Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich suggested that Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) should be removed from the House Republican conference and relieved of his committee assignments over his escalated feud with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).
"The effort to expel Matt Gaetz for being a destructive, irresponsible anti-Republican may be a step too far. Expulsion from the House requires a two thirds vote," Mr. Gingrich wrote.
"However expelling him from the House Republican Conference and eliminating all his committee assignments and all resources other than those an individual member is entitled to would be a rational response to his suicidal efforts to cripple the House GOP."
Mr. Gingrich also questioned whether Mr. Gaetz was working for Democrats.
"Is Gaetz secretly an agent for the Democratic Party? No one else is doing as much to undermine, weaken and cripple the House GOP," he wrote.
Under current rules of the House Republican Conference, it takes a two-thirds vote of the entire membership to expel a member.
Gaetz Holds His GroundMr. Gingrich's comments comes as Mr. Gaetz renewed his threat to oust Mr. McCarthy from his leadership position.
"We need to rip off the Band-Aid. We need to move on with new leadership that can be trustworthy," he said, following the last-minute passage of a short-term funding bill to keep the federal government open.
Mr. McCarthy pushed the funding bill—referred to as a continuing resolution—through the House with the help of Democrats. This measure, which some Republican hardliners argued was the "clean" bill Democrats wanted, would keep the government funded at current levels for another 45 days, while including $16 billion for federal disaster assistance, as had been requested by the White House.
The bill cleared the lower chamber with a 335–91 vote on Saturday afternoon, ultimately drawing more support from Democrats than Republicans—209 Democrats joined 126 Republicans in casting the "yes" vote.
It was then approved by the Senate with an 88–9 margin and signed into law by President Joe Biden about three hours before a midnight deadline.
The compromise bill did not include any new aid for Ukraine. However, President Biden on Sunday told reporters that he expects Mr. McCarthy to "keep his commitment to secure the passage and support needed to help Ukraine," prompting Mr. Gaetz to accuse the speaker of making a secret deal to pass money for the embattled country, which has already received over $43 billion from the United States to assist its war effort.
McCarthy RespondsIn response to the accusation, Mr. McCarthy said on Monday that there is no such deal with President Biden on funding Ukraine.
"There's no side deal. So I don't know who's bringing that up," he told reporters at the Capitol. "There is no side deal on Ukraine."
According to Mr. McCarthy, this commitment President Biden was referring to is to make sure that the money allocated for Ukraine last year kept flowing during the 45-day period when the federal government will run on temporary funds.
"I said in some way, if the continuing resolution doesn’t do that, we'll fix that," he said. "It's something we do all the time."
He also shrugged off Mr. Gaetz's declared effort to oust him, which has yet to materialize.
"If people want to play politics with it, let's play politics with it. But I'm just going to do what I think is best for the American public and let it rest."
Unlike the continuing resolution, which takes a two-thirds supermajority to pass, a motion to vacate the speaker only needs a simple majority. If Mr. Gaetz's motion does come to the floor for a vote, with all current members present and voting, it would need 218 votes to pass, the same number of votes Mr. McCarthy needed to win the speaker's gavel.