Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) challenged Democrat Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) to a fight on the House floor, according to reports.
The situation turned aggressive after Swalwell blasted McCarthy over Rep. Adam Schiff’s (D-CA) censure vote.
On June 21, the day Republicans voted to censure Schiff, Swalwell was standing in the well of the House near the speaker’s podium and heckled McCarthy.
“This is pathetic,” Swalwell yelled at McCarthy, who was presiding over the House at the time.
“You’re weak. You’re a weak man.”
McCarthy was furious, with one member telling The Daily Beast, “He had a vein popping out of his forehead.”
The next day, June 22, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Capitol Hill for a joint address to Congress.
Just before Modi took the speaker’s podium, McCarthy walked up to Swalwell and said:
“If you ever say something like that to me again, I’m gonna kick the sh*t out of you.”
A member said, “They were in each other’s faces.
“And Swalwell said something like, ‘Are we really gonna do this?’”
McCarthy then issued a challenge to Swalwell: “Call me a p*ssy again, and I’ll kick your ass.”
After a stare-down, Swalwell called his bluff and said:
“You. Are. A. P*ssy.”
The two stared at each other chest to chest before McCarthy thought better of escalating and walked away.
Here’s a fun one for you:
Eric Swalwell and Kevin McCarthy recently got into it on the House floor.
McCarthy threatened to kick Swalwell’s ass. Swalwell called him a pussy. McCarthy said say it again and I’ll punch you.
Swallwell: “You. Are. A. Pussy.”https://t.co/tzBVedXPdY
— Matt Fuller (@MEPFuller) July 27, 2023
According to The Daily Beast:
There is plenty of existing bad blood between the two Californians: during his speakership, McCarthy has gone after Swalwell personally and repeatedly.
In one of his first acts in office, McCarthy kicked Swalwell off the House Intelligence Committee over allegations that Swalwell inadvertently had a relationship with a Chinese spy.
(He also booted Schiff, who had been the panel’s top Democrat.)
Swalwell hit back in a joint statement with colleagues, claiming McCarthy had once again “capitulated to the right wing of his caucus” and had “struck a corrupt bargain in his desperate, and nearly failed, attempt to win” the speakership.
Since then, Swalwell has repeatedly slammed McCarthy on cable TV and social media, recently calling him “corrupt” on MSNBC.