Something in the Air? 3 Legislators and a Union Rep. Get into Separate Squabbles on Capitol Hill


(Ken Silva, Headline USA) Rep. Tim Burchett, R-Tenn., one of the eight Republicans to vote for the ouster of former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Fla., accused McCarthy of purposely elbowing him in the kidney in a “cheap shot” following a Tuesday GOP meeting on Capitol Hill.

On the same day, Sen. Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., and union official Sean O’Brien postured as if they were going to fight each other during a committee hearing before being scolded by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.

Footage has yet to be released of the McCarthy incident, which has been described by Burchett and NPR reporter Claudia Grisales. The spat followed McCarthy making critical comments of Burchett in a Sunday interview with CNN.

Grisales she thought it was a “joke” when she saw McCarthy shove Burchett, who lunged into her.

But then Burchett yelled at McCarthy: “Why’d you elbow me in the back Kevin?! Hey Kevin, you got any guts!?”

McCarthy reportedly denied elbowing Burchett in the back, but the Tennessee congressman didn’t believe him.

Burchett told the reporter that the incident was his first “communication” with McCarthy since voting for his ouster last month.

Burchett later confirmed the details reported by Grisales in an interview with CNN.

“She was asking me a question, and at the time I got elbowed in the back, and it kind of caught me off guard because it was a clean shot to the kidneys. I turned back, and there was Kevin,” Burchett said.

“I chased after him. He’s a bully with $17 million and a security detail. He’s the type of guy that when you’re a kid, would throw a rock through a window and go home and hide behind his momma’s skirt,” he added.

While the McCarthy drama was unfolding, Sen. Mullin was getting feisty with Teamsters official O’Brien nearby at a Senate hearing.

O’Brien had apparently criticized Mullin’s manhood before the hearing, calling him a clown and a fraud, and telling himi to “quit the tough-guy act in these Senate hearings.” According to Mullin, the Teamster rep had offered to fight him “any place, anytime.”

“Sir, this is a time and this is a place,” Mullin said Tuesday. “You want to run your mouth, we can be consenting adults and do it here.”

O’Brien agreed to fight.

“Stand your butt up, then,” Mullin said, to which O’Brien replied: “You stand your butt up, big guy.”

However, committee chairman Sanders stepped in before the fight could escalate.

“You’re a United States senator,” said the senior socialist. “Sit down.”

Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at