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After Kevin Mccarthy Failed to Secure a 14th Vote for House Speaker, Rep. Mike Rogers Lunged at Rep. Matt Gaetz
On Friday evening, Rep. Kevin McCarthy failed to be chosen speaker for the 14th time this week. After a heated debate between McCarthy and Rep. Matt Gaetz, the House floor devolved into chaos. Rep. Mike Rogers attempted to lunge at Gaetz before being stopped by Rep. Richard Hudson.
The United States House of Representatives degenerated into turmoil Friday night when Rep. Kevin McCarthy failed to secure enough votes to be elected speaker for the fourteenth time this week. On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, a hardline faction of approximately 20 Republicans voted repeatedly against McCarthy, but the California representative made significant success on Friday morning, switching 14 votes in his favor.
It was still insufficient to be chosen speaker, prompting a round of votes late Friday night that ended in the most tumultuous scene in the House to date. The vote was getting close when Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, who had led the fight against McCarthy all week, ultimately voted “present,” leaving McCarthy one vote shy of being elected speaker.
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McCarthy rose from his seat to face Gaetz, and the two had a heated exchange that was filmed on C-SPAN thanks to the fact that there are officially no House rules in place yet, which generally limit what the network may film.
It’s unclear what the two said, but McCarthy was nearly serious, whilst the Florida firebrand was more active, pointing and gesticulating with his hands. Rep. Mike Rogers of Alabama could be seen confronting Gaetz as McCarthy walked away near the end of the exchange, which lasted about a minute and a half.
Rogers lunged toward Gaetz, according to CNN reporter Annie Grayer, and the C-SPAN feed showed Rogers being held back by Rep. Richard Hudson of North Carolina. Members of the House could be heard yelling when McCarthy returned to the scene.
Shortly after the exchange, voting for speaker resumed, and McCarthy concluded with 216 votes out of 432 – one vote shy of the required majority. Before the final vote count was called, deliberations on the House floor continued.
Rep. Patrick McHenry moved to adjourn Congress until Monday, but the motion was defeated, kicking off the sixteenth round of voting on Friday at about 11:45 p.m. local time. Rogers’ representative did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
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