It took four days, 15 separate votes and a lot of boredom for Kevin McCarthy to be elected Speaker of the House. The hold-up was due entirely to a motley crew of renegade Republicans, who were adamant that the former minority leader not be promoted. Among them was Matt Gaetz, who went farther than even Lauren Boebert: He threatened to quit the chamber if McCarthy got the gig. But why does Gaetz despise him so much? The answer seems to be very personal.
Rolling Stone spoke to multiple sources, who addressed the very open secret of Gaetz’s animosity towards the new House Speaker. According to them, it involves the two-year federal investigation into Gaetz and his connection to a sex trafficking ring. Gaetz has allegedly been furious at what he perceived as a lack of support from McCarthy as the investigation unfolded. That said, McCarthy has never punished Gaetz during the controversy, not even stripping him of any committee positions. (No charges have been filed against Gaetz, but his old “wingman” Joel Greenberg was sentenced to 11 years in prison.)
Gaetz spent the last week publicly railing against McCarthy. During the 14th vote, which took place Friday evening, McCarthy even confronted him on the House floor, though what they said was not clear to those watching it on C-SPAN. Gaetz was then confronted by another GOP lawmaker, Mike Rogers, who had to be physically restrained after the argument appeared to instantly grew heated. During the final vote that got McCarthy the job, Gaetz simply voted “present.”
(Via Rolling Stone)