Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), one of the main opponents to House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) becoming Speaker, said Thursday that he “will resign” from Congress if Democrats help to elect a moderate Republican Speaker instead.
Fox News’s Laura Ingraham asked Gaetz in an interview if he would be alright with an outcome in which there’s “ultimately a deal” struck with moderate Democrats on a consensus candidate in exchange for some kind of co-control of House committees.
Gaetz said he is “certain” that the House Democrats will not break ranks and vote for a moderate Republican for Speaker.
“I’m on the floor, Laura. These 212 Democrats are going to vote for Hakeem Jeffries every single time. He is a historic candidate for them. They are not going to cleave off under any circumstance. I assure you that if Democrats join up to elect a moderate Republican, I will resign from the House of Representatives,” Gaetz said.
“That is how certain I am I can assure your viewers that won’t happen,” he added.
Gaetz is one of the 20 holdouts who have blocked McCarthy’s path to the Speakership through three days and 11 ballots since the House began its session on Tuesday.
While McCarthy has received support from the vast majority of the Republican Conference, those 20 members have denied him the majority of the chamber and thus the Speaker’s gavel.
Ingraham noted several concessions McCarthy has made to try to win over support from the holdouts, including agreements to place more members of the House Freedom Caucus, the most hard-line conservative members of the body, onto the House Rules Committee and to allow floor votes on congressional term limits and border security legislation.
Gaetz, however, said he “would not bet” on him casting his vote for McCarthy under “almost any circumstance.”
House Republicans were set to have a conference-wide call at 10:15 a.m., after McCarthy’s main allies and detractors met late into the night on Thursday to discuss further possible concessions in the hopes that McCarthy can flip at least some of the group of 20 to support him.