“I used to teach 4-to-6-year-olds. They were better behaved than some of the people in this place,” remarked one Senate Democrat.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Congress became a schoolyard Tuesday as Republican lawmakers got into a physical altercation, seemingly threatened a committee witness and called a Democratic colleague a financially illiterate Smurf.

The Capitol is a place with big egos where tempers often flare, but this week’s ugliness underscored a likely unprecedented amount of immaturity and rancor in the building, particularly among House Republicans, whose general disarray left their chamber literally unable to function for weeks last month.

Since settling on a new speaker following the ouster of Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Republicans got down to business by launching censure and impeachment resolutions, tanking their own government funding bills and, as of Tuesday, allegedly kidney punching.

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