Matt Gaetz, a Republican Congressman from Florida, accused the United States military of being focused on “wokeism” and not defense strategies. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin was prepared with arguments of his own.

The Armed Services hearing in the United States House of Representatives on Tuesday witnessed a heated debate between the two officials, shifting focus from the meeting’s agenda.

While referring to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, Gaetz said that the countries would have been in a better position if “the National Defense University actually worked a little more on strategy and a little less on wokeism”, according to reports from CNN.

Defense Secretary Lloyd replied to the Republican lawmaker’s argument with a rhetorical question. “Has it occurred to you that Russia has not overrun Ukraine because of what we’ve done and what our allies have done? Have you ever even thought about that?”, Lloyd counter questioned.

Putting aside the decorum of the legislative hearing, the two officials continued to shout and debate. Lloyd charged Gaetz of being “embarrassed for his country” after the Florida Congressman said the United States military can not go forward if it “continues to embrace socialism.”

“The fact that you’re embarrassed by your country, by your military. I’m sorry for that,” Secretary Austin said.

“Oh no, I am embarrassed for your leadership. I am not embarrassed for my country”, Gaetz responded, according to reports from CNN.

The heated debate then took another steep turn and moved to America’s new arms race with China, which has mainly revolved around hypersonic missiles.

Gaetz demanded an explanation on why the United States has fallen behind China on hypersonic weapons. Lloyd Austin, who was visibly furious at this point, responded, “What do you mean? We’re behind in hypersonics? How do you make that assessment?.”

“Your own people brief us that we’re behind and China is winning”, Gaetz said. The controversial Republican lawmaker has had a history of engaging in heated debates with officials from the Pentagon over issues like critical race theory in the military, CNN reported.