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Florida Republican: “Gaetz and 7 Useful Idiots” To Blame For House Foreign Aid Chaos

By Jake Beardslee · April 21, 2024

In the ongoing turmoil in the House of Representatives over foreign aid legislation, Rep. Mike Lawler (R-N.Y.) has laid blame squarely on Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and a small group of conservative Republicans he labeled "seven useful idiots."  Wikimedia/Gage Skidmore

Lawler argued that their success in ousting former Speaker Kevin McCarthy last fall has directly weakened Speaker Mike Johnson's hand in negotiating the aid package for Ukraine and Israel.  Tom Williams (CQ Roll Call)/Wikimedia

"Some of these folks have nobody to blame but themselves for why Speaker Johnson's hand in negotiations has been weakened," Lawler told CNN's Anderson Cooper. "It's their actions that have done that."  Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America/Wikimedia

He added, "I look at this very simply. In October, the House was thrown into chaos by Matt Gaetz and seven useful idiots that teamed up with him within the Republican Conference and 208 Democrats."  Meredith Geddings/Wikimedia

Lawler projected confidence that the foreign aid bill will ultimately pass, stating, "The foreign aid bill will pass. It must pass. The United States has an obligation as leader of the free world to support our allies at this most critical juncture and to make it clear to our adversaries that we will not tolerate their actions and what they have done to undermine and destabilize the free world."  New York State Young Republicans/Wikimedia

The House Rules Committee advanced the aid package late Thursday, but only with Democratic support due to opposition from three GOP members - Reps. Thomas Massie (Ky.), Chip Roy (Texas), and Ralph Norman (S.C.).  Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America/Wikimedia

This rare party-line split on a rules vote underscores the deep divisions within the Republican party on the issue of foreign aid.  Office of Speaker Mike Johnson/Wikimedia