Gaetz plans to oust McCarthy from House speakership after shutdown vote: 5 Things podcast

Gaetz plans to oust McCarthy from House speakership after shutdown vote: 5 Things podcast


Taylor Wilson
 USA TODAY

On today’s episode of the 5 Things podcast: Rep. Matt Gaetz has announced plans to oust House Speaker Kevin McCarthy from the speakership after a vote to avoid the shutdown. USA TODAY Supreme Court Correspondent John Fritze previews the court’s new term. California Gov. Gavin Newsom will appoint Laphonza Butler to fill late Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s seat. Former Secretary of Defense Mark Esper warns that Vladimir Putin is hoping Donald Trump wins reelection. What does the American dream actually mean?

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Hit play on the player above to hear the podcast and follow along with the transcript below.  This transcript was automatically generated, and then edited for clarity in its current form. There may be some differences between the audio and the text.

Taylor Wilson:

Good morning. I’m Taylor Wilson, and this is 5 Things You Need to Know, Monday the 2nd of October 2023.

Today, how a government shutdown was avoided and what it now might mean for House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Plus, the Supreme Court begins a new term, and an appointment has been made for the seat of the late Senator Dianne Feinstein.

The country came within two hours of a federal government shutdown over the weekend, but lawmakers passed a temporary stopgap measure on Saturday moving it through the Republican controlled House before clearing the Democratic controlled Senate. The move keeps the lights on until the middle of November. But the passage of the measure called a continuing resolution may have put Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s future at risk as he faces a revolt from far-right conservatives. Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz told ABC’s State of the Union yesterday that he will file a motion to vacate against McCarthy this week, a push to remove him from the leadership position. Gaetz accused McCarthy of reneging on promises he made to the party’s Freedom Caucus, a faction of Republicans that had largely held up a resolution to keep the government open. With the GOP’s narrow majority, Gaetz could win if McCarthy lost just five Republican votes and didn’t gain any Democratic ones. McCarthy told CBS’s Face the Nation yesterday, “Bring it on.”

The Supreme Court begins a nine-month term today, justices are set to ponder cases from guns to social media to the power of federal agencies. I caught up with USA Today Supreme Court Correspondent John Fritze for a look ahead.

John, thanks as always for hopping on.

John Fritze:

Thank you.

Taylor Wilson:

So the Supreme Court gets back to work today as a new term begins. Before we get to some of the cases though, questions over ethics continue to cast a shadow over the court. John, how will this debate impact court proceedings in the coming months?

John Fritze:

In ways that are very subtle most likely and perhaps not really perceptible, but I think the main thing is that the court has a problem with the public in terms of polls showing that a lot of people have lost faith in the institution. How much of that is tied to ethics versus some of the controversial opinions are unclear? I think that this has been a problem for a while, but the ethics problems certainly don’t help.

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Taylor Wilson:

All right. Moving on to the cases, Second Amendment rights will be popping up on the docket. What will justices be considering around gun rights?

John Fritze:

In some ways, Second Amendment doesn’t actually come up that much or hasn’t come up in a long time. And so, it’s notable that this controversial case is coming up so soon after the last one. Just last year we got this decision where the court basically said, “Look, in order for a gun law to be legal, you have to have some historical antecedent. You have to be able to point to some similar regulation at the nation’s founding.” And that’s the theory that they laid down. Months later, along comes a challenge of a guy who had a domestic abuse restraining order placed on him and was convicted of having a gun in violation of a federal law that bans you from having a gun if you have that restraining order. And this guy challenges the conviction saying, “Look, there wasn’t any law in place like this back at the nation’s founding.”

And so this is, I think, a little bit of the conundrum for the conservative majority on the court. I think that the government is likely to win here, but the real interesting thing is going to be how the court figures out how to square this historical perspective, this historical analysis with this case because there weren’t laws back then about domestic abuse. And there certainly are now. And I think most Americans probably would agree with the prospect that people who have domestic violence orders against them shouldn’t have guns.

Taylor Wilson:

And John, you were on last month talking about the court taking up this fight over how Americans and American politicians interact on social media. Since then, the court took up a pair of challenges in Texas and Florida relating to social media moderation. What are the big questions around these social media battles for justices this term?

John Fritze:

That’s the big case that everybody’s going to watch, are these laws out of Texas and Florida that essentially attempt to regulate what goes on Twitter, now X, and Facebook and YouTube. And that’s a weird thing, right? Because usually when we think about the First Amendment, we don’t think about the government being able to tell a private entity what it can say. And so that’s how we’ve looked at the First Amendment for a long time. And I suspect that’s how the court’s going to look at it here. But these laws came out of this partisan debate about whether these social media firms were sort of throttling conservative viewpoints. And there’s a lot of angst, I think, both on the left and the right about social media and it’s regulations. So it’s not like purely a partisan issue, although most of the complaints have come from the right.

But I think that maybe the bigger picture is that social media has become a public forum. It’s become a place where we talk to politicians, where we hear from politicians, where policies get thrashed out and discussed. Social media has become really a forum for the nation to talk. And so I think the courts are catching up with that reality and trying to figure out how to deal with it.

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Taylor Wilson:

All right. John Fritze, I’m sure it won’t be the last we hear from you this Supreme Court term. Thank you so much.

John Fritze:

I hope not. Thanks.

Taylor Wilson:

California Governor Gavin Newsom will appoint Laphonza Butler to fill the vacant seat left by last week’s death of Senator Dianne Feinstein. Butler is the first Black woman to lead Emily’s List, an organization that helps democratic women win elections. She’s also a former union organizer and was an advisor to Vice President Kamala Harris. Politico first reported the development, a spokesperson for the governor told the outlet that Newsom is making the appointment without limitations on running for the seat in 2024. That means Butler could join the candidates vying for the seat next year.

Former Secretary of Defense, Mark Esper, is warning that Russian leader, Vladimir Putin, is hoping Donald Trump wins reelection. And asked by CBS’s Margaret Brennan what he thinks Americans should expect if Trump wins a second term in office, Esper who served in Trump’s first administration said he suspects Trump will do what Putin says. He also said he believes Trump would quickly work to end funding to Ukraine and potentially push to withdraw from NATO. Trump, the current 2024 Republican front-runner, has frequently suggested that the US might be providing Ukraine with too much support. And he’s also said he would end the war in 24 hours if reelected president. General support in the US for aid to Ukraine appears to be fading. According to an ABC News Washington Post survey out late last month, 41% of Americans said the US is doing too much, up from 33% in February.

What does the American dream mean for younger generations? According to a new report from the Sine Institute of Policy & Politics, it’s becoming increasingly elastic. A survey of more than 1,500 adults aged 18 to 34 this summer dug into the question. 87% of respondents saw being happy and fulfilled as a crucial component of the dream. The same percent prioritized the freedom to make decisions, and 82% prioritized having close and meaningful personal relationships. And despite that last bit, nearly half of respondents said that marriage was not seen as an important aspect of the dream. The findings run up against traditional ideas of the American dream, often things like marriage, owning property, or building a business.

And today is the International Day of Non-Violence. It was established as part of a UN resolution back in 2007 and falls on the same day as Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday. The day discourages using physical violence in order to achieve social or political change.

Thanks for listening to 5 Things. If you like the show, please subscribe and leave us a rating and review on Apple Podcasts. And if you have any comments, you can reach us at [email protected]. I’m back tomorrow with more of 5 Things from USA Today.

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