House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said Monday he is “not at all” worried about removal threats from his right flank.
Why it matters: The comment comes ahead of a potentially explosive period in which McCarthy will have to work with Democrats to avert a government shutdown – creating a dire risk of backlash from the right.
What he’s saying: “He should just go ahead and do it,” McCarthy said of Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), who has been particularly vocal in threatening a push to overthrow McCarthy.
The context: Gaetz said in a radio appearance last week that the right should “seize the initiative,” including by forcing a vote on impeaching President Biden, adding, “If Kevin McCarthy stands in our way, he may not have the job long.”
The intrigue: Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), who is close with both Gaetz and McCarthy and said she strongly opposes a motion to vacate, indicated uncertainty about whether Gaetz would make good on his threats.
What we’re watching: McCarthy will need to work with Democrats in the Senate and White House on a stopgap spending bill and appropriations legislation — or allow the government to shut down.