Republican Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz said his former colleague George Santos has never been missed more following a failed impeachment vote.
The GOP failed to impeach Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas on Tuesday after three Republicans defected from the party line and voted against the measure.
“As I am watching that board, and it’s 215-215, I have never missed George Santos more,” Gaetz told Newsmax.
Those who voted no were Reps. Tom McClintock, R-Calif.; Ken Buck, R-Colo.; and Mike Gallagher, R-Wis. The lawmakers said while they disapproved of the job Mayorkas is doing at the southern border, the threshold for impeachment had not been met and warned it could be used against future Republican administrations.
The final vote came to 214-216 after Democratic Texas Rep. Al Green showed up on the House floor in scrubs to vote against the measure.
Santos was expelled from the U.S. House of Representatives on Dec. 1 because of charges he faces related to allegations of defrauding campaign contributors and, according to a House Ethics Committee Report, using campaign funds to purchase luxury items and spa treatments.
“I also wondered, wouldn’t it have been nice to still have Kevin McCarthy in the House of Representatives? Never thought you’d hear me say that,” the Florida representative said.
McCarthy announced in early December that he would step down, two months after his historic ouster as House speaker.
The announcement capped a stunning end to a House career for the one-time deli counter owner, who ascended through state and national politics to become second in line to the presidency, until a cluster of hard-right conservatives engineered his removal in October.
“Kevin McCarthy — after being dislodged as speaker — took his marbles and went home,” Gaetz added during his appearance.
McCarthy’s departure set off a scramble to replace him that is being sorted out in court. A state judge earlier ruled that a McCarthy protégé, Republican Assemblyman Vince Fong, could appear on the ballot as a candidate for the former speaker’s seat, even though he earlier filed for reelection for his Assembly seat. That decision is being appealed by the state.
McCarthy is the only speaker in history to be voted out of the job.
Fox News’ Greg Wehner, Adam Shaw and The Associated Press contributed to this report.