OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
Several Republicans are suggesting former President Donald Trump could become the next Speaker of the House after GOP Rep. Kevin McCarthy was ousted.
On Tuesday, McCarthy became the first Speaker of the House to be ousted in the history of the United States Congress. In a 216-210 vote, McCarthy was voted out thanks to an effort led by Florida GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz and supported by several other Republicans and Democrats.
Soon after, McCarthy announced that he would not run again for the speakership. That led to Texas GOP Rep. Troy Nehls taking to X, formerly known as Twitter, to nominate Trump as Speaker of the House.
“Kevin McCarthy will NOT be running again as Speaker. I nominate Donald J. Trump for Speaker of the House,” Nehls wrote on the social media platform.
Republican Reps. Greg Steube of Florida and Mike Collins of Georgia also tweeted their support for Trump to become Speaker.
Kevin McCarthy will NOT be running again as Speaker.
I nominate Donald J. Trump for Speaker of the House.
— Congressman Troy E. Nehls (@RepTroyNehls) October 3, 2023
.@realDonaldTrump for Speaker 🇺🇸
— Greg Steube (@gregsteube) October 3, 2023
The House Speaker does not have to be a sitting member of the House. In multiple rounds of the January vote, Gaetz advocated for and voted in favor of the 45th president being elected Speaker.
This week, Trump has been in New York City for a civil trial pertaining to his business dealings. In the Republican primary for president, he is currently in first place.
Many Republicans in the House have said they are unsure of who will emerge as a candidate to replace McCarthy, so the chamber will be out of session until next week.
The House will be in recess until next week. The Republican conference announced it will meet next Tuesday for a candidate forum and then there will be a race for the speakership soon afterward.
During an interview on Fox’s “The Ingraham Angle” on Tuesday, Gaetz said his successful quest to oust McCarthy from the speakership wasn’t personal. Gaetz told host Laura Ingraham that he had “no personal animus” against the former speaker.
After publicly sparring with McCarthy in January during the California congressman’s long road to the gavel, Gaetz criticized McCarthy on Tuesday for working with Democrats to avoid a government shutdown, among other things.
“This is a guy who was willing to partner with conservatives on the frivolous, but whenever there was a spending matter, he partnered with Democrats. That said, Speaker McCarthy’s time is over. I wish him well. I have no personal animus to him. I hope he finds fruitful pastures, and I’m certain he will,” Gaetz said.
“But we’ve got a job to do here. This is about…keeping the commitment to have single-subject spending bills,” Gaetz continued.
Ingraham responded to Gaetz with skepticism: “I’ve been doing this—with all due respect—for decades longer than you, okay? You’re a young guy. Continuing resolutions, the budget, the spending: it’s a total nightmare. But the fact of the matter is y’all don’t have the votes. You don’t have the margin to get from A to B to C.”
Ingraham persisted in asking Gaetz how he plans to get his legislative priorities passed while Democrats control the Senate, despite Gaetz’s denial.
“You still have that to contend with. So how do you get to your nirvana points which are the conservative holy grail points of governance the way we are going?” Ingraham asked.
”The Senate does not control how the House approaches its business,” Gaetz began before Ingraham cut him off so that Fox viewers could hear what McCarthy had to say.
After twenty minutes, Ingraham asked Gaetz about McCarthy’s claim that the Florida congressman has a “personal” grudge against him because he has let a House Ethics Committee investigation into Gaetz’s alleged sexual misconduct and misuse of funds continue.
“Well that’s totally false,” Gaetz answered.
When Ingraham said later that she’s “not saying there’s anything wrong with being mad” about McCarthy declining to intervene in the investigation, Gaetz gave an unambiguous response.
“I’m not,” he said.