Rep. Carlos Gimenez is taking aim at fellow Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz for his efforts in leading the charge against former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, arguing that it has hurt GOP efforts to secure the border.
Gimenez, R-Fla., spoke to Fox News Digital the day after Gaetz successfully led a push to remove McCarthy from his position, days after the speaker brought a “clean” continuing resolution to the floor to fund the government — a measure that passed due to Democratic support.
Gaetz and other conservative Republicans had previously voted against a temporary stopgap funding resolution that would have funded the government while including most of the House’s signature border security package — except E-Verify. The continuing resolution that passed did not include those provisions.
“Matt Gaetz and his gang effectively blocked a measure for the funding resolution that would have forced the Biden administration to actively control the border and to have a reduction in overall spending,” Gimenez told Fox News Digital.
“That’s all on Matt Gaetz and his gang. And so now that we don’t have a speaker, all those efforts for us to try to force the Biden administration to actually do their job and follow the law, I think everything comes to stop until we get a new speaker,” he said.
Gimenez said that those looking to cross into the U.S. should be thanking Gaetz for his work.
“This doesn’t help the border one bit. So that’s why I’ve said that those crossing the border right now should have on their chest a big sign saying ‘Thank you, Matt Gaetz’, or maybe ‘gracias Matt Gaetz’ because Matt Gaetz and his gang effectively blocked our efforts to control the border.”
Gimenez, who has been sparring with Gaetz on X, formerly known as Twitter, accused Gaetz and others of being “Machiavellian” in their strategy.
“Why did they do that, knowing full well that… the alternative was something that none of us really wanted and many of us didn’t want it. But we had to keep funding the government because we were going to spend more taxpayer money unnecessarily and cause pain unnecessarily.”
The criticism echoes that of McCarthy, who said those who voted against the border security-inclusive stopgap were not conservative.
“They voted against border security, they don’t get to say they’re conservative because they’re chaotic and angry,” McCarthy said Tuesday.
Gaetz responded to that criticism Tuesday evening on “The Ingraham Angle” in which he pointed to the border security provisions that had passed as part of a DHS appropriations bill last week — including E-Verify.
“We passed a Department of Homeland Security border bill that would have required E-Verify with a host of other reforms. Then on a continuing resolution, Kevin McCarthy wanted us to surrender every other fight, Jack Smith, weaponized government, everything else going on just to isolate the border thing,” he said.
“Now I don’t believe the way conservatives get ahead is surrendering everything but the border in order to address the border — and I don’t think the way to address the border is to pass E-Verify and then say the strong border position is the abandonment of E-Verify in a vote that occurs 14 hours later.”
Concern has also been expressed in the Senate, with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., arguing that the “chaos” make it “harder to talk about the failed Biden Presidency and address our broken southern border.”
Gimenez told Fox Digital that now, the Senate needs to take the Secure the Border Act, which passed on its own in the House earlier this year, and that it will also be up to the Biden administration — or a future Republican administration — to secure the border.
“The Biden administration has to have the will to control the border. If you don’t have the will to control the border, and if you also have the will to actually violate the law like I believe the Biden administration is doing right now, it’s going to have marginal effects,” he said.
“The only way that we’re going to control the border, in my opinion, is with a new president, a new Republican president that will follow the law and has the will to control what’s happening at the southern border, not only with migrants, but also with the drugs that are flowing in that are killing tens of thousands of Americans.”