House Republican Blasts Far-Right 'Scumbags' Amid Fight To Oust Johnson

Rep. Tony Gonzales' swing at his fellow Republicans is the latest example of the GOP's increasing division in Congress.

A House Republican let out a series of attacks over the weekend against his party’s far-right “scumbags” as some of his colleagues try to oust Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.), the latest example of the GOP’s increasing division in Congress.

Texas Rep. Tony Gonzales voted on Saturday to pass a long-awaited foreign aid package meant to help assist Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan in their military efforts against Russia, Hamas and China, respectively.

The four-part $95 billion package was a rare show of bipartisanship, despite Republicans to the right of Johnson pressuring him to avoid a vote on Ukraine aid. Last week, Democrats came to the rescue and moved to bolster Johnson’s push to bring Ukraine aid to the floor for a vote — a bipartisan legislative success for the speaker that drew the ire of his party’s more extreme lawmakers.

Far-right Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) has threatened to oust Johnson from speakership, an effort that gained more support after Friday’s vote to advance the aid package. Republicans have filed a “motion to vacate” rule against Johnson, where all it takes is one lawmaker to initiate a vote to remove the speaker — a move that was used by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) to kick out former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) in October.

“He will survive. Look, the House is a rough and rowdy place, but Mike Johnson is going to be just fine,” Gonzales said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “I served 20 years in the military, it’s my absolute honor to be in Congress, but I serve with some real scumbags.”

Gonzales specifically went after Gaetz, who was accused of having sex with and trafficking minors. The Texas Republican alleged on CNN that the Florida lawmaker “paid minors to have sex with him at drug parties,” echoing similar accusations made by McCarthy.

In 2020, the Justice Department opened a sex-trafficking probe into the allegations against Gaetz. The department decided last year against prosecuting the lawmaker, who denies any wrongdoing. But the GOP-led House Ethics Committee has since launched its own investigation into allegations that Gaetz was involved in sex trafficking and potential lobbying violations.

Elsewhere during his CNN appearance, Gonzales pointed out that Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.), who leads the far-right House Freedom Caucus, had endorsed Brandon Herrera, an extremist YouTuber and Gonzalez’s primary opponent. Herrera, who calls himself “The AK Guy,” will face Gonzalez in a May 28 runoff.

Pulling no punches, Gonzales said that his opponent is “a known neo-Nazi.”

“These people used to walk around with white hoods at night,” he said. “Now they are walking around with white hoods in the daytime.”

On Sunday, Gaetz responded to Gonzales on X, formerly Twitter, calling the Texas lawmaker “occasionally-Republican” and encouraging Gonzales’ constituents to vote for Herrera in the runoff.

“Now he’s laundering lies on CNN,” Gaetz said. “‘Unhinged Outbursts’ is one of the final phases a politician goes through prior to defeat.”

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