Following a heated exchange on the House floor on Friday that resulted in Firebrand Florida Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL) being physically restrained by colleagues, Rep. Matt Gaetz extended an olive branch to Rogers.
Gaetz angered Rogers by voting “present” on the 14th ballot to once more oppose McCarthy, who was one of the final GOP holdouts preventing him from becoming speaker of the House. Richard Hudson of North Carolina had to restrain Rogers during the heated exchange, which was followed by another vote during which McCarthy presided as speaker.
Gaetz wrote, “I’ve had a six-year productive working relationship with @RepMikeRogersAL. Going forward, we’re going to collaborate incredibly well. Just because he had an animated moment, I don’t believe there should be any retaliation or punishment. He is pardoned by me.”
Gaetz’s response also contained a video link to an appearance he made on “Fox News Live” when he made a similar statement.
“We share a strong commitment to our country’s defense and to the men and women who serve in uniform,” he said, adding that “Mike Rogers will be an excellent chairman of the Armed Services Committee. Of course, people can become frustrated during a late-night scene of great drama.”
Gaetz received an immediate public apology from Rogers for his behavior.
“We’ve had a long-standing, fruitful working relationship, and I have no doubt that it will continue with @RepMattGaetz. I apologize for my momentary outburst on the House Floor on Friday night, and I appreciate Matt’s thoughtful forgiveness,” he tweeted.
Gaetz was one of 20 Republicans who first objected to McCarthy being elected as speaker of the House. Following several promises from McCarthy, the holdouts ultimately gave in and cast their votes for McCarthy or “present” to decrease the 218-vote requirement.
Gaetz stated that some of McCarthy’s concessions to the GOP holdouts could be observed as soon as Monday in an interview with the New York Post.
“I believe that the American people prevailed.” According to Gaetz, “the House of Representatives will be a stronger institution. Kevin McCarthy had fought against many of these things as early as Monday, and now we have an outstanding rules package.”
After a week of voting to elect McCarthy, Congress will reconvene on Monday to continue working on a rules package.
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