Capitol Hill hearing room or UFC octagon?
Sen. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) nearly came to blows Tuesday with Teamsters general president Sean O’Brien, who has been trash-talking the lawmaker for months on social media.
Mullin began his remarks during a testy Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing by reading off a series of mean tweets and other taunts from O’Brien, who challenged him to a fight earlier this year.
“Sir, this is the time, this is the place. You wanna run your mouth? We could be two consenting adults. We can finish it here,” Mullin said .
“OK, that’s fine. Perfect,” O’Brien shot back.
“You want to do it now?” Mullin asked.
“I’d love to do it right now, O’Brien said.
“Stand your butt up,” Mullin demanded.
“You stand your butt up,” O’Brien sneered.
The Oklahoma senator then stood up and braced himself for a fight.
Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) then stepped in before he was asked to referee.
“Sit down,” Sanders scolded Mullin. “You know you’re a United States senator.”
Mullin protested that O’Brien had wanted this and O’Brien tried to chime in, but Sanders wasn’t having it.
“This is a hearing,” the Vermont socialist said.
Mullin and O’Brien have been bitterly feuding since at least March, when O’Brien knocked Mullin — who owns a plumbing company — during another contentious hearing about unionization.
The Oklahoman accused the Teamsters of trying to intimidate his employees into unionizing and charged O’Brien was “sucking” money from worker paychecks by “forcing them to pay dues.”
But the hostilities didn’t end there.
“Hey, JohnWayne Mullin … you should get your facts straight because every time you speak in these hearings you’re full of sh*t,” O’Brien posted on X June 21. “The more you run your mouth, the more you show the American public what a moron you are.”
A few days later, O’Brien taunted Mullin again.
“In reality, just a clown & fraud,” added O’Brien, tweeting under the provocative handle “TeamsterSOB.” “Always has been, always will be. Quit the tough guy act in these senate hearings. You know where to find me. Anyplace, Anytime cowboy.”
“An attention-seeking union Teamster boss is trying to be punchy after our Senate hearing. Okay, I accept your challenge. MMA fight for charity of our choice,” Mullin later told O’Brien on Twitter. “Sept 30th in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I’ll give you three days to accept.”
That fight never came to fruition.
The Teamsters, which touts 1.2 million members, is among the largest labor unions on the planet and represents workers in the trucking, rail and publishing industries, among others.
Mullin previously said he would fight porn star Stormy Daniels’ disgraced former lawyer Michael Avenatti, but that never manifested either.
Mullin was elected to the House in 2012 and ascended to the Senate after winning a special election to succeed retiring Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) last year.
There may be something in the water on Capitol Hill, as Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.) accused former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) of elbowing him following a GOP conference hearing.