United States: Matt Gaetz, the one who brought down the speaker of the House of Representatives

Matt Gaetz is the man who brought down House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday, October 3 thanks to a motion of no confidence tabled Monday. Despised by the Democrats, and now by much of his own party, who is one of the most hated congressmen in the United States?

Republican Matt Gaetz arrives in the House of Representatives on October 3, 2023. AP - J. Scott Applewhite

By: RFI Follow


Read more

Matt Gaetz tabled the no-confidence motion Monday that impeached Kevin McCarthy 24 hours later. An unprecedented political explosion on Capitol Hill. To pull off this resounding coup, Matt Gaetz rallied a small number of representatives from the most radical fringe of the Republican Party; Then they tipped the majority by bringing their votes to the Democrats.

This elected representative of Florida, until then relatively unknown to the general public, at least for his parliamentary work, most likely felt a long-awaited satisfaction: that of removing a Republican leader with whom he had acrimonious relations. Already in January 2023, during the obstacle course that was the election of Kevin McCarthy to the perch of the House, Matt Gaetz had distinguished himself among the "Never Kevin" (the "anti-Kevin"), elected officials who refused to vote for the elected representative of California, in whom they said they did not trust.

Hollywood smile, Matt Gaetz, 41, is far from unanimous in his camp. He is the son of Don Gaetz, a local politician who presided over the Florida Senate. He is a maverick, a close ally of Donald Trump in Congress. He has already supported him for the Republican nomination for the 2024 presidential election against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. Matt Gaetz ticks all the boxes of the most extreme American right: he is opposed to abortion rights, openly climate skeptic, defender of the gun lobby, propagator of the conspiracy theory of the great replacement.

Accused by his camp of "hurting the country



I am the man most targeted by investigations in the United States Congress " said the bubbling representative on Monday, a phrase that also seems to be directly inspired by Trump's rhetoric. He had previously published on social networks a photo montage of his skull surrounded by fifteen firearms.

He is also accused of possible embezzlement of public funds, facts directly targeted for two years by an investigation by the ethics committee of the House of Representatives, but also of having had a sexual relationship with a young underage girl, an allegation he has denied. His Republican colleagues sometimes refer to him as a Republican running with scissors, accusing him of "hurting the country." They are so fed up with him that they did not let him debate with them behind closed doors.

When asked if he was worried about being sidelined from the Republicans, Matt Gaetz responded with the same boldness he showed in the House of Representatives during the debate on Kevin McCarthy. "If they want to expel me, let them let me know when they get the votes," he said.

" READ ALSO United States: the speaker of the House of Representatives impeached, a historic first

NewsletterReceive all the international news directly in your mailbox

I subscribe

Follow all the international news by downloading the RFI application


Read on on the same topics:

  • United States