Matt Gaetz says he’ll resign if Kevin McCarthy strikes speaker deal with Democrats

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If Democrats want to get Rep.-elect Matt Gaetz out of Congress, he offered them a path Thursday night: Back a Republican for House speaker.

In a feisty interview on Fox News Channel’s “The Ingraham Angle,” Mr. Gaetz, Florida Republican, said he’d resign from Congress if the Democrats essentially gained co-control of the chamber as a result of he and a group of about 20 conservatives continuing to refuse to back Kevin McCarthy’s speakership bid.

Host Laura Ingraham, in an earlier segment of the show, said there are three possible endgames to the gridlock that has produced 11 inconclusive votes for House speaker over the last three days: (1) conservatives claim victory with Mr. McCarthy’s concessions and support him for speaker, (2) Mr. McCarthy withdraws in favor of a different Republican who could get 218 votes, or (3) that moderate or establishment Republicans strike a deal with Democrats under which Mr. McCarthy or some other Republican “gets to be called ‘Speaker’ but essentially both parties share power.”

Ms. Ingraham said the third scenario was unlikely but “the folks opposing McCarthy ought to realize that they are playing with fire here.”

She then interviewed Mr. Gaetz and told him he was risking that outcome, which he promptly pooh-poohed with some high stakes.

“Will you be OK then if there’s ultimately a deal struck with moderate Democrats that gives Democrats co-control of the committees, you’re fine with that” she asked.

Mr. Gates replied, “No, absolutely not. That will not happen.”

A skeptical Ms. Ingraham replied, “Well, that could happen.”

“I’m on the floor, Laura. These 212 Democrats are going to vote for Hakeem Jeffries every single time. He is a historic candidate for them. They are not going to cleave off under any circumstance,” Mr. Gaetz replied.

He then put his job on the line.

“If Democrats join up to elect a moderate Republican, I will resign from the House of Representatives. That is how certain I am,” he said.

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