Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., said leading the push to oust former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., was worth it, even if he loses his job.
Asked by NBC’s “Meet the Press” host Kristen Welker how concerned he is about discussions to kick him out of Congress, Gaetz responded that “The voters of Florida’s first congressional district sent me here with about 70% of the vote.”
“Anyone trying to kick me out of Congress because they didn’t like me would have a bone to pick with them,” Gaetz said.
“If you lose your job will it be worth it?” Welker asked again, before Gaetz responded “Absolutely.”
Gaetz has called for Congress to pass longer-term spending bills to avoid government shutdowns, not temporary deals known as continuing resolutions. The Florida lawmaker has also rejected what are known as “omnibus” packages, a massive undertaking combining a dozen spending bills into one piece of legislation.
Gaetz led a Republican rebellion in the House last week to remove McCarthy from his role as leader of the lower chamber. A group of hardline conservative lawmakers were angry at McCarthy for striking deals with Democrats to pass a continuing resolution last month.
The U.S. Constitution does allow the House and Senate to “punish its members for disorderly behavior” and “expel a member” with a two-thirds vote in the chamber. The act of removing a member of Congress is a rare one in American history, and most the lawmakers who have been removed were booted for supporting confederate forces amidst the Civil War.
GOP lawmakers could remove Gaetz from Republicans’ conference in the House. It’s another rare move in Washington, but it’s an idea backed by some GOP officials.
Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., told reporters last week that “I’d love to have (Gaetz) out of the conference.”
“He shouldn’t be in the Republican Party,” Bacon added, the Washington Post reported.
Rep. Michael Lawler, R-N.Y., also told reporters last week that Gaetz should be removed from the Republican organization in the House.
But other Republicans have cautioned against the move. Rep. Kelly Armstrong, R-N.D., said “We don’t kick people out ‘cause we don’t like ‘em,” The Hill reported.
“God, we’d be doing that every morning in conference,” he added, referencing the regular meetings of Republican lawmakers.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Willl Matt Gaetz be kicked out of Congress for ousting Kevin McCarthy?