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GOP Lawmaker Attributes House Turmoil to ‘Gaetz and Seven Other Useful Individuals’

Representative Mike Lawler (Credits: CNN)

Representative Mike Lawler from New York, a member of the Republican party, pointed fingers at Representative Matt Gaetz from Florida and what he termed as “seven useful idiots,” attributing the current turmoil in the House to their successful bid to oust former Speaker Kevin McCarthy from California last autumn. Lawler articulated that this action directly contributes to the present challenges faced by Speaker Mike Johnson from Louisiana.

Lawler didn’t hold back in criticizing fellow party members for undermining Johnson’s negotiating authority during the ongoing debate over aid to Ukraine and Israel, which is currently progressing through the House despite objections from some conservative factions.

During an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper on “AC360” Thursday evening, Lawler stressed that specific individuals within the Republican party were to blame for weakening Speaker Johnson’s position in negotiations. He emphasized that their actions have led to this outcome.

Representative Matt Gaetz (Credits: The Hill)

Lawler simplified the sequence of events, highlighting that chaos ensued in the House in October due to the collaboration between Gaetz, seven other Republicans, and 208 Democrats.

He cautioned against repeating such actions, citing the destabilizing effects witnessed after McCarthy’s removal from office and a subsequent terrorist attack on Israel. The House is now preparing for a crucial vote on Saturday concerning a complex foreign aid package that includes provisions for Ukraine and Israel.

However, some Republicans, including Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene from Georgia and Thomas Massie from Kentucky, have expressed frustration and hinted at supporting a motion to remove Speaker Johnson from his position. As of now, they have not taken steps to initiate such a motion.

McCarthy’s ousting last fall paralyzed the lower chamber for three weeks, as Gaetz and seven other House Republicans sided with Democrats to depose him. Despite the threats against Johnson, Lawler remains optimistic about the passage of the foreign aid legislation.

Speaker Kevin McCarthy (Credits: Axios)

He stresses the importance of fulfilling the United States’ obligation as a leader in supporting allies during critical times and sending a clear message to adversaries that their actions undermining global stability will not be tolerated.

Late Thursday, the House Rules Committee made progress by advancing a package of foreign aid bills, albeit with the support of Democrats, which is unusual. Three GOP members of the panel opposed the effort, signaling a departure from the typical party-line votes observed in Rules Committee proceedings.

Lawler’s remarks underscore the internal divisions within the Republican party and the complex dynamics at play in the House as lawmakers change the foreign aid debate despite broader geopolitical challenges.

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