Gaetz will 'resign' if Democrats team with Republicans to elect speaker

By Jen Krausz on
 January 7, 2023

Prior to Friday's 15th and final vote for House Speaker, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) said he didn't think Republicans were going to take help from Democrats to elect a moderate speaker.

Gaetz was one of several holdouts who refused to vote for Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as House Speaker, denying him the 218 votes he needed to be elected.

After 15 contentous votes -- the first time in 100 years that more than one ballot was needed -- McCarthy finally took the prize late Friday night.

Before the final vote, speculation ran wild about the potential outcome of the dramatic event.

Laura Ingraham asked Gaetz about the possibility that Republicans would vote with Democrats to elect a speaker, probably a moderate, and would give Democrats some committee chairs.

“Absolutely not,” Gaetz replied. “That will not happen. There are two potential scenarios here. I’m on the floor. These 212 Democrats are going to vote for Hakeem Jeffries every single time. He’s a historic candidate. They’re not going to cleave off. If Democrats join up to elect a moderate Republican, I will resign.”

Gaetz voted "present" in the final vote, thereby almost setting off a physical altercation with Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL).