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Video: Rep. Mike Rogers lunges at GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz during House speaker vote

The U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. (Dreamstime/TNS)
January 09, 2023

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL) caught viral attention during the drawn out process of selecting the Speaker of the House after he lunged at fellow Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida.

Video from the House Floor showed a conversation between Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Geatz after McCarthy failed for a 14th time to win the speakership on Friday. As their conversation went on, Rogers appeared to step in and he leaned-in and shouted at Gaetz before another lawmaker restrained him.

It’s not exactly clear what Rogers said as he began to lunge at Gaetz. CNN reported Rogers — who has been a staunch ally of McCarthy in his speakership bid — had been threatening to kick some holdout Republicans off of committee assignments if they didn’t support McCarthy’s speakership. According to CNN, during the confrontation, Rogers told Gaetz “you’re finished.”

As Rogers lunged in, Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.) could be seen placing a hand over Rogers’ mouth and pulling him back.

Following that tense interaction after the 14th round of votes, McCarthy won the speakership on a 15th vote early on Saturday morning.

Despite the contentious moment on the House Floor, Gaetz and Rogers appeared to have put the issue aside by Sunday.

“.@RepMikeRogersAL and I have a six-year productive, working relationship. We’re going to work together wonderfully going forward,” Gaetz tweeted on Sunday, with a clip of a Sunday appearance on Fox News. “I don’t think there should be any punishment or reprisal just because he had an animated moment. He has my forgiveness.”

Gaetz said he anticipates being able to work well with Rogers, who is expected to chair the House Armed Services Committee.

“Mike Rogers is going to be a terrific chairman of the Armed Services Committee,” Gaetz said in his Fox News appearance.

Replying to Gaetz, Rogers tweeted, “.@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.”

On Monday, Rogers confirmed to Politico that he plans to step down from a position on the Steering Committee, which makes committee assignments for the other House Committees.