Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) on Wednesday said the ousting of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) last October has been an “unmitigated disaster,” a day after the House GOP twice fell short in floor votes in embarrassing fashion.
“Getting rid of Speaker McCarthy has officially turned into an unmitigated disaster,” Massie wrote on X, formerly Twitter.
“All work on separate spending bills has ceased. Spending reductions have been traded for spending increases,” he continued. “Warrantless spying has been temporarily extended. Our majority has shrunk.”
Republicans are dealing with a slender majority in the House which was also a problem for McCarthy but which has shrunk further since his exit.
On Tuesday, they saw their effort to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas fall short on the floor after a Democrat unexpectedly showed up to vote and three of their members defected. They fell one vote short of impeaching Mayorkas, a high priority for conservatives.
Immediately after that vote, a bill to provide aid to Israel that was brought to the floor under the suspension of House rules also failed. It needed a two-thirds majority because of the suspension of House rules, but Democrats and Republicans opposed it.
The twin defeats raised questions about the House GOP’s ability to govern — and it’s ability to count votes.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), who led the push to unseat McCarthy, pushed back on Massie’s remarks on X.
“McCarthy lied to us, made secret side deals, increased spending, got rolled by Biden and shrunk our majority by quitting when he couldn’t run the place,” he replied. “His removal was warranted.”
In response to a separate reply, Massie asked a commenter to “name one thing that’s improved under the new Speaker.”
Gaetz himself shot back, “Here’s one: we haven’t sent any money to Ukraine (yet).”
The losses by the GOP on Tuesday were a significant defeat for the man who succeeded McCarthy, Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.).
He has struggled to unify Republicans around measures to fund the government, and will face new challenges in March when deadlines to prevent a government shutdown loom.
The Mayorkas impeachment issue is expected to return to the House. Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) missed Tuesday’s vote as he gets treatment for blood cancer. Assuming no one else changes their vote, his presence could be enough to impeach Mayorkas.
Still, Johnson has had to deal with the same threats as McCarthy. Both Reps. Chip Roy (R-Texas) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) have threatened to offer a motion to vacate the chair against him if he does not meet various demands. Such a motion was used to end McCarthy’s Speakership.
In response to Massie’s post, former Trump administration communications director Alyssa Farah Griffin said Wednesday that it’s “only a matter of time” before a Republican member files a motion to vacate the chair on Johnson.
“And it’d be entirely justified,” added Griffin, a high-profile GOP critic of Trump and his allies.