Matt Gaetz votes no on 'peaceful transfer of power' to stick it to Democrats


The Florida Republican was one of five Republicans to oppose the resolution.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) voted against affirming the "orderly and peaceful transfer of power called for in the Constitution of the United States" on Tuesday. His reasoning: this was somehow a Democratic attack on the president.

"We barely had a peaceful transition of power in 2016," he falsely claimed in a floor speech. "I rise in opposition to this resolution even though I completely support the peaceful transfer of power. The resolution is a way for Democrats to attack the president and disguise the fact that they will refuse to accept the election results unless they win."

The nonbinding resolution, offered by Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), passed on a 397-to-5 vote. It was introduced after Donald Trump refused to commit to accepting a peaceful transfer of power should he lose in November's election.

"We're going to have to see what happens. You know that I have been complaining very strongly about the ballots. And the ballots are a disaster," Trump told reporters last Wednesday. "Get rid of the ballots and you'll have a very peaceful — there won't be a transfer frankly. There'll be a continuation."

A handful of Republican lawmakers have made clear that they disagreed with this threat, but they fell well short of condemning him for threatening what could amount to a coup d'état.

Gaetz was joined in opposition by fellow Republican Reps. Louie Gohmert of Texas, Clay Higgins of Louisiana, Steve King of Iowa, Thomas Massie of Kentucky.

The second-term Florida Republican has made headlines before for his various stunts. These have included leading a group of colleagues to storm a secure impeachment hearing room, mocking the COVID-19 pandemic by wearing a gas mask on the House floor, and threatening a House committee witness.

In June, he was cited by Twitter for violating its rules about "glorifying violence" after he proposed killing anti-fascism protesters.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.