During the seventh round of voting for Speaker of the House, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) threw an unlikely name into the running — former President Donald Trump.
In a historic moment, Gaetz voted for Trump in the contentious speakership battle.
My vote for Speaker of the House today?
Donald John Trump. pic.twitter.com/ajFdcHVPM5
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) January 5, 2023
The battle for the speaker’s gavel is on its third day, and the drawn-out process has caused turmoil within the Republican Party.
You've got MTG and Trump endorsing McCarthy who along with McConnell waged war on Trump backed candidates during the midterm elections. Then you got Jim Jordan and Andy Biggs nominated by the other conservatives. And Democrat Hakeem Jeffries getting more votes than McCarthy. 🤷♂️
— Lowkey Rey 2.0 🇺🇸 (@AtlRey) January 3, 2023
While it appears that a significant majority of Republican voters want a change in leadership away from the establishment GOP that has disappointed them over the years, most House Republicans are continuing to unite behind establishment Republican leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).
Meanwhile, at least 20 House Republicans have stood firm throughout the process against McCarthy. Gaetz, along with the other holdouts, voted for different candidates in opposition to McCarthy, initially forcing a second vote earlier this week — which is something that has not happened in the U.S. in 100 years.
As part of his continued fight against McCarthy’s speakership, Gaetz also sent a letter to the Architect of the Capitol on Tuesday questioning why the California congressman was allowed to occupy the Speaker’s office despite not holding the position — even suggesting that he could be declared a “squatter.”
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. pic.twitter.com/AIZ8bFks6W
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) January 4, 2023
Now, Gaetz is taking his opposition to McCarthy a step further. Rather than voting for GOP lawmakers for the House Speaker position as he has in previous votes — such as candidates that have been in the running, including Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL) — he stepped up on the House floor and declared his vote for Trump.
While Trump is not a member of Congress, it has been decided that the House Speaker does not technically have to be a member of the House.
Meanwhile, Trump has actually thrown his support behind McCarthy — much to the disappointment of his base.
Trump on Truth Social pic.twitter.com/JC094Vpiel
— Kimberly Klacik (@kimKBaltimore) January 4, 2023
According to comments made on the House floor by Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), another congresswoman who has refused to vote for McCarthy, Trump personally called the GOP holdouts to convince them to vote for the California congressman for House speaker.
Instead of acquiescing to who she describes as her “favorite president,” Boebert argued that Trump should speak with McCarthy and tell him that he should “withdraw” because he does not have the votes.
WATCH!! Congresswoman Lauren Boebert says that Trump called them and told them to "knock this off" and vote for McCarthy.
She then says that Trump should tell McCarthy to withdraw… pic.twitter.com/vK4Bli7I6e
— Matt Couch (@RealMattCouch) January 4, 2023
Gaetz has also denounced Trump for his decision to stand behind McCarthy, calling it “the worst Human Resources decision President Trump has ever made.”
Supporting McCarthy is the worst Human Resources decision President Trump has ever made.
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) January 4, 2023