Rep. Gaetz nominated, voted for former President Trump to be House Speaker

 January 7, 2023

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), a leader of the group of House Republicans staunchly opposed to the speakership bid of former House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), sparked both laughter and outrage with some of his nominations and votes during the days-long process to elect the next House Speaker.

Gaetz at one point nominated and voted for former President Donald Trump to be in charge of the House of Representatives, the U.K. Independent reported.

The former president responded to his being considered as a candidate for Speaker by posting a humorous picture to his Truth Social account in which he was photoshopped in next to Vice President Kamala Harris on the House dais behind President Joe Biden and sticking his tongue out while his successor delivered a speech to Congress.

Votes for Trump to be Speaker

According to Fox News, Rep. Gaetz on Thursday voted for former President Trump to be House Speaker during the seventh and eighth rounds of voting,

Fox News noted that many supporters of the former president were thrilled by Gaetz's votes for Trump, though, of course, critics and opponents of the former president were less than pleased by the prospect, slim as it may have been, of Trump being placed in charge of the House of Representatives.

Gaetz nomination speech was disrupted by Democratic heckler

Later in the evening, during the eleventh round of voting, Gaetz then delivered a speech to formally nominate Trump for the powerful position of House Speaker in hope that he would "make the House of Representatives great again."

Newsweek reported that the speech was disrupted at least once by heckling from one of Gaetz's virulently anti-Trump colleagues from across the aisle, Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN), who obviously objected to the nomination of the former president.

Amid the four-minute speech Gaetz delivered to make his case for why Trump should be the next speaker, Gaetz said that Trump was "the first president in my lifetime that didn't start any new wars," which is an issue that "unites some elements of the right and left for the benefit of our communities."

There was an immediate uproar and grumbling among other members, and Cohen could just barely be heard shouting above the noise that Trump had "started a war in the House and tried to overthrow our government."

McCarthy finally elected as Speaker

In the end, according to the Associated Press, McCarthy was finally elected as House Speaker on the fifteenth ballot in the early hours of Saturday after four days of multiple votes and negotiations with the holdouts on a number of major concessions.

Gaetz never did vote in support of McCarthy's speakership bid, but he did eventually relent from his fierce opposition and voted "present" on the final two rounds of ballots that had the effect of lowering the majority threshold necessary for McCarthy to be victorious.

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