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Congressional disputes erupt in US House of Representatives

Congressional disputes erupt in US House of Representatives Clashes broke out in the US House of Representatives (Photo: GettyImages)

There were clashes and verbal altercations among members of the U.S. House of Representatives on the sidelines and in the halls of Capitol Hill, according to The New York Times.

Tuesday morning, former Speaker Kevin McCarthy argued with Congressman Tim Burchett of Tennessee in a Capitol corridor. Burchett, one of the eight Republicans who voted to remove McCarthy from the speaker's post last month, claimed that he was speaking with reporters in the hallway when McCarthy elbowed him in the back and then walked away.

“It was just a cheap shot by a bully,” Mr. Burchett said later. “And then I chased after him. And we had a few words.”

A witness to the incident confirmed the story in a social media post. However, Mr. McCarthy refuted any altercation, stating that he was merely passing by Mr. Burchett in a narrow and crowded hallway and accidentally bumped into him.

Nevertheless, Burchett criticized McCarthy by using derogatory terms such as "jerk," "chicken," and "pathetic."

"The hostility still simmering within the fractious Republican conference. The right-wing anger that led to Mr. McCarthy’s ouster continues to rage, while the former speaker and his mainstream allies remain livid that he was removed," stated the article.

Quarrels arose during the Committee's hearings

During a Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions hearing, Senator Markwayne Mullin, a Republican from Oklahoma, challenged a prominent union leader to a physical altercation.

Mullin and Sean O'Brien, President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, engaged in online conflict. Mullin recited one of O’Brien's posts, referring to him with derogatory terms such as "clown" and "fraud." Mullin also issued a dueling challenge, stating, "Cowboy, anywhere, anytime."

"Okay, I’d love to do it right now," O'Brien replied.

Mullin, who is a former mixed martial arts fighter, then stood up and took off his wedding ring, likely preparing to strike.

Senator Bernie Sanders, the independent nominee from Vermont and chairman of the commission, then intervened and repeatedly told Mr. Mullin to return to his chair.

"You look like a Smurf"

Later, Republican James R. Comey and Democrat Jared Moskowitz got into a foul-mouthed argument during an Oversight Committee hearing convened to discuss the personal finances of President Joe Biden's son Hunter.

When Mr. Moskowitz pointed to reports of Mr. Comey's financial transactions with family members, Mr. Comey called the Florida Democrat, who was wearing a blue suit and blue tie, a liar, adding, "You look like a smurf."

Work fatigue

Some members of Capitol Hill called it "ridiculous" to work for five weeks straight without breaks, which is unusual for them.

"Today is another example of why Congress shouldn’t be in session for 5 weeks straight," wrote Doug Andres, a spokesman for Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

In addition, disagreements persisted among Republicans who demanded McCarthy's resignation and wanted changes to the temporary spending bill but did not see them in the draft of new Speaker Mike Johnson.

At the end of the day, Congressman Matt Gaetz, the Florida Republican who forced the vote to oust Mr. McCarthy, opposed the spending plan and also filed an ethics complaint against the former speaker for allegedly assaulting Mr. Burchett.

Johnson said he hoped the spending bill would be passed quickly.

"This will allow everybody to go home for a couple of days for Thanksgiving. Everyone can cool off," he emphasized.

What happened before

As a reminder, on October 1, the U.S. Congress passed a temporary budget bill. It did not include any new funding for assistance to Ukraine, as it was decided to consider this initiative separately.

After that, U.S. President Joe Biden proposed that Congress allocate $106 billion. Most of these funds - $60 billion - are to be used to help Ukraine. The package also included aid to Israel.

The president's initiative faced resistance in the U.S. House of Representatives, where the new speaker, Mike Johnson, wanted to consider aid to Ukraine and Israel separately. He introduced a separate package for Israel to the House, and it was supported.

But the Senate, where the Democrats have a majority, did not even want to consider Johnson's initiative. They supported combining aid to Ukraine and Israel into one package.