On Sunday, Florida representative Matt Gaetz addressed a Friday altercation between himself and Alabama representative Mike Rogers during a 14th ballot voting on a new Speaker of the House.
Gaetz held out on supporting Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, who ultimately secured speakership during a 15th vote, leading to a contentious exchange between Rogers and Gaetz.
“[Mike Rogers] and I have a six-year productive, working relationship,” Gaetz tweeted Sunday afternoon. “We’re going to work together wonderfully going forward. I don’t think there should be any punishment or reprisal just because he had an animated moment. He has my forgiveness.”
.@RepMikeRogersAL and I have a six-year productive, working relationship. We're going to work together wonderfully going forward.
I don't think there should be any punishment or reprisal just because he had an animated moment.
He has my forgiveness. pic.twitter.com/bXERia3a0j
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) January 8, 2023
“[Matt Gaetz] and I have a long and productive working relationship, that I am sure will continue,” Rogers said in response to the Florida representative’s tweet. “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
In the video, McCarthy can be seen confronting Gaetz as the two exchange remarks presumably about the Florida representative’s lack of support. Rogers emerges from the crowd of representatives visually flustered and points his finger to Gaetz as North Carolina representative Richard Hudson cover’s Rogers face with his hand, appearing to hold Rogers back. The camera pans to McCarthy who heads towards his seat, though a commotion among representatives is heard as Rogers and Gaetz’s altercation escalates off camera.
Mcarthy won a 15th ballot late Friday night following the altercation.
“Tonight, I want to talk directly to the American people. As Speaker of the House, my ultimate responsibility is not to my party, my conference, or even our Congress. My responsibility—our responsibility—is to our country,” McCarthy said. “Two months ago, you voted for a new direction for our country. You embraced our commitment to America, and now we’re going to keep our commitment to you.”
“A commitment for a government that is held accountable. Where Americans get the answers they want, need, and deserve,” he continued. “Our system is built on checks and balances. It’s time for us to be a check and provide some balance to the president’s policies.”
“I want to give all Americans a personal invitation. You are welcome to see this body at work. No longer will the doors be closed, but the debates will be open for you to witness what happens in the People’s House.”
On Monday, the Alabama representative revealed his intention to step down from the Steering and Policy Committees of the United States House of Representatives. Rogers will likely step down later this week, though noted his departure wasn’t finalized nor was encouraged by colleagues, Politico reported.