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Rogers offers regrets for near altercation with Gaetz during House GOP chaos

Rep. Mike D. Rogers (R-Ala.) is expressing his regrets after nearly coming to blows with Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) over the House speaker vote in a chaotic scene Friday night.

Rogers, who is poised to become chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, tweeted late Sunday that he and Gaetz “have a long and productive working relationship, that I am sure will continue.” He added: “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

Gaetz tweeted a response, saying the two men have worked together for six years and will cooperate going forward. “I don’t think there should be any punishment or reprisal just because he had an animated moment. He has my forgiveness,” Gaetz wrote.

Late Friday, as the House voted on the 14th ballot for speaker, Gaetz voted “present,” thus denying Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) the speakership by one vote.

McCarthy and some of his allies rushed over to Gaetz to question him. But it was Rogers who stormed over and leaned angrily toward Gaetz. Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.) restrained him, grabbing Rogers by the chin and shoulder and leading him away.

McCarthy later won the votes for speaker on the 15th ballot as Gaetz and other GOP foes voted present.

As The Washington Post’s Jacqueline Alemany and Marianna Sotomayor have reported, Rogers’s anger at Gaetz likely stems from a potential offer, floated by Republican leadership, that would give Gaetz the gavel of a subcommittee on the Armed Services Committee, according to two people familiar with the dynamics.

Rogers believes there are more qualified people to lead the subcommittee than Gaetz, according to one lawmaker, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to freely describe private deliberations.

“Might give you some perspective on why Mike Rogers blew up on the floor,” the lawmaker said.

Seats on committees and chairmanships of subcommittees were a pivotal part of negotiations with the McCarthy holdouts last week, but it was not clear whether any positions were guaranteed or were just being used as negotiating tools.

This post appeared first on The Washington Post

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