Rep. Matt Gaetz has said that fellow Congressman Mike Rogers should not be punished or have any “reprisal” for lunging at him during the tense Speaker elections on Friday night.
Kevin McCarthy was elected to Speaker of the House last week, after a record-breaking 15 rounds of voting on the House floor, making it the longest Speaker election since 1856.
As one of the final holdouts, Gaetz was confronted by Rogers during the 14th vote, with the Alabama Representative having to be held back from lunging at the Floridian Congressman.
Rep. Hudson, R-N.C., left, pulls Rep. Rogers, R-Ala., as he confronts Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., during the 14th round of voting for speaker as the House meets for the fourth day to try and elect a speaker in Washington, Friday, Jan. 6, 2023. (@AP Photo/@andyharnik) pic.twitter.com/ok3K8ERtfU
— Andrew Harnik (@andyharnik) January 7, 2023
Woah. Dissension between McCarthy and Gaetz/Boebert as one representative seems to be grabbed by the face and held back pic.twitter.com/vChdX59ewV
— HudsonSchantz.eth (@hudsonschantz) January 7, 2023
Speaking to Fox News on Sunday, rather than further criticise Rogers for his remarkable actions, Gaetz instead praised his Republican colleague. “Mike Rogers is going to be a terrific chairman of the Armed Services Committee, and we share a deep commitment to our national defence, to our men and women in uniform,” Gaetz said.
“In a late night moment of high drama, people can have moments of frustration, but Mike Rogers and I have a six year productive, working relationship,” he added. “We’re going to work together wonderfully going forward, and I don’t think there should be any punishment or reprisal, just because he had an animated moment.” Gaetz confirmed that Rogers has his “forgiveness.”
Watch Gaetz’s remarks on Spreely.video:
Rogers apologised to Gaetz in a tweet following the Fox interview.
“[Gaetz] and I have a long and productive working relationship, that I am sure will continue,” Rogers tweeted. “I regret that I briefly lost my temper on the House Floor Friday evening and appreciate Matt’s kind understanding.”
.@RepMattGaetz and I have a long and productive working relationship, that I am sure will continue. I regret that I briefly lost my temper on the House Floor Friday evening and appreciate Matt’s kind understanding. https://t.co/8GmbJHO3cK
— Mike Rogers (@RepMikeRogersAL) January 8, 2023
Though Gaetz has requested that Rogers not be punished for the outburst, it was reported today that he “will be stepping down from serving on House GOP Steering” according to reporter Olivia Beavers.
“He says he is doing this on his own accord,” she reported this morning, adding that “no one is encouraging him to take this step.”
He says he is doing this on his own accord, no one is encouraging him to take this step.
But he said also caveated there is the chance he could change his mind.
— Olivia Beavers (@Olivia_Beavers) January 9, 2023
Gaetz also defended the actions of him and fellow McCarthy hold-outs, noting that by staying strong for 15 rounds, they had secured “concessions that were being rejected as early as Monday,” such as being able to read legislation 72 hours before adoption, and having individual appropriations bills, to prevent something like Biden’s omnibus spending package from happening again.
“I don’t really get the critique that taking from Tuesday to Friday to work this out puts the Republican majority in peril,” Gaetz added, responding to critics who attacked the hold-outs, such as Texas’s Dan Crenshaw.
“This summer, the entire Congress takes like six weeks off, where we’re not even around at all. So to take four days to figure out who’s going to be second in line to the presidency, and to ensure that we have the House of Representatives that is a fighting force to check the Biden administration – absolutely worth it,” he concluded.