It’s official. Colorado Congresswoman Lauren Boebert has won re-election. While the result had been presumed for weeks, the confirmed tally means national politicos are now looking to the next House prize: the speaker’s gavel. Former Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is the consensus frontrunner, but the GOP’s slim majority in the chamber requires a near-unanimous vote from his fellow House Republicans. The narrow margin gives far-right members like Boebert substantial leverage to extract concessions from McCarthy in exchange for their support.
So what does Boebert want?
According to the congresswoman, she wants the same thing several of her fellow Freedom Caucus members are demanding: the ability to ask colleagues to oust McCarthy at any time.
Last week she told far-right podcaster Tomi Lahren that while she hadn’t committed her support to McCarthy or any other aspiring speaker, her one “very hard-line” issue is the reinstatement of an obscure House rule that would empower any member to call for a vote to remove the speaker.
During the short Dec. 9 interview, Boebert made it clear her support for McCarthy is contingent upon a promise to reinstate the “motion to vacate” rule.
“I haven’t committed my vote — one way or another — to anyone,” said Boebert. “I’ve met with Leader McCarthy multiple times — I’m meeting with him again today. And we’re certainly talking, but I want to see him support a motion to vacate.
“The American public may not be too familiar with that. But it’s an accountability measure that’s been in place since the 1800s, until Nancy Pelosi removed it. This gave each individual member of Congress the ability to have an actual check on leadership in the House of Representatives. Our government is all about checks and balances. This was written by Thomas Jefferson, and it’s been in place for almost two centuries. That accountability measure needs to stay in place.
“This is something I’ve expressed to Kevin: this is a very hard line to even begin any sort of conversation, because what good is it to negotiate in the absence of truth and trust? So that accountability measure certainly needs to be there. There’s no denying he’s the leader of the conference right now, and what he says matters. We’ll wait to see what actually happens on Jan. 3, but we all want a unified party.”
As Boebert noted, the vote for House Speaker will take place on Jan. 3. Currently McCarthy and Freedom Caucus member Andy Biggs (R-AZ), who helped plan the Jan. 6 insurrection, are seeking the gavel. Either man needs 218 votes to win. The GOP will have a five-seat majority, 222-213, but there are already five Republicans who say they won’t vote for McCarthy: the “Never Kevins.”
Trump “Absolutely” Has Boebert’s Support
Asked by Lahren if the Republican Party should “move on” from Donald Trump, Boebert reiterated her wholehearted support for the former president.
“He’s done a fantastic job and I want to see him in the White House again,” replied Boebert. “He’s the one in the race right now. He absolutely has my support. He’s a friend of mine. I’m not turning my back on him. I know there’s a lot of talk about Ron DeSantis. … He’s America’s Governor! They’re both incredible men, but I don’t think anyone should go shifting blame onto President Trump. He had amazing victories with his endorsed candidates.”
Political observers on both sides of the aisle have pointed out that the losses by Trump-endorsed Republicans in the midterm elections — including the loss of Georgia’s GOP Senate candidate Herschel Walker — raise questions about the ability of his candidates and Trump himself to win in the 2024 election.
“I’m not changing who I am”
While getting the power to call for her own leader’s removal is Boebert’s top priority, it’s not all she wants.
According to a recent Politico report, Boebert is interested in joining the House Oversight Committee, which will likely launch investigations into any number of red-meat issues, from Hunter Biden’s laptop to the origin of COVID-19.
Boebert noted her enthusiasm for such investigations during the Lahren interview Boebert. “I’m looking forward to the majority, and it’s going to be a really fun two years actually accomplishing things for the American people: holding hearings and investigations that actually mean something. This is going to be a very exciting ride. And no one needs to worry too much; I’m not changing who I am.”
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