with Joe Biden on Ukraine. I'll be listening. Stay tuned."

Gaetz said that McCarthy had planned to give Biden the funding he is seeking for Ukraine despite opposition from many Republicans to continue funding the war effort under FY2024 appropriations legislation. The war in Ukraine has so far costed the U.S. more than $100 billion.

"What was the secret side deal on Ukraine? House Democrats and President Biden have said that Speaker McCarthy was asking Republicans to vote for a continuing resolution, so as to avoid having to take the Senate's plus up in Ukraine money, that the Speaker of the House was actually cutting a side deal to bring Ukraine legislation to this floor with President Biden and House Democrats," he said.

"So let me get this straight: To extend Joe Biden's spending and Joe Biden's policy priorities, the Speaker of the House gave away to Joe Biden, the money for Ukraine, the Joe Biden wanted. It is going to be difficult for my Republican friends to keep calling President Biden feeble. While he continues to take speaker McCarthy's lunch money in every negotiation," he added.

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