WASHINGTON, DC (LOOTPRESS) – It’s well reported that West Virginia and county Republicans are involved in several disputes. Now, the intra-party animosity appears to extend to the national level.
Similar to Mingo County’s filling of a vacant County Commission seat and forming a committee to recommend a new State Delegate in Raleigh, two Republican Representatives appear to be at each other’s throats in DC.
According to Politico, one of those involved is West Virginia’s First District Congressman David McKinley.
The brouhaha has led to a McKinley staffer filing an ethics complaint against Congressman Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina.
At issue is co sponsorship of a bill that led to a confrontation between Cawthorn and McKinley.
Politico cited two sources familiar with the situation.
“The spat began Thursday afternoon when the freshman Cawthorn went to find McKinley in his office to discuss what Cawthorn said was his mistaken addition to a bill that he didn’t want his name attached to. But when Cawthorn found McKinley out of the office, the youngest member of Congress instead got into a back-and-forth with the West Virginian’s staff,” according to the report.
The exchange was witnessed by other McKinley staffers who felt Cawthorn had raised his voice and talked disrespectfully to the first aide.
“At one point, (Cawthorn) told the legislative staffer to lower her voice because she was speaking to a member of Congress,” the paper said.
Politico said the exact allegation in the ethics complaint is not clear and it will be up to the House Ethics Committee whether to investigate.
“The Cawthorn-McKinley dust-up, however, is only the latest evidence of fraught relations in the House that have begun causing intra-party as well as across-the-aisle friction, with one House conservative challenging Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Thursday over the chamber’s ‘bulls—‘ mask mandate,” according to Politico.
The report continues, “Cawthorn and McKinley’s melee continued beyond the latter Republican’s office on Thursday. At one point, the conflict turned into a yelling match on the House floor filled with slights and suggestions of retaliation, according to four sources. One onlooker thought the two men’s floor altercation would devolve into a fistfight at one point; it ended Thursday with Cawthorn taking a shot at McKinley as a career politician in an interview.
“In the office confrontation, McKinley’s office had apologized for the miscommunication and informed Cawthorn how to remove himself from the bill in question, which they argued would be a speedier solution, according to one source with direct knowledge of the incident.
“Cawthorn initially said Thursday that he thought it was a problem for McKinley’s office, which made the mistake, but on Friday morning he successfully did get himself removed,” the report said.
“At one point in the office spat, Cawthorn asked McKinley’s staffer if his boss ‘was that guy with the mustache that nobody … knows.'”
Some other representatives wondered why Cawthon did not just send his staff to McKinley’s office to straighten out the mess.
“They later got a front-row seat as the duo kept fighting on the House floor Thursday night, when Cawthorn approached McKinley and asked: ‘What is your name?”’ the report said.
“McKinley, according to a GOP source, replied: ‘You know damn well who I am.’
“McKinley pressed Cawthorn for attacking his staff, while Cawthorn pushed McKinley to take his name off the bill in question. McKinley, Cawthorn claims, said he wouldn’t agree to do so.
“It became a shouting match, with McKinley repeatedly referring to Cawthorn as ‘junior.'”
Finally, Cawthorn “asked McKinley how he would like it if he signed the West Virginia lawmaker onto pro-abortion legislation or pro-weed legislation, comments that some sources say McKinley perceived as a threat to do so. Cawthorn had made a similar point while in McKinley’s office with his staff, according to two sources.
“Recalling that he criticized McKinley for supporting a bipartisan commission to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, Cawthorn suggested he might use a fellow Republican’s vote against him on the campaign trail,” Politico said.
“I said, ‘Your district will remember that. And if you want to run for re-election and you’re going to sit here and attack me all over this stuff, I will make sure they remember,’ Cawthorn recalled later in an interview. ‘And then he started getting all kinds of angry.”‘
Cawthorn later sent letters to McKinley and the staffer in question. According to one letter reviewed by Politico, Cawthorn wrote that he does not “wish for any ill will between our offices” and that he hopes they can put “our differences behind us” and “focus on our true adversaries.”
McKinley serves the Northern Panhandle district long dominated by the Wheeling area. The fate of his district is uncertain since a population loss in the 2020 Census is costing the state one of its three Congressional districts. Many believe redistricting will pit McKinley against fellow Republican Congressman Alex Mooney of the present Second Congressional District in 2022.