Lauren Boebert insists the Kevin McCarthy opposition has a plan as House Speaker votes grind toward a 4th day

Alex Brandon/AP Photo
Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., left, listens as Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., nominates Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., in the House chamber as the House meets for a second day to elect a speaker and convene the 118th Congress in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023.

For a third day, Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert and about 20 other far-right politicians denied GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy’s quest to become Speaker of the House.

As for who Boebert would like for Speaker, it has changed several times through this process. Her first votes were for Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan (who himself supports McCarthy).

Come Thursday, she supported Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida in the 7th round of voting. In the 8th, she voted for Rep. Kevin Hern of Oklahoma and spoke on the floor to nominate him during the 9th and 10th rounds of voting. Hern voted for McCarthy all day.

“We have been accused of not having a plan. Well, we've presented many, many plans, and are even presenting two plans simultaneously,” Boebert said, explaining her decision to nominate Hern, who chairs the Republican Study Committee. “Congress is broken and fundamentally needs change. I'm here to get this right. We need a leader that is not of the broken system, someone who is not beholden to the lobbyists, but to the people who sent us here. Someone who can unite our party.”

But as McCarthy backers point out, the vast majority of the caucus — more than 200 Republicans — have voted for McCarthy to be the next Speaker. And like Boebert and the others, they too are digging in on their support for McCarthy.

Caitlyn Kim/CPR News
Colorado Republican U.S. Rep.Lauren Boebert, center, listens while her colleague from Florida, Matt Gaetz speaks to reporters Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023 at the Capitol in Washington, D.C. House Republicans, who won a narrow majority in the November 2022 elections, are in a drawn-out fight over who will serve as House Speaker.

“We don't care if this goes a month or whatever. We're not going to let a small group beat us around and kick us around,” said GOP Rep. Don Bacon of Nebraska. “We’re going to hold steadfast. Period.”

Colorado Rep. Ken Buck, who supported McCarthy in votes 7 and 8, but missed vote 9 due to a non-emergency medical procedure, said the opposition is divided in what it wants. 

“You've got some people that just aren't going to vote for Kevin. You got other people who want a deal on rules. And then you got another group that wants a deal on policy,” he said. “And the real issue is, they've all agreed not to move until they all move. And so that's a tough, tough position.”

It’s also a position that Buck has said is untenable.

“I think a few more votes and we'll be able to take the temperature (of) folks, whether they are interested in moving now or whether they're interested in moving tomorrow,” he said. “I think it is going to be resolved over the weekend, at some point. And we all need to just get our seat belts and go for the ride.”

Until it is resolved, all the House can keep doing is vote on Speaker or vote to adjourn.