'The Trumpiest Congressman' Matt Gaetz just infuriated the president by voting to limit his war powers: report

'The Trumpiest Congressman' Matt Gaetz just infuriated the president by voting to limit his war powers: report

Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz has infuriated President Donald Trump by voting Thursday in favor of a measure in the House of Representatives seeking to restrain the conflict in Iran, the Washington Post reported Friday night.

Gaetz was one of three Republicans to support the measure. Eight Democrats, on the other hand, opposed it, and it passed 224-194. Because it is a concurrent resolution designed to be paired with a companion measure in the Senate, it's not designed to go to the president's desk for either a veto or a signature. Its fate in the Senate is unclear.

Gaetz's vote in favor of the resolution came as a surprise to many observers, even though, as I have noted, he previously wrote in opposition to the ongoing U.S. support for Saudia Arabia's war on Yemen. Outside of these issues, Gaetz is generally seen as one of Trump's biggest fans in Congress. As the Post explained:

Gaetz (R-Fla.) has been called “the Trumpiest Congressman in Trump’s Washington,” a judgment that he features proudly and prominently on his campaign homepage, along with quotes depicting him as “Trump’s Best Buddy,” “Trump’s Ultimate Defender” and “Rising star of the Trumpian right.”

But it seems to be, at least in part, this closeness that makes Gaetz's vote seem like such a betrayal:

It was a risky move that surprised the president and showed rare fissures in a Republican Party that Trump has firmly controlled. Trump fiercely complained about Gaetz after aides informed Trump that his office had sent the email backing the resolution, which was pushed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Trump’s team lobbied heavily against the nonbinding resolution.

“The Trump administration was disappointed in the congressman’s vote and is hopeful that as the president’s foreign policy continues to unfold, he will reconsider his points of view,” Eric Ueland, the head of legislative affairs for the White House, said in an interview.


A senior White House official said it was “super uncool” and “quite unwise” for Gaetz to push for limits on the president’s authority. This person added that White House officials would not be returning Gaetz’s phone calls, text messages, “smoke signals or his kneelings in the snow.”

On the day of the vote, Gaetz gave a speech on the House floor defending his position and trying to make clear that he intended no insult to the president.

"I take a seat to no member of this body when it comes to defending the president. This resolution offers no criticism of the president. No critique!" he said. He argued that his vote was based on his duties as a congressman, rather than distrust of Trump. "If the members of our armed services have the courage to go fight and die in these wars, as Congress, we ought to have the courage to vote for 'em or against 'em."

Watch the clip below:


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