Oklahoma Republican Sen. Markwayne Mullin found himself in an unexpected face-off during Tuesday’s Senate Help Committee hearing, when he read a tweet from the labor leader testifying before the committee which apparently insulted and challenged him to a fight. Mullin swiftly responded they could battle it out right there.
Actually battle it out, with Sen Bernie Sanders playing referee.
“‘Quit the tough guy act in these Senate hearings. You know where to find me? Any place, anytime, cowboy,’” Mullin read the tweet aloud. “Sir, this is a time. This is a place. You want to run your mouth? We can be two consenting adults. We can finish it here.”
“You want to do it right now?” Mullin asked, prompting the labor leader to reply: “I’d love to do it right now.”
“Well stand your butt up then,” Mullin demanded.
“You stand your butt up,” the labor leader, identified as Teamster boss Sean O’Brien, retorted.
The heated words between the two men prompted an immediate exchange of shock from those in attendance, especially when Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders called for order in the room and told Mullin to sit down.
“You know it’s bad when Bernie Sanders becomes the voice of reason in the room,” mused one onlooker after the confrontation. “The thing with the Union is that their members act like thugs. I don’t condone violence, but I recognize that Mullin is only human and responding to threats the union head made against him.”
This is just the latest episode to take place between the United States Senate and the labor unions, to whom Mullin previously delivered a scathing rebuke of their request to block necessary border and immigration security measures. It seems these two sides of the aisle have been at each other’s throats for weeks and this confrontation was just the most explosive example.
Oklahoma Sen. Markwayne Mullin @SenMullin just stood up and tried to fight labor leader Sean O'Brien @TeamsterSOB at a Senate Help Committee hearing after reading his tweet where O'Brien says he'd take him "any time, any place." pic.twitter.com/8oiPSNZJV8
As the saying goes, it seems the gloves have come off. It will be interesting to see how this battle continues, as the labor unions and the Senate continue to disagree on the most important issues of the day. With no signs of a truce in sight, it is likely the tension will rise even further before the two sides eventually come to a compromise. And even if that takes some time, it looks as if at least one thing is certain: regardless of the outcome, the unexpected showdown between Sen. Mullin and O’Brien will forever remain etched in people’s minds.