EXCLUSIVE: Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., said Thursday he is “open-minded” on a House rules change that would abolish the tool he used to oust Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., as speaker, while telling Fox News Digital that he would support either Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, or Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., as his replacement.
McCarthy was removed as speaker of the House after Gaetz introduced a measure against him known as a motion to vacate, accusing him of breaking promises he made to win the speaker’s gavel in January.
Lawmakers voted to oust McCarthy on Tuesday from the speakership for the first time in the history of the House of Representatives.
During an interview with Fox News Digital on Thursday, Gaetz said he leans towards keeping the motion to vacate as an option, but didn’t rule out supporting an effort to abolish it altogether.
“I’m leaning against changing our exiting rules for any particular purpose,” said Gaetz. “Though, I am open-minded and would be willing to hear anyone’s presentation if they were offering a rules change.”
Since McCarthy’s ouster, both House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jordan and House Majority Whip Scalise have announced bids to run for speaker of the House.
“Both of these men would represent a monumental step forward for the Republican conference,” Gaetz told Fox News Digital. “I don’t believe there is a single conservative in the country who would not believe we are in a better position with either of them.”
Gaetz told Fox News Digital he would be “honored to vote for either of these men on the floor.”
“In conference, I’ll make a decision based on spending,” Gaetz said, referring to the House GOP conference meeting next week. “And whether they’re willing to liberate us on these continuing resolutions.”
Meanwhile, as Jordan gains support for speaker of the House within the GOP conference, questions are swirling on who could take his post as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee — which is jointly leading the impeachment inquiry against President Biden, alongside the House Oversight and Ways & Means Committees — if he is elected.
Capitol Hill sources said Gaetz may have ambitions himself for the post, but when asked, the congressman offered his support to a colleague instead.
“The best person to take the Judiciary Committee if Jordan became speaker would be (Louisiana Rep.) Mike Johnson,” Gaetz told Fox News Digital. “Because he’s a better lawyer than I am.”