Rep.-elect Matt Gaetz (R-FL) threatened to resign Thursday night if Democrats teamed up with moderate Republicans to end the days-long stalemate over electing a Speaker of the House.
“If Democrats join up to elect 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,” he told Fox News.
The House adjourned shortly past 8pm Eastern Time Thursday after five votes failed to resolve the Speakership question in the 118th Congress.
Rep.-elect Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who had been House Minority Leader in the 117th Congress, had failed to secure the 218 votes necessary to achieve a majority and obtain the Speakership through 11 ballots over three consecutive days.
This was a near historic feat, the longest voting had taken since 1859 when it went to 44 ballots.
The year 1855 holds the record, however, when voting went on for two months and 133 ballots.
Gaetz, one of a handful so-called Never Kevins, who have vowed to never vote for McCarthy under any circumstance and no matter what concessions McCarthy offers them, has been one of roughly 20 resistant Republicans who have voted for a spoiler in each of the 11 rounds so far.
On the 11th ballot Gaetz himself nominated former President Trump for Speaker, then proceeded to be the only Rep.-elect to vote for him.
Entering day four of voting, it did not seem likely that any Democrats would join with moderate Republicans as the Democrats have been unified on their side of the aisle–consistently casting all 212 of their votes for Rep.-elect Hakeem Jeffries (R-NY).
The Constitution requires that the House elect a Speaker, and the vote takes priority over all other business. No other House business can begin until the Speakership is resolved.