In what was billed as a major announcement at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C., U.S. Congressman Matt Gaetz vowed to the crowd that he will no longer accept federal contributions from political action committees (PACs).
“My friend Ro Khanna on the other side of the isle has already sworn this off as well,” Gaetz said. “I may very well be the only incumbent Republican House Member to do so. I’m pleased to join him.”
The pledge amounts to Gaetz walking away from a substantial sum of cash, which typically comes from special interest groups, corporations and other political committees. In the 2018 election cycle, Gaetz raised $339,000 from political action committees, including but not limited to the communication industry, aerospace companies, agriculture groups and transportation companies.
But Gaetz will almost certainly remain a formidable political opponent in future congressional campaigns. His solid-red district isn’t likely to vote for a Democrat, and even without the PAC money, Gaetz raised more than $1 million in his last two campaign cycles from individual donors – regular American citizens – who contribute smaller amounts, but far outnumber the contributions from PACs.
During his speech, Gaetz also went into great detail about the importance of this year’s presidential election, stating that the “upcoming election is America’s time for choosing capitalism versus socialism.”
President Trump has called Gaetz his most fearless defender, a moniker Gaetz wears with pride.
“Donald Trump won the election despite their best efforts, and it’s an honor to fight alongside him every day.”
Gaetz currently sits on the armed services committee, as well as the judiciary committee, both of which are fertile grouds for fundraising from special interest groups. He is up for re-election this November.