Firebrand Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz offered an olive branch to fellow Republican Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL), over a tense confrontation Friday on the House floor that led to Rogers being physically restrained by colleagues.
Gaetz, who was one of the last GOP holdouts blocking Kevin McCarthy from assuming the role of speaker of the House, drew Rogers ire after Gaetz voted “present” in the 14th ballot to once again deny McCarthy. Rogers had to be held back by North Carolina Rep. Richard Hudson in the dramatic confrontation that was followed by another vote in which McCarthy took the speaker’s gavel.
“@RepMikeRogersAL and I have a six-year productive, working relationship,” Gaetz tweeted. “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.”
.@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
Gaetz’s response also included a video link to his interview on “Fox News Live” in which he shared similar words.
“Mike Rogers is going to be a terrific chairman of the Armed Services Committee, and we share a deep commitment to our national defense, to our men and women in uniform,” he said. “Of course, in a late-night moment of high drama, people can have moments of frustration.”
Rogers soon replied with a public apology to Gaetz concerning his actions.
“@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,” he tweeted.
Gaetz was one of 20 Republicans who initially refused to vote for McCarthy to become House speaker. The holdouts finally relented, with members either voting for McCarthy or voting “present” to lower the 218-vote threshold, after winning a series of pledges from McCarthy.
Most extraordinary CSpan floor video I have ever seen https://t.co/sFTPF8WCdJ
— Erik Wasson (@elwasson) January 7, 2023
In an interview with the New York Post, Gaetz said some of McCarthy’s concessions to the GOP holdouts could be seen as early as Monday.
“I feel like the American people won. I feel that the House of Representatives will be a healthier institution,” Gaetz told the Post. “Many of these things had been resisted by Kevin McCarthy as early as Monday and now we have an exquisite rules package.”
Congress resumes on Monday to move forward on a rules package after the week of voting to select McCarthy.