An ethics complaint has been filed against Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) after the first-term Congressman antagonistically harassed a staff member for Rep. David McKinley (R-W.Va.) and then got into what POLITICO describes as a “shouting match” with the West Virginia Congressman himself on the House floor. That verbal altercation between Cawthorn and McKinley — which one observer reportedly worried would turn physical, according to POLITICO — unfolded after Cawthorn went to the other Congressman’s office in an effort to get his name removed from a bill for which he said he’d been mistakenly listed as a co-sponsor.
During Cawthorn’s Thursday stop at McKinley’s office, staff members for the West Virginia Representative were apparently concerned by Cawthorn’s treatment of one of their fellow workers. The McKinley staffers “saw Cawthorn as raising his voice and dressing down their colleague,” according to POLITICO, which adds that Cawthorn eventually “told the legislative staffer to lower her voice because she was speaking to a member of Congress.” The level of self-obsession required to denigrate a legislative staffer — or anyone, really! –in such a manner is appalling. These are the kinds of people who Republican voters are apparently at least largely interested in backing these days.
Although its exact contents are unclear, the ethics complaint against Cawthorn was filed by a McKinley staffer, and now, the House Ethics Committee will have to decide on potential next steps regarding the matter. Meanwhile, that later argument between Cawthorn and McKinley was apparently “filled with slights and suggestions of retaliation,” POLITICO explains, based on remarks from sources. Interestingly, during their fight, Cawthorn threatened to wield McKinley’s vote for a bipartisan commission to investigate the Capitol riot against him on the campaign trail, showing just how much that Trump — and Trumpism in general — remain tied to the most obnoxious elements of the Republican Party.
As for the inciting incident, McKinley’s office originally tried to explain to Cawthorn how to remove himself from the bill to which his name had been mistakenly attached, but Cawthorn was apparently initially set on having McKinley’s office get Cawthorn’s name taken off. (Apparently, McKinley originally added him.) The bill driving the argument was related to drug pricing, while Cawthorn had sought to co-sponsor a different piece of legislation broadening telehealth services for the substance abuse treatment. The arrogance necessary for Cawthorn to go through this meltdown instead of just taking his name off the bill himself and moving on is just — wow.