Tensions were flaring on Capitol Hill Tuesday, with two separate incidents involving Republican lawmakers playing out as a government shutdown could be nearing.
In one, a Senate hearing got tense when Sen. Markwayne Mullin, an Oklahoma Republican, stood up in a move to fight Teamsters President Sean O’Brien.
“You’re a United States senator, sit down!” ordered Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent running the hearing.
In another incident, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the California Republican who until recently was House speaker, is being accused of shoving fellow GOP lawmaker Rep. Tim Burchett. Burchett, of Tennessee, is alleging that McCarthy came up and took a “cheap shot from behind.” It should be noted that Burchett helped oust McCarthy as speaker.
Burchett was speaking with NPR reporter Claudia Grisales, who documented what happened in posts on X. McCarthy later told CNN he did not “shove or elbow” Burchett. “It’s a tight hallway.”
O’Brien had challenged Mullin to a fight in June, calling him a “clown” and a “fraud” in posts on X.
The federal government is slated to partially shut down after midnight Friday if lawmakers can’t agree on a short-term funding bill.
Meanwhile, House Speaker Mike Johnson sounded upbeat early Tuesday about securing passage of a stopgap funding measure that would prevent a partial government shutdown.
Read: Ahead of House vote to avoid government shutdown, Speaker Johnson says, ‘You have to fight fights that you can win’