Representative Richard Hudson ended a showdown in the US House of Representatives late Friday between two fellow lawmakers, Matt Gaetz and ally Kevin McCarthy.
McCarthy, a Republican from California, entered the chamber at 10 p.m., believing he had the necessary votes to become the next speaker of the House. Four days and 13 votes have already passed since the House met to choose its top leader.
But everything quickly turned around.
Both Reps. Lauren Boebert, R-Colorado, and Gaetz, R-Florida, voted “present” instead of voting for one of the two candidates — McCarthy or Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-New York — or choosing someone else. .
Their election meant that McCarthy fell short of winning the speakership on the 14th ballot.
Congressmen Patrick McHenry, Republican of North Carolina, and McCarthy stood by and spoke with them. Several lawmakers rallied around them as tensions rose and it became clear that McCarthy would not get enough votes.
Representative Mike Rogers, Republican of Alabama, approached the group from the back of the room, while Hudson, Republican of North Carolina, followed behind.
Rogers leaned into the Goetz row, began to speak, and reached out to the Florida Republican.
Hudson grabbed Rogers by the shoulder and then by the face, yanking him back into the chamber and off the floor of the House of Representatives.
McCarthy walked to the front of the room when someone yelled, “We’re going to do it again!”
Neither Bobert nor Goetz changed their vote, forcing the House to hold a 15th vote to select a speaker.
That vote allowed McCarthy to finally secure enough votes to become speaker, prompting cheers from the room.
The House could not swear in its members until a Speaker had been elected.
This story was originally published January 7, 2023 12:11 AM.
NC Rep. Hudson pulls Congressman Rogers out of the confrontation
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