Nancy Mace challenges Gaetz to remove McCarthy

 September 18, 2023

House Republican Nancy Mace (R-Sc.) said she might support the removal of Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Ca.) in an interview Sunday, as tensions boil within the party over government spending. 

But Mace told ABC's This Week that hardline conservatives like Matt Gaetz (R-Fl.) shouldn't make idle threats to vacate the Speaker's chair, urging Gaetz to "put his money where his mouth is."

"Either he’s going to file it or he’s not. If he’s going to do it, put his money where his mouth is. I do hear that some votes might be up for grabs because people were made promises that have not been kept."

McCarthy removal threats

For months, McCarthy has faced pressure from conservative hardliners who say he hasn't done enough to challenge Joe Biden or shrink the size of government.

The Speaker provoked the wrath of Democrats last week by announcing an impeachment inquiry, but the measure was dismissed as weak by the likes of Gaetz, who warned a threat to remove McCarthy remains viable.

Echoing some of McCarthy's right-wing critics, Mace said McCarthy is mistaken to prioritize a continuing resolution to keep the government funded temporarily at current levels. McCarthy is seeking to avoid a government shut down before September 30.

"I do think he will continue to be speaker," she added of McCarthy, "but I do think it's going to be a long rest of the year."

Asked whether she would support removing McCarthy, Mace was non-committal, but she said McCarthy had broken some promises and that she would watch his handling of the spending battle carefully.

"I will tell you I'm one of those members who was made certain promises. I've worked on women's issues. I've worked on issues related to gun violence I feel are very important. And it's fallen on deaf ears," she said. "Everything's on the table at this point for me."

McCarthy runs out of patience...

McCarthy confronted Gaetz on the House floor in a dramatic scene in January as McCarthy was whipping votes for the Speaker's gavel.

He eventually won - but not after going through a historic battle with his right flank that has continued to replay over the past months.

Among the commitments McCarthy made to the right was allowing any single member to call a motion to remove him from his job - and his Republican challengers have dangled the threat like a sword over his head.

At a private huddle last week, McCarthy reportedly challenged his critics to make a move.

"Move the f------ motion," McCarthy said.

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