How Matt Gaetz and AOC cleared the air on their positions over Kevin McCarthy vote

AOC shoots down suggestions from her opponents that Democrats are making a deal with McCarthy

Namita Singh
Wednesday 04 January 2023 12:47 GMT
Kevin McCarthy loses third ballot for House speaker

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Matt Gaetz have cleared the air on where they stand with respect to the vote to elect Kevin McCarthy as speaker of the House of Representatives.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was captured on camera having separate exchanges with Paul Gosar and Mr Gaetz, both of whom are her opponents on the opposite end of the ideological spectrum, fueling speculation about what could be in store for the vote.

But Mr Gaetz and Ms Ocasio-Cortez have both cleared the air on what they were discussing and where they stand with respect to the vote after Mr McCarthy failed to secure votes to obtain the speaker’s gavel.

Mr Gaetz and Mr Gosar, both of whom do not want Mr McCarthy as House speaker, joined scores of GOP representatives who voted against the House Republican leader on three ballots.

Ms Ocasio-Cortez told reporters from many media outlets, including The Independent, that Mr Gosar had told her that Mr McCarthy had floated a proposal for Democrats to lower the threshold for a vote for speaker.

“And I said absolutely not,” she said.

Ms Ocasio-Cortez also told The Intercept that Mr Gaetz had told her about Mr McCarthy’s proposal.

“McCarthy was suggesting he could get Dems to walk away to lower his threshold,” she told the outlet. “And I fact-checked and said absolutely not.”

Mr Gaetz, a strong critic of Mr McCarthy, meanwhile, labeled him a “squatter” in the House speaker’s office, while Mr McCarthy, at a press conference claimed the Mr Gaetz also said he did not care if Democrat Hakeem Jeffries was elected as speaker.

Meanwhile, Marjorie Taylor Greene, who does not share a warm relationship with Mr Gaetz, has backed Mr McCarthy’s bid.

She took to Twitter to express her concerns about the exchange between Ms Ocasio-Cortez and her two ideological opponents.

Republican hardliners have persistently criticised Mr McCarthy’s bid to become House speaker ever since the GOP won the House majority in the November midterms.

House conservatives pushed to include a motion to vacate the chair, which would allow House Republicans to stage a no-confidence vote.

And now GOP lawmakers will try once again to elect a speaker despite uncertainty over how Mr McCarthy could rebound after becoming the first House speaker nominee in 100 years to fail to win the gavel with his party in the majority.

The lack of a vote for the speaker means Republicans will be unable to have subpoena power in their investigations of the Biden administration and the president’s son Hunter Biden.

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