At CPAC, Rep. Matt Gaetz vows to bring change to ‘deeply corrupt’ Washington

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Rep. Matt Gaetz says he is on a mission to fundamentally change the federal government and usher in a new era of Republican oversight on Capitol Hill.

In an address at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, Mr. Gaetz championed the concessions that conservative lawmakers won in the recent fight over the speaker of the House as a sign of things to come.

“I don’t care if it takes every second of our time and every ounce of our energy, we either get this government back on our side, or we defund and get rid of, abolish, the FBI, CDC, ATF, DOJ, every last one of them if they do not come to heel,” Mr. Gaetz said on Friday.

Mr. Gaetz, Florida Republican, is among a tiny group of conservative lawmakers in the House that demanded rule changes before clearing the way for Speaker Kevin McCarthy to win the gavel on the 15-ballot vote.

Mr. McCarthy, among other things, agreed to allow a single lawmaker to force a vote at any time to remove the speaker and agreed to open up the debate on spending bills to allow lawmakers to make changes.

He also established a new subcommittee to investigate the “weaponization” of the federal government.

Mr. Gaetz heralded the changes as a step in the right direction for transparency and taxpayers.

“I am on a mission to change Washington, D.C., because Washington is a deeply corrupt place,” he said.  “These are different times, they are new times. They call for boldness and patriotism.”

Mr. Gaetz has developed a loyal grassroots following over the years because of his willingness to criticize GOP leadership and the status quo.

He said Friday his efforts are reflective of a brand of Republicanism that is different from years past, tossing some shade at former Speaker Paul Ryan and former Rep. Trey Gowdy, both Republicans, over the way they led previous Republican oversight efforts.

“It is no longer time to go back to the old low-energy Paul Ryan, Trey Gowdy days of fake oversight, these are the Jim Jordan, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Matt Gaetz days,” he said.

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