Ron DeSantis is picking a side in the high-stakes dispute that could shut down the federal government next month and tear House Republicans apart.
During a phone call with conservative Reps. Chip Roy of Texas, Thomas Massie of Kentucky, and Bob Good of Virginia on Wednesday, the governor of Florida spent about 30 minutes with the leaders of the cadre urging House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to embrace a shutdown if Democrats won’t agree to hard-right policy demands.
“I got your back,” was the alleged statement from DeSantis, relayed by a listener of the call. Never give up!
This is just the latest hint that DeSantis is trying to use the spending dispute on Capitol Hill to boost his profile with Republican primary voters.
According to Andrew Romeo, a spokesman for Ron DeSantis’s campaign, “Ron DeSantis knows that both parties — including the current and previous administration — are to blame for Washington’s reckless spending spree.” For the sake of the American people, he says, “he is urging congressional Republicans to hold the line in this current spending standoff and end days of rubber stamping multi-trillion dollar spending bills.”
Three-term congressman and House Freedom Caucus founder Ron DeSantis is among the conservatives pressuring House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to take a tougher stance against Democrats on spending and other members.
Even still, it is noteworthy that DeSantis is aligning himself with McCarthy’s internal opponents just when tensions within the House GOP are reaching a boiling point. McCarthy lashed out at his detractors on a private conference call on Thursday.
“If you think you scare me because you want to file a motion to vacate, move the fucking motion,” he continued, alluding to the method of removal proposed by Good and other legislators.
The call narrator spoke on the condition of anonymity. A representative for Roy, who has been the conservative splinter group’s unofficial head, declined to comment. A representative for McCarthy who was asked for comment on DeSantis’ involvement did not immediately respond to a message.
DeSantis also just made a video criticising the “D.C. establishment” for spending too much, suggesting that he is interested in the spending fight. Furthermore, he attributed excessive spending to both the Democrats and the Republicans in an interview with CBS’ Norah O’Donnell.
Unlike the GOP frontrunner, former President Donald Trump, who has mostly left McCarthy alone to handle budgetary problems, DeSantis has paid far more attention to the spending clash.
Trump and his friends have been pressuring House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy for months to officially launch an impeachment investigation on former Vice President Joe Biden, and McCarthy did so on Tuesday.