Florida Republican Representative Matt Gaetz was mocked online after he threatened to "resign" from Congress if Democrats strike a deal with moderate Republicans to elect the next Speaker of the House.
Gaetz told Fox News personality Laura Ingraham that he would not support such a deal, indicating that he has no interest in ending the stalemate in the House of Representatives amid what The New York Times referred to as a "right-wing rebellion" designed to block former House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy from the speakership.
Gaetz noted that Democrats remain rallied around New York Representative Hakeem Jeffries as Minority Leader and said they are "not going to cleave off under any circumstance" from a candidate who holds the distinction of being the first Black person to lead a party caucus in either chamber of Congress.
You can hear what Gaetz said in the video below.
When asked if he would be okay with a potential power-sharing agreement between Democrats and Republicans in the chamber, Gaetz said:
"No, absolutely not. That will not happen, no... Listen, I'm on the floor Laura [and] 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. I assure you that if Democrats join up to select a moderate Republican, I will resign from the House of Representatives."
"That is how certain I am. I can assure your viewers that won't happen."
Gaetz said his support for a moderate like Louisiana Representative Steve Scalise—who Republicans elected to be their Majority Leader—would be dependent on whether Scalise "accepts these rules we've spent a lot of time on," referring to the internal procedural rules meant to expand the power of the far right within the House.
He indicated he would support his colleague, Ohio Representative Jim Jordan, around whom many far-right Republicans coalesced this week, saying Jordan would not only "invigorate our movement" but is also "broadly trusted."
But it was his insistence that he would resign from Congress in the event Democrats strike a deal that received the most attention.
Many social media users suggested they would be just fine with Gaetz leaving the House—and even encouraged him to do so.
Gaetz has emerged as one of the ringleaders of the rebellion and has rejected former Republican President Donald Trump's call for Republicans to support McCarthy's bid for the House speakership.
Earlier this week, Gaetz used one of Trump's classic lines—"Sad!"—against him after Trump pleaded with Republicans to support McCarthy, saying Trump's efforts change "neither my view of McCarthy, nor Trump, nor my vote."
After McCarthy moved into the Speaker’s office, Gaetz called him a "squatter" in a letter to Brett Blanton, the Architect of the Capitol, who leads the federal agency responsible for the maintenance, operation, development and preservation of the United States Capitol Complex.
Gaetz has continued to vote against McCarthy, proving himself to be perhaps the most defiant holdout as McCarthy—who has now lost twelve rounds of voting—continues to try and court the votes of the far-right.