Last Updated on January 7, 2023

Tensions flared on Capitol Hill late Friday night as House Representatives approached a 15th ballot to vote for House Speaker.

After the 14th ballot resulted in Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) remaining one vote short of a majority, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL) was seen lunging at Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) on the House floor.

Rep. Gaetz walked onto the House floor late, while the vote for the 14th ballot was ongoing, so he would not vote until the very end. When it came time for Gaetz to vote, McCarthy was just one vote shy of a majority. The room was filled with tension and suspense for Gaetz’s vote.

After the Florida rep. voted “present” and the vote failed, an animated McCarthy was seen walking up to try and get Gaetz to change his mind. McCarthy appears to have mouthed the word “committee” at one point.

Rep. Gaetz is currently serving on the House Armed Services Committee.

After McCarthy walked away from Gaetz, Rep. Mike Rogers, who was watching the McCarthy-Gaetz conversation from the top of the chamber, approached Gaetz.

Rogers attempted to lunge at Gaetz but was physically restrained by Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC).


Following the dramatic chain of events, Rep. Kevin McCarthy was ultimately elected speaker of the House. Reps. Matt Gaetz, Lauren Boebert, Matt Rosendale, Andy Biggs, Eli Crane, and Bob Good voted “present” on McCarthy’s nomination.

Chairman of the House Freedom Caucus (HFC), Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA), celebrated the House Speaker vote on Twitter. “Congratulations to the American People — tonight your much-improved House starts to get back in order. Now on to the business of saving the Republic,” Perry said, with a list of concessions the HFC pushed.

Stay tuned to National File for any updates.

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