Left: Drew Angerer/Getty Images. Right: Allison Joyce/Getty Images.
- Rep. Kevin McCarthy became House Speaker Saturday morning after conceding to far-right lawmakers.
- On CBS’s “Face The Nation,” Rep. Nancy Mace condemned Rep. Matt Gaetz for capitalizing on the vote.
- She also slammed the “backroom” deals McCarthy made to get the seat.
Rep. Nancy Mace took aim at the controversial Rep. Matt Gaetz following a tumultuous week in the House that highlights new divisions within the GOP.
“Matt Gaetz is a fraud. Every time he voted against Kevin McCarthy last week he sent out a fundraising email,” Mace, a Republican representing South Carolina, told host Margaret Brennan on CBS’s “Face The Nation” Sunday. “What you saw last week was a constitutional process diminished by those kinds of political actions.”
In one message to supporters, Gaetz accused now-Speaker McCarthy of “standing in the way of a true MAGA majority” before asking for donations, FOX News reported.
In a similar fundraising stunt, an email to supporters read: “McCarthy and his allies have pulled every trick in the book to silence me and give the Swamp’s biggest alligator his coronation as Speaker of the House.”
Gaetz, who was on the receiving end of Rep. Mike Rogers’s emotionally-charged lunge during the 14th voting session for House Speaker, was one of 20 of his far-right colleagues who withheld their votes from McCarthy during a seemingly endless negotiation process.
On the 15th round, Gaetz was one of six lawmakers to change their votes to “present,” which essentially allowed for McCarthy’s win without the full 218 votes in favor of him as speaker.
“I ran out of things I could even imagine to ask for,” Gaetz told CNN after the 15th vote. McCarthy won the speakership, but it’s still unclear how much power he conceded to his ultra-conservative Republican counterparts.
“We don’t know what they got or didn’t get,” Mace told Brennan, condemning the “backroom” deals. “We haven’t seen it. We don’t have any idea what promises were made or what gentleman’s handshakes were made.”
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She added: “And it does give me quite a bit of heartburn because that’s not what we ran on. It is quite ironic.”
Mace has represented the 1st District of South Carolina since 2021. Though she used to work for his campaign, Mace criticized former President Donald Trump for his role in the January 6, 2021 insurrection. Still, she’d voted against impeaching the former president, arguing that the process was “rushed.”
All eyes were on Mace during the third and fourth days of the Speaker vote when she brought her dog, Libby to the chamber, saying “there are no rules right now,” The Independent reported.
—Rep. Nancy Mace (@RepNancyMace) January 5, 2023
House lawmakers are set to vote on a rules package, which would set the stage for how the House will operate, on Monday. Mace told Brennan that she is unsure whether or not she will support the rules package.
“I like the rules package. It is the most, open, fair, and fiscally conservative package we have had in 30 years. I support it,” Mace added. “But what I don’t support is a small number of people trying to get a deal done or deals done for themselves in private, in secret to get a vote or a vote present. I don’t support that.”
Representatives for Mace, Gaetz, and McCarthy did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.