Representative Mike Rogers Confronts Representative Matt Gaetz During U.S. House Speaker Vote

U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Saks., had to be held back by one of his colleagues after confronting Rep. Matt Gaetz during the contentious 14th vote for U.S. House speaker Friday night.

U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, one of Kevin McCarthy’s top backers of the California congressman’s bid for speaker, had to be restrained by Rep. Richard Hudson, R.-N.C., as a visibly angry Rogers confronted Gaetz, the Republican congressman from Florida.  Rogers lunged toward Gaetz after McCarthy finished chatting with the Florida congressman, who has withheld support for McCarthy’s bid.

“Rogers immediately left for the cloak room to cool off,” NBC News reported.

Rogers was “frustrated because Gaetz had been holding out for a subcommittee gavel on the Armed Services Committee,” the report stated. “Rogers is poised to chair the full committee.”

McCarthy later said “no one gets promised anything” when asked if he promised Gaetz a subcommittee gavel, ABC News reported.  Gaetz voted “present” in the 14th vote McCarthy lost in his speaker bid. The 14th vote ended without McCarthy becoming speaker — this time just one vote shy of being elected.  McCarthy then appeared to speak with Gaetz and walked off when Rogers lunged at Gaetz before being restrained by Hudson.

Seconds later, McCarthy turned and walked back up the aisle toward where Gaetz was sitting after the exchange.  As McCarthy spoke with Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., someone can be heard tapping a gavel as a woman says, “Stay civil.” 

After the incident, Gaetz was photographed standing, smiling and flexing his bicep. has reached out to Rogers’ office for comment.

As the 15th vote for speaker began, Rep. Dean Phillips, D-Minn., addressed the incident before his nominating speech for Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., NBC News reported.  “I rise to say, wow.” Phillips then urged six Republicans to vote Jeffries for speaker to “end this nonsense,” NBC reported.  However, the 15th vote ended with McCarthy elected speaker. He received 216 votes to 212 for Jeffries, with another six voting “present.”  Gaetz voted “present” on the 15th vote. “Glad it’s over,” ABC reported Gaetz said as he walked off the House floor.

The Alabama congressman previously “promised” to ban any Republican members who don’t vote McCarthy speaker from sitting on committees.

The exchange happened after Republicans expected to lead House committees on defense and homeland security issued a joint statement saying the impasse was harming national security, the Associated Press reported.

“The Biden administration is going unchecked and there is no oversight of the White House, State Department, Department of Defense, or the intelligence community. We cannot let personal politics place the safety and security of the United States at risk,” said the statement from Republican Reps. Rogers, Michael McCaul of Texas, and Mike Turner of Ohio.



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