Republican Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida showed that humor is not dead in Congress as he told a Bud Light Joke to an MSNBC reporter, whose reaction was totally unexpected.
Gaetz and other House members reacted angrily against the idea of ending the weeks of indecision following the ouster of Kevin McCarthy by giving Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry the power to serve as stopgap leader until Jan. 3.
“Speaker Light is a bad idea, just like Bud Light,” Gaetz quipped during an interview.
His joke drew a smile from the MSNBC reporter interviewing him.
Gaetz: I was there to make the substantiative argument that speaker light is a bad idea, just like bud light pic.twitter.com/i6aKOuinRA— Acyn (@Acyn) October 19, 2023
“I far prefer for us to continue having votes going forward,” he said.
“I think a reasonable question to those who are holding out and not voting for Jordan is, ‘What are you fighting for? What are your goals? What are your objectives?'” he said.
Gaetz invoked the Constitution to rally against the idea of letting McHenry oversee the fractious House.
“I’m against Speaker-light. I’m against Bud Light,” Gaetz rehiterated in his joke.
“I believe it is a constitutional desecration to not elect a speaker of the House,” Gaetz added.
“We need to stay here until we elect a speaker, and if someone can’t get the votes, we need to move on to the next person,” Gaetz continued.
“But, twisting and torturing the Constitution to empower a temporary speaker is having a speaker-light. That is not constitutionally contemplated, it is deeply infirm, and I will do everything possible to stop it,” he said.
Republican Representative Andy Biggs of Arizona said the House Republican Conference is in the grip of the spirit of faction.
“I have been told by a good number of people that their objection isn’t personal to Jim,” he said.
“It is that voting in Jordan is perceived to be rewarding Matt Gaetz and the rest of the eight.”
“Others have indicated that some of Jim’s supporters wouldn’t support Scalise, and so the holdouts won’t support Jordan,” he added.
Republican Representative Nancy Mace of South Carolina raged against the personality-based motives of some of Jordan’s opponents.
“The American people want a speaker who will be honest and represent them, not business as usual in Washington. It is disgraceful for a number of elected officials, many of them in safe GOP districts, to oppose Jim Jordan purely to spite Matt Gaetz,” she said.
Jordan appears to have given up on trying to win Republicans to his cause after losing his second vote to become speaker
“We made the pitch to members on the resolution as a way to lower the temperature and get back to work. We decided that wasn’t where we’re going to go,” he said, according to CBS.
“I’m still running for speaker, and I plan to go to the floor and get the votes and win this race.”
I want to “talk with a few of my colleagues, particularly I want to talk with the 20 individuals who voted against me, so that we can move forward and begin to work for the American people.”