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Rogers expresses regret for almost falling out with Gaetz during House GOP chaos


Rep. Mike D. Rogers (R-Ala.) expresses regret after nearly coming to blows with Rep. in a chaotic scene Friday night. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) on the House speaker’s vote.

Rogers, who is about to become chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, tweeted late Sunday that he and Gaetz have “a long and productive working relationship, which I am sure will continue.” He added: “I’m sorry I briefly lost my temper on the House Floor on Friday night and I appreciate Matt’s kind understanding.”

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

Late Friday, when the House voted to speak on the 14th ballot, Gaetz voted “present,” putting Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) denied the speakership with one vote.

McCarthy and some of his allies rushed to question Gaetz. But it was Rogers who stormed over and leaned angrily at Gaetz. Rep. Richard Hudson (RNC) stopped him, grabbed Rogers by the chin and shoulder and led him off.

McCarthy later won the speaker’s vote on the 15th ballot when Gaetz and other GOP foes voted present.

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

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

“Maybe you give some perspective on why Mike Rogers exploded to the ground,” the lawmaker said.

Seats on committees and subcommittee presidencies were a critical part of negotiations with the McCarthy holdouts last week, but it was not clear whether positions were guaranteed or merely used as a negotiating tool.

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