Resentment lingers within the Republican caucus following the contentious voting for House speaker Kevin McCarthy, with some members still bitter over the deals cut by the California Republican to get the support he needed to prevail.
Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-MI) has reportedly considered retirement after he was passed over as chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee in favor of McCarthy ally Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO), and the 71-year-old lawmaker voiced his displeasure to him on House floor during the speakership vote, reported Puck.
The publication reported that Buchanan “exploded” after losing his potential spot on the committee.
“You f*cked me,” Buchanan told McCarthy, according to a source on the House floor. “I know it was you, you whipped against me.”
Buchanan then turned to McCarthy’s deputy chief of staff John Leganski and let him have it, which surprised House insiders.
“It was shocking to see such fury from Buchanan, who’s known for being mild mannered,” wrote Puck’s Tara Palmeri. “Indeed, I heard that the tirade was so heated that the Speaker’s security detail stepped in with a light touch.”
Buchanan, whose team says he does not intend to retire, had been the most senior member of the Ways and Means committee, while Smith was fifth in line before he got elevated to chairman.
McCarthy spokesman Matt Sparks denied that security got involved in the verbal outburst by Buchanan.
“At no point did anyone have to step in,” Sparks said.