U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) has built a reputation for being an outspoken voice for fiscal conservatism, including his harsh opposition to stopgap continuing resolutions instead of a cohesive effort to cut spending and pass a balanced budget.
His push for single-subject spending bills attracted the support of several fellow Republicans, which was enough to force House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to reconsider his strategy.
A handful of GOP lawmakers voted against a rule last week that would have allowed a defense spending bill to move forward. Although Gaetz clearly sympathized with these legislators’ opposition to what he and others have derisively called “governing by CR,” he supported the rule both times it was brought to a vote.
MATT GAETZ IS THE MAN!!!🔥🔥🔥
He is holding McCarthy's feet to the fire, not giving him an inch so he can back out of his promises!!
If you're not clear on what a CR (Continuing Resolution) is vs. what an Omnibus spending bill is listen to THIS👇🏼
Gaetz his pushing to have… pic.twitter.com/2eU1R4wicu
— SaltyGoat (@SaltyGoat17) September 23, 2023
Apparently, CNN host Abby Phillip did not get the memo. In an interview with Gaetz, she attempted to engage in a line of questioning based on the premise that he “did vote against the defense appropriations bill,” but the Florida Republican quickly interrupted her.
“No, I didn’t,” he interjected.
Phillip continued to talk over him, but he was finally able to make his point.
“Abby, this is going to be a very embarrassing moment when the internet corrects you on this,” Gaetz declared. “I voted for the defense rule both times.”
The host seemed to acknowledge her mistake and quickly brought the segment to an end.
“Uh, oh, well, I stand corrected,” Phillip said. “Congressman, appreciate you joining us tonight. Thank you so much.”
Of course, voting for the rule did not stifle Gaetz’s ability to speak out against the broken legislative system that has kept the federal government operating on stopgap spending measures for years.
Even mainstream media figures like NBC News political analyst Jake Sherman have remarked that this issue is one that allows Gaetz to wield particularly acute influence in Congress.
“Gaetz said that he’s advocating for pausing consideration of the Pentagon spending bill and moving to bills that cut spending,” Sherman explained last week. “He mentioned: State-Foreign Ops, Agriculture, Energy and Water. Gaetz sounded more productive than I’ve heard him in a while. Also: he said again there are not enough votes for a CR.”