Of the many reactions to U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers' (R-Saks) outburst on the U.S. House floor Friday night, U.S. Rep. Tim Burchett’s (R-Tenn.) may have been the most disparaging.
According to CNN’s Kate Sullivan, shortly after Rogers lashed out at U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) for voting "present" in the House Speaker race instead of for U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Burchett said, "People shouldn't be drinking, especially when you're a redneck, on the House floor. I would drop him like a bag of dirt. Nobody's gonna put their hands on me. Nobody's gonna threaten me."
On Tuesday, Burchett walked back those statements.
“To be clear, [Rogers] is my friend,” Burchett tweeted. “He had not been drinking and was not drunk on the House floor. Heck, Mike, like me, doesn’t even drink.”
Burchett further clarified his comments during an interview with Scripps News.
“It was just a heated moment. Obviously, being a redneck, I’m allowed to call that. I’m not profiling or anything… It was late, you know. We wanted to get home to our Hot Pockets. We had missed the early bird special at the Sizzler and, you know, missed our naps in the afternoon, so everybody was fussy, both sides of the aisle.”
Burchett said Gaetz decided to vote “present” due to a miscommunication where he thought he’d get to review the rules package before the next Speaker vote. Burchett also said tensions were heightened since several lawmakers had family issues and some who had flown out of Washington D.C. had to fly back.
“[T]he finger was stuck in my face, so I was a little hot about that being that I voted for Kevin [McCarthy] 14 times,” Burchett said. “… I was ticked off too. My adrenaline was pumping. I’m actually glad I didn't have a live mic on me when it was all going on. I would have probably put a bunch of IOUs in my daughter’s swear jar that she keeps around the house.
“We backed off all that, though,” he said. “We’re all friends.”
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