Following Tuesday’s landmark congressional vote to remove one-time House Speaker Kevin McCarthy from his post, both Democrats and Republicans split to hold party meetings that, according to one GOP representative, got quite heated.
“I think if we had stayed together in the meeting last night, I think that you would’ve seen fists thrown,” Louisiana Rep. Garret Graves said, speaking “candidly.”
“I’m not being dramatic when I say that,” he added. “There is a lot of raw emotions right now.”
The congressman dialed into CNN’s “The Lead” with Jake Tapper to discuss the historic, first-ever House speaker dismissal and its aftermath Wednesday. Tapper was sure to note up top that Graves was one of the 210 representatives who voted to keep McCarthy as speaker while eight of his Republican colleagues and the Democratic Party uniformly voted to confirm his removal.
Reflecting on the last 24 hours, Graves backed up acting Speaker Patrick McHenry, a Republican from North Carolina, and his decision to send Congress to recess until picking up a vote for a replacement speaker on Tuesday.
“I think it was best to let folks go back home, decompress a little bit, and then come back together,” he said.
The congressman also detailed what the forthcoming process of finding a new speaker will entail — and that he doesn’t think that decision will be completed next week.
“The party is scheduled to vote, and I think that what’s going on right now is that people are going home and tempers decompress a little bit, coming back together starting on Tuesday, gonna do a candidate forum and have people who are interested in the speaker’s role talking about their candidacy and what they want to do and ideally votes on Wednesday,” he explained. “But I want to remind you, Jake, going back to January, even without all the sore wounds then, it took 15 votes to finally elect a speaker of the House. I think you have more raw emotions at this point, and quite frankly, I’m not sure why anybody would want this speakership right now in that the position really lacks stability.”
Watch the congressman’s full CNN interview in the video above.