It was late. Everyone was fried. And apparently, some Republicans had finally had enough.
On Friday night, toward the end of the 14th (and penultimate) vote to elect Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) as House Speaker, McCarthy found himself walking over to Matt Gaetz, the Florida Republican who has been one of most outspoken conservative holdouts in the speakership drama. Gaetz had just voted “present” after repeated votes for other non-McCarthy candidates, and some Republicans believed that would be enough to finally hand McCarthy the gavel. But it wasn’t enough; Gaetz needed to have voted for McCarthy for that to happen.
So McCarthy approached Gaetz, and the two began a dour-looking conversation that involved a few other nearby GOPers. It was yet another sidebar in a week of sidebars.
And then Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) rolled up on the group, and the vibe shifted quickly:
Rogers v. Gaetz pic.twitter.com/fMe9uaTu37
— Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦 (@RonFilipkowski) January 7, 2023
Rogers obviously wasn’t pleased with Gaetz’s grandstanding. He also couldn’t have been pleased by North Carolina Republican Richard Hudson, who ended up restraining Rogers by, strangely, grabbing his face and covering his mouth. According to the Washington Post, “Rogers stormed off the House floor and into a cloakroom. He declined to elaborate on the clash, saying, ‘I think it spoke for itself.’”
Just another night with the Hold Me Back, Bro caucus.