Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz has requested that House Speaker Kevin McCarthy make public the terms of a backroom deal on Ukraine reached with Democrats and President Biden to avert a shutdown.
Gaetz made this request before a possible vote by Republican colleagues on whether to remove McCarthy later this week. Despite allegations that McCarthy had reached an agreement on a resolution outside of the Republican conference, Gaetz did not introduce the motion to vacate that he had vowed to do.
The Continuing Resolution agreement would keep the government open for 40 days.
According to Gaetz, most Americans no longer back Ukraine, and the Hastert Rule states that you cannot use Democrats to roll a majority of the majority on an issue of such importance as Ukraine. Gaetz thinks Speaker McCarthy has laid a golden brick road for cooperation with the Democrats, beginning with the debt limit compromise and continuing with the Congressional Review and the recent secret accord on Ukraine. He stated that it is becoming increasingly obvious who the House speaker works for, and it is not the Republican conference.
Gaetz argued in front of the House that money for the border and Ukraine shouldn’t be lumped together. He proposed splitting them up into their legislation, as the House Freedom Caucus and McCarthy had agreed to do back in January when McCarthy was running for speaker.
In keeping with the deal established between the House Freedom Caucus and McCarthy during his speakership battle in January, Gaetz argued that funds for Ukraine and the border should not be merged into a giant spending package and urged that they be considered separate legislation instead. He urged the Senate to take up the border security funding package and the House Freedom Caucus to adopt the Republican unity-promoting single-issue appropriations bill.
Gaetz claimed he had discussed the possible motion to vacate with former President Donald Trump but gave no other information.
The Republican Florida representative has been under investigation by the House Ethics Committee since 2021 for various allegations, including campaign finance crimes, bribery allegations, and drug use. Gaetz has denied reports that he was involved in a sex trafficking investigation involving a minor.