Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) offered his regrets to Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) on Jan. 8 for a tense confrontation during the heated House speaker vote on Friday evening.
“I regret that I briefly lost my temper on the House Floor Friday evening and appreciate Matt’s kind understanding,” Roger, the incoming chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, wrote via Twitter on Sunday.
“@RepMattGaetz and I have a long and productive working relationship, that I am sure will continue,” his post reads.
It came after Gaetz said that the Alabama congressman “has my forgiveness” in an interview, adding that he looks forward to their future collaboration.
“Of course in a late night moment of high drama, people can have moments of frustration,” Gaetz told Fox News earlier that day. “Mike Rogers 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,” Gaetz added. “He has my forgiveness.”
.@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
The confrontation occurred shortly after the 14th failed vote, during which Gaetz, one of the remaining GOP holdouts, switched his vote to “present.”
Rogers, a supporter of Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), came over to Gaetz before jabbing his finger at the leading rebel. Videos and photos captured show Rogers was physically restrained from behind and pulled back by Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.).
“I was just exasperated that Matt was treating McCarthy so badly,” Rogers told the New York Post on Saturday, saying that he was about to turn away when Hudson grabbed him.
Rogers added that the whole thing was “really a big nothing burger.”
During the next and final round of voting, Gaetz along with five other holdouts voted “present,” allowing McCarthy to secure the speakership by a 216-212 vote.
Not ‘About Me or Kevin’
Like other GOP holdouts, Gaetz said his opposition to McCarthy was nothing personal.
“[T]his has never been about me or Kevin McCarthy. It’s about the American people. And the American people want to know that the rules of the House of Representatives would never allow something like this terrible, horrendous omnibus bill to ever pass ever again,” the Florida Republican told Fox News on Friday.
“It’s been about draining the swamp; making this a more honest, transparent, open place,” Gaetz said.
The lawmaker expressed his appreciation for McCarthy’s good faith to meet the demands that the 20 conservative holdouts pushed for. He said: “We’re at the stage right now where I’m running out of stuff to ask for—read the bills, have a balanced budget, have a broader plan. Kevin McCarthy is agreeing to all these things.”
McCarthy made numerous concessions to rebels who blamed him for not being conservative or tough enough to counter President Joe Biden’s agenda, including lowering the threshold for a lawmaker to issue a motion to vacate to allow members to oust the House speaker, allowing a vote to impose term limits on members of the chamber, and restricting a debt limit increase.
Following the final vote, McCarthy wrote on Twitter, “I hope one thing is clear after this week: I will never give up. And I will never give up for you, the American people.”
I hope one thing is clear after this week: I will never give up. And I will never give up for you, the American people. https://t.co/uLqPKa1maZ— Kevin McCarthy (@SpeakerMcCarthy) January 7, 2023
The House now plans to vote on a hefty rules package, which was subject to negotiations with holdout Republicans.