Several House Republicans expressed their support for removing Speaker Kevin McCarthy, as Matt Gaetz, a member of the party's conservative wing, filed a motion to vacate the office after a short-term budget deal was agreed.
McCarthy has endured a tricky relationship with the right wing of his party since his ascension to the speaker's chair in January, and a challenge from Gaetz, a Florida representative, was hinted at after a draft motion to vacate was discovered in a Congressional bathroom. "Bring it on," the California Republican wrote defiantly on Monday night.
The two have had an escalating disagreement in recent months, with Gaetz accusing McCarthy of not sufficiently pursuing the interests of himself and other further-right House Republicans. While Gaetz and other MAGA-aligned representatives have taken issue with McCarthy's negotiated settlements with Democrats over the budget, the House speaker has described the dispute as "personal."
Moderate Republicans have said the ploy could "paralyze" the lower house, as all votes will be paused until a new speaker is elected.