4th Congressional District: Republican Lauren Boebert

Lauren Boebert
Patrick Semansky/AP
U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill, July 14, 2023, in Washington.

Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert first arrived on Colorado’s political stage with a viral moment challenging Democrat Beto O’Rourke over gun policies. She pulled off a surprise upset against an incumbent in the 2020 primary for the 3rd Congressional District and went on to represent western and southern Colorado for two terms.

During her time in Congress, Boebert has made national headlines time and again, generally more for things like heckling the president during the State of the Union or “joking” that a Muslim member of Congress was a terrorist or being asked to leave a Denver theater over her behavior, than for her congressional work.

Boebert is an ardent supporter of gun rights and oil and gas development, and of former President Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. She’s very involved with the House Freedom Caucus and was part of the far-right bloc that forced former Speaker Kevin McCarthy to make concessions at the start of the 118th Congress.

In 2022, Boebert had the closest of electoral calls, winning reelection by only 546 votes. Going into this year’s contest, Boebert looked like she was facing a serious primary challenge, as well as a well-funded Democratic opponent when she surprised the political world by announcing she would run for a different seat. Shifting to the fourth district puts her in Colorado’s safest Republican seat, although Boebert has also said a need to move on from her very public divorce drove her decision.

On democracy and good governance

For Boebert, good governance as a representative means “being the voice of the people.” She cited her fight at the start of the current congress to change House rules, such as requiring single-subject legislation and votes on individual appropriations bills, as examples. “Being home on the ground, hearing the needs of constituents and bringing that back to Washington, D.C.” are also part of good government, she said.

Still, Boebert also acknowledged the Republican House majority has not followed through on those changes. “It’s obvious that we have not delivered all the way through,” she said, blaming divided government and an extremely slim Republican majority. She said she’s focused on helping Republicans to win both chambers of Congress, as well as the presidency, in order to advance the party’s agenda. 

Boebert has passed a number of amendments and bills through the House, several with bipartisan votes, but she has so far never had a Democratic House co-sponsor on any of her bills, which is why the Lugar Center ranks her low on its bipartisan index. She has had one bill signed into law through the NDAA, which completed the closure of the Pueblo Chemical Weapons Depot, a provision which Colorado’s Democratic Senators pushed for.

On the economy and cost of living

When it comes to lowering the cost of living, Boebert said the country needs to do more to amp up energy production. “That right there is a huge reason as to why inflation has been up for years now since Joe Biden has taken office.” She added many communities are “being regulated into poverty through bad policy, pushing a Green New Deal agenda.” .

She also added Congress needs to work on controlling government spending. “It’s reckless spending in Washington, D.C., causing high inflation.” She wants lawmakers to go through individual appropriations bills on the hunt for needless programmatic spending, no matter which party authorized it. “It’s not OK to add more to the debt just because it’s Republican debt,” she said.

On immigration

Boebert has introduced a bill titled, “Build the Wall and Deport them All,” which would end “catch and release” policies that allow people to stay in the country while their immigration case moves forward, expedite the removal of undocumented immigrants, end birthright citizenship, restore the ‘remain in Mexico’ policy (something the Mexican government no longer supports), punish local governments that have policies friendly to undocumented residents and finish construction of the border wall. 

She added her focus is also on ensuring that non-citizens cannot vote in elections; something which is illegal at the federal level but allowed by a handful of local jurisdictions around the country.

“I believe that our visa system is broken. There have been band-aids put on them in the past. And there needs to be reform with our visa system,” said Boebert. She said the country needs to keep better track of who is coming in on visas, do more to monitor them while they are here and have a clear exit process to prevent people from staying after their visas expire.

Boebert makes no distinction between undocumented people who have lived in the U.S. for several years or even decades and the new wave of more recent asylum seekers. When asked by CPR, she repeated the title of her bill: “build the wall, deport them all.”