Hal Rogers Accused of Telling Joyce Beatty to 'Kiss My Ass' on Train - Rolling Stone
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Democratic Congresswoman Says Republican Rep. Poked Her, Told Her to ‘Kiss My Ass’

Rep. Joyce Beatty tweeted on Tuesday that Rep. Hal Rogers verbally assaulted her after she asked him to wear a Covid-19 mask on the train

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Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) and Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio).

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images; Graeme Sloan/Sipa USA/AP

Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio) on Tuesday accused Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) of poking her in the back and telling her to “kiss my ass” after she asked him to wear a mask in the U.S. Capitol.

“Today, while heading to the House floor for votes, I respectfully asked my colleague @RepHalRogers to put on a mask while boarding the train,” Beatty tweeted. “He then poked my back, demanding I get on the train. When I asked him not to touch me, he responded, ‘kiss my ass.'”

“This is the kind of disrespect we have been fighting for years, and indicative of the larger issue we have with GOP Members flaunting health and safety mandates designed to keep us and our staff safe,” she added. “@RepHalRogers, when you are ready to grow up and apologize for your behavior, you know where to find me.”

Rogers said in a statement provided to Rolling Stone that he apologized to Beatty. “This afternoon, I met with Congresswoman Beatty to personally apologize,” he wrote. “My words were not acceptable and I expressed my regret to her, first and foremost.”

Rogers, who represents eastern Kentucky, used to be known as the “Prince of Pork” for steering millions in federal pork-barrel spending to his district. The conservative National Review lambasted him as a “congressional disgrace” for funneling critical Homeland Security contracts to shoddy contractors in Kentucky. Rolling Stone included him in a 2012 roundup of the “The Ten Worst Members of the Worst Congress Ever,” highlighting how he’d handed a lucrative no-bid airport security contract to a concern that had flown him on trips to Ireland and Hawaii.

“It’s as if he grabbed people off the street and said, ‘Hey, would you manage a critical homeland-security program? No experience required,’” Tom Schatz, then president of Citizens Against Government Waste, told us at the time. In recent years, Rogers has backed Donald Trump to the hilt, joining in efforts to decertify the Electoral College vote count from Arizona last Jan. 6, and calling Trump’s impeachment for inciting the attack on the Capitol a “Democrat-led debacle.”

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus held a press conference outside Congress shortly after Beatty tweeted her allegations against Rogers. “I will not give Hal Rogers a pass,” said Rep. Val Demmings (D-Fla.). “We’re all dealing with the same thing, but his racist, inappropriate behavior against Joyce Beatty is totally unacceptable.”

Rogers’ alleged harassment resembles a 2020 incident in which Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) accused former Republican Rep. Ted Yoho of calling her a “fucking bitch” on the steps of Congress. Yoho acknowledged the incident but declined to fully apologize for it. “This is not new,” Ocasio-Cortez said on the House floor of such harassment against women, “and that is the problem.”

This post has been updated.

In This Article: Hal Rogers, Joyce Beatty

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