The United States Constitution states that “Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behaviour, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member.” In the history of our nation, only five members of the House of Representatives have been expelled, with only two of these expulsions occurring in the last 160 years. It’s an exclusive club that has been only used for Confederate sympathizers and cartoonishly corrupt representatives. It’s about time that this club gets a new member and there’s no congressman that deserves to be expelled more than Matt Gaetz.
Since he entered the House in 2017, the Florida Panhandle’s most infamous congressman has been a lightning rod for far-right politics and is one of the most notable members of the Freedom Caucus. He quickly became a polarizing figure for his hardline stances on issues, promoting racist conspiracy theories and his unwavering loyalty to “Home Alone 2” star Donald Trump. He was also the subject of a sex trafficking investigation by the Department of Justice that accused him of bringing underage girls across state lines to have sex with him, though he walked free of any charges since this is the U.S. justice system after all. Despite him becoming known as a partisan hack and repulsive human being, he’s remained in the House. But he has finally gone too far in his latest actions that have brought the House to a screeching halt.
Gaetz previously led the opposition to Kevin McCarthy in the Speaker election this past January, where he and his group of conservative insurgents forced 15 rounds of voting before McCarthy finally had enough votes to win. But while McCarthy may have won the initial battle, Gaetz won the war when he introduced a successful motion to vacate the speakership three weeks ago. It was a stunning defeat that was initiated by the man that proudly stood as the face of the “Never Kevin” caucus. It was the culmination of the Freedom Caucus’ years of pushing to drive House Republicans increasingly to the right, but came at the cost of derailing an entire legislative body.
Since Gaetz’s ouster of McCarthy, the House has been in utter chaos as they try to navigate through this unprecedented scenario. The House Republican Caucus has been an absolute mess as they try to figure out who their next leader is, resulting in the failed nominations of Steve Scalise and Jim Jordan. This has resulted in a painfully long process that effectively renders the House and Congress as a whole useless, as legislative work cannot occur without a Speaker. This could not occur at a worse time, as the stopgap spending bill that doomed McCarthy only keeps the government open until Nov. 17. The longer that the voting process is prolonged, the more that the country is put at risk of a government shutdown that will affect hundreds of thousands of federal jobs and stall any legislative progress on bills.
Members of both parties should be furious at Gaetz. Republicans should be especially mad since he’s made them look more idiotic and incompetent than they already are. Gaetz’s charge against McCarthy reignited and deepened the bitter divides within the ideological factions of the House GOP, plunging them into a civil war that’s not going to be resolved anytime soon. He single-handedly destroyed any claims that the Republican majority could function properly to pass legislation for the American people. And while House Democrats love watching their Republican colleagues implode, the lack of a functioning House makes it impossible to pass any of Biden’s legislative goals.
Thanks to Gaetz’s crusade to satisfy his massive ego, he has derailed the House in a way that no other member in the history of the U.S. has. His actions were reckless, petty and most importantly, un-American. Hell, what he did to shut down the House should be considered treasonous. He’s a disgrace to the nation and to his own morally-challenged party. When this saga is over, the next Speaker must take immediate action and bring a vote to the floor to expel Gaetz from the House of Representatives. He needs to pay the price for his actions and make the long trip back home to Florida. Just make sure he’s not taking any underage girls with him this time.