House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) had a tense exchange at a House GOP conference meeting on Thursday less than 72 hours before a possible government shutdown.
At the meeting, Gaetz reportedly confronted McCarthy about whether his allies were paying conservative influencers to criticize him on social media, a source in the room told CNN.
McCarthy’s response to Gaetz’s accusation was that he would not waste his time or money on him, adding that he doesn’t know what Gaetz is spending his money on but he is donating $5 million to the National Republican Congressional Committee to keep his majority in 2024.
“How much of that is from FTX or Sam Bankman-Fried?” Gaetz shot back.
One lawmaker reportedly told Gaetz to “f*ck off” and other called the Florida congressman a “scumbag.”
The tense exchange comes as House Republicans are struggling to reach consensus on legislation to avert a shutdown by the end of the month. That’s mainly due to hardline members in their conference, like Gaetz who are refusing to support spending bills without deeper cuts and is opposed to a stopgap measure to keep the government open as negotiations continue.