GOP Senator Challenges Union Boss to Brawl in Committee Hearing

A Republican senator from Oklahoma was admonished during a committee hearing in Washington, DC, on November 14 after challenging one of the speakers, the head of the Teamsters union, to a physical fight. The incident occurred during a Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) hearing when Sen Markwayne Mullin recalled a tense interaction that took place between him and Sean O’Brien, General President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, during a hearing in March. Mullin then drew attention to a June 21 post made by O’Brien on X, in which O’Brien mocked Mullin as a “greedy CEO who pretends like he’s self-made” and appeared to challenge Mullin to a confrontation outside the Senate chambers. “Quit the tough guy act in these senate hearings. You know where to find me. Anyplace, anytime, cowboy,” O’Brien wrote in the post. Mullin read the post aloud and told O’Brien: “Sir, this is a time and this is a place…We can finish it here.” “Okay, that’s fine. Perfect,” O’Brien answered. “You want to do it right here?” Mullin asked. “I’d love to do it right here,” O’Brien said. “Well, stand your butt up then,” Mullin said. “You stand your butt up,” O’Brien replied. Mullin then rose quickly from his seat, prompting Sen Bernie Sanders, chairman of the committee, to chastise him and bang his gavel. “You’re a United States senator! Sit down, please!” Sanders yelled. Mullin and O’Brien continued to spar for several minutes, calling one another “thugs” and “bullies,” as Sanders admonished them both and attempted to steer the conversation away from physical violence. Speaking afterward, Mullin said he didn’t regret his actions, according to CNN. Credit: US Senate via Storyful