The ongoing Kevin McCarthy speakership showdown is blooming outwards in concentric circles of drama. For example, Representative Lauren Boebert took a shot at former President Donald Trump during a speech on the House floor “shocking many of her fellow lawmakers.”
“Let’s stop with the campaign smears and tactics to get people to turn against us,” Boebert said, “even having my favorite president call us and tell us we need to knock this off.” Presumably, Boebert’s favorite president is Donald Trump. Boebert continued, adding “I think it actually needs to be reversed, the president needs to tell Kevin McCarthy that ‘sir, you do not have the votes and it’s time to withdraw.” Boebert’s comments prompted “an array of shocked yells from others in the House.”
So, the first few days of the Republican House majority are going great…
Boebert’s speech came just a few hours after Trump pushed all Republicans to embrace McCarthy as the next Speaker of the House.
Boebert, who is a big-time Trump supporter, is also a member of the ‘Never Kevin’ faction, vowing to withhold support for McCarthy until an alternative is selected.
Clearly, Boebert’s comments suggest the culture within the GOP is changing; Trump is no longer untouchable.
Boebert supports Byron Donalds
The reluctance of Boebert and her fellow Freedom Caucus zealots to embrace McCarthy has led to a prolonged drama – putting the group at odds with former President Trump.
“It’s now time for all of our GREAT Republican House Members to VOTE FOR KEVIN, CLOSE THE DEAL, TAKE THE VICTORY,” Trump wrote on Truth Social. “Kevin McCarthy will do a good job, and maybe even a GREAT JOB – JUST WATCH!” All caps from the former President of the United States.
Boebert and the Freedom Caucus sideshow are instead supporting Representative Byron Donalds for Speaker. “Praise the work and the leadership of Byron Donalds. So, let’s work together, let’s stop the campaign smears and tactics to get people to turn against us,” Boebert said.
Does McCarthy still have a chance?
Wednesday was a roller coaster ride for McCarthy. I mean, anytime Lauren Boebert is speaking publicly about something that pertains to you, usually means you’re having a wild day. But McCarthy may be able to salvage his bid for speakership. McCarthy’s bid is still imperiled but his prospects seem to have improved in the last day or so.
I’ve lost count of how many votes have been held at this point. Obviously, McCarthy keeps losing; his path to victory is still cloudy, but he’s been involved in negotiations with his holdouts.
Apparently, some progress is being made. McCarthy is reported to be offering a one-member “motion to vacate,” something he previously resisted. The one-member motion to vacate would mean that only one member would be needed to force a vote ousting the speaker. Understandably, McCarthy wanted a higher threshold for triggering a vote to oust the speaker, hypothetically him.
McCarthy also seems willing to give Freedom Caucus members two seats on the House Rules Committee, which oversees the amendment process for the floor. And McCarthy may be willing to give a third seat to someone not in the Freedom Caucus but aligned with the far-right group.
Maybe we’ll get Boebert back in front of a microphone and then we’ll see where to go from there. Stay tuned.
Harrison Kass is the Senior Editor at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, Harrison joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison holds a BA from Lake Forest College, a JD from the University of Oregon, and an MA from New York University. Harrison lives in Oregon and listens to Dokken.