Rep. Matt Gaetz was once all in on Team Trump, but after the former president’s dismal showing in the mid-term elections, the Florida Republican canceled his plans to attend Trump’s launch of his 2024 campaign Tuesday night.
Gaetz sees the writing on the wall: The king is dead, long live the king. And he also understands that Republicans will have a thin margin in the House, so if they want to get anything done, they’ll need some help from Democrats.
In a pre-emptive move, Gaetz laid out a series of moves that he says should get bipartisan support — and they were so common sense and basic that he drew praise from some unlikely places, like the liberal site Reddit.
“I believe that no member of Congress by House rule should be allowed to accept a donation for their campaign from a federal lobbyist or a federal political action committee. That money all has strings attached to it and anybody who tries to tell you otherwise is lying,” he said.
“And when members take hundreds of thousands of dollars from lobbyists and PACs, they work for them more than they work for their constituents. And guess what? I intend to offer that amendment on the House floor in January, and I already have Democrats ready to vote for it, maybe even all of them,” Gaetz said.
Exactly right. Gaetz already doesn’t take PAC money, but it should clearly be the law of the land for exactly the reasons Gatez laid out.
“The second thing I would suggest is that if someone is a member of Congress, they should be prohibited from lobbying for life. Why is it so hard to say that you should choose one side or the other to be on? You’re either in the lawmaking game or you’re in the influence-peddling game, and those who choose to be in the influence peddling game, go ahead, but you should sacrifice that when you get the privilege to represent 750,000 people,” he said.
Gaetz said he plans to offer that as amendment on January 3, adding he expects “there will be Democrats voting for it.”
The 40-year-old lawmaker, now in his fourth term, hit another hot-button that both Republicans and Democrats could (and really should) support.
“I will also introduce an amendment to have a ban on members of Congress trading individual stocks. How can we say that that is not something that dilutes our trust in markets and in governance when people are centrally able to bet on the outcomes that they have an ability to somewhat control?”
Hmm. Good question. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has a maximum net wealth of as much as $251 million, according to USA Today. Here’s the thing: Her and her husband’s fortune has grown $140 million since 2008, thanks in part to her husband’s stock trades.
But Gaetz wasn’t done. “Finally, I would observe something that has really worked well in the state of Florida. A single subject rule, a bill coming to the floor should only deal with one subject. I was incensed as a freshman when I had to vote on the farm bill, and whether or not to authorize war in Yemen, in the same vote, and we could still have broad bills that relate to insurance or education or appropriations.”
“But the notion that we lash all these things together, does not serve our constituents and the American people and I would expect if we’re in the majority, Democrats will vote for my amendment for a single subject rule,” he said.
Spot on. That’s how both parties deride the other. A bill labelled “Protect All Furry Puppies” (PAFP), with a poison-pill attachment, gets shot down, and one party then says the other party hates puppies. It’s so stupid you’d think it didn’t happen, but it does, all the time.
Gaetz’s common-sense words brought tears to the eyes of liberals on reddit.
“I’m watching this video baffled like this guy has a good head on his shoulders, but then I see the face the words are coming out of and I’m just broken like Xbox with a red ring,” a guy named “RLVNTone” wrote.
“MankeyBusiness” weighed in, too.
“He himself is the only Republican who takes no PAC money (if I understand it correctly). He might be wrong about everything else but if him [sic] and the dems get this through in January (very low chance even if dems had a majority) I will give him heaps of praise for that. Money in politics is the number one thing keeping popular policy like minimum wage increase from passing.”
So, you’re on notice. Gaetz is onto something. Whether it works, whether it plays out like he pledges remains to be seen. But he’s ahead of the Democrats on issues they care about, and that, at the very least, is fun.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
Joseph Curl has covered politics for 35 years, including 12 years as White House correspondent for a national newspaper. He was also the a.m. editor of the Drudge Report for four years. Send tips to [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @josephcurl.