Gaetz blames McCarthy for lack of progress
On September 21, Florida's most-outspoken Republican - Congressman Matt Gaetz - struck his latest blow in the ongoing attacks against Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy. The attack came in the midst of ongoing crisis talks in the House of Representatives, which are intended to prevent a government shutdown at the end of the month.
The source of irritation for Gaetz on this occasion, was Speaker McCarthy deciding to adjourn discussions and send politicians home at 3pm that day.
As Gaetz put it in a bitter and acrymonious tweet:
"As House members were working on spending bills, Speaer McCarthy was telling people to go home for the weekend at 3pm on a Thursday. Pathetic. Low Energy. This is why we are where we are."
The Florida 'firebrand' then made it clear who he thinks is to blame for the current crisis:
"Any progress we are making is in spite of, not due to McCarthy."
Gaetz has made no secret that he feels that McCarthy holds much of the responsibility for the lack of progress made by the House of Representatives this year, and has been a repeated critic of him professionally, as well as belittling him with personal insults too.
Now it would seem that the Florida Republican wants to call McCarthy out for his work ethic too.
Republicans struggle to reach a compromise
The prospect of a government shutdown is looming large for the United States, and can only be avoided if the House of Representatives manages to agree a government funding bill by the end of September.
Many of the more outspoken MAGA-Republican cohort have taken steps that could be seen as sabotaging proceedings, but refusing to approve proposals that would see further taxpayer dollars being apportioned towards projects that they disagree with. Gaetz himself, together with is occasional ally - Georgia's Marjorie Taylor-Greene - have been particularly vocal on their intentions.
Meanwhile, other House Republicans - like Florida's Byron Donalds - have attempted to find a way forwards, proposing a continous agreement that would buy more time for a full agreement to be struck. Gaetz is equally dismissive of that arrangement too however, and suggested on September 20 that one continuous agreement will simply lead to another.
As Gaetz put it sarcastically on Twitter:
"Continuing resolutions are like... potato chips - you can’t have just one."
Democrats growing frustrated
As House Republicans struggle to get a funding bill agreed, Democrats are getting understandably frustrated at the lack of progress. During the ongoing feud between Gaetz and Pennsylvania Democrat John Fetterman, it became clear that Democrats feel Republicans should simply be doing their job and passing the bill (or at least a modified version of it).
As Fetterman put it in a very pointed Tweet:
"Government shutdown in t-minus 16 days. Instead of crying about how I dress, how about you ... do your job, bud?"
Whether House Republicans will eventually reach a compromise position and approve a spending bill or not, remains to be seen. What seems certain is that the relationship between Matt Gaetz and Kevin McCarthy seems like it won't be salvaged.
Do you think it is right that politicians should be starting the weekend at 3pm on a Thursday? Is Florida's Matt Gaetz right to call out Kevin McCarthy for his lack of energy? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.