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- Rep. Lauren Boebert dismissed Trump’s plea to back Kevin McCarthy for House speaker.
- Boebert said Trump should tell McCarthy to withdraw his bid.
- McCarthy has lost five consecutive ballots for House speaker as of Wednesday afternoon.
Rep. Lauren Boebert on Wednesday rejected former President Donald Trump’s plea to support GOP leader Kevin McCarthy for House speaker and instead called on the ex-president to tell the California Republican to drop out of the race.
Boebert, a fierce Trump ally, is among the roughly 20 hardline conservative House Republicans who have repeatedly voted against McCarthy’s bid for the top post since the 118th Congress started on Tuesday at noon.
“Let’s stop with the campaign smears and tactics to get people to turn against us, even having my favorite president call us and tell us ‘We need to knock this off,'” Boebert said on the House floor on Wednesday.
“I think it actually needs to be reversed,” she continued. “The president needs to tell Kevin McCarthy that, ‘Sir, you do not have the votes, and it’s time to withdraw.'”
Hours before, Trump had urged Republican members to unite behind McCarthy after he failed to secure a majority of 218 votes to become House speaker, losing three consecutive ballots on Tuesday.
“REPUBLICANS, DO NOT TURN A GREAT TRIUMPH INTO A GIANT & EMBARRASSING DEFEAT. IT’S TIME TO CELEBRATE, YOU DESERVE IT,” Trump wrote on his platform, Truth Social, before the House was set to resume its selection of who would control the lower chamber on Wednesday.
But as voting restarted, the 20 Republicans, including Boebert, remained steadfast in their opposition to McCarthy. In the fourth ballot, McCarthy came up short again, losing GOP support to Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida.
For the fifth round, Boebert rose on behalf of the anti-McCarthy camp to nominate Donalds once more, and all 19 Republicans followed her lead in backing the Florida lawmaker. GOP Rep. Victoria Spartz of Indiana also withdrew her vote for McCarthy, voting “present” in both the fourth and fifth ballots.
The division within the Republican conference has forced the House into a standstill as no action — not even the swearing-in of members — can take place until a speaker is elected.
McCarthy, for his part, has shown no sign of backing down from his fight for the gavel although it’s unclear if he has a pathway to victory. In his struggle to win votes, McCarthy’s made a number of concessions, including agreeing to a rule that would allow only five members, instead of the usual requirement of at least half of the GOP conference, to initiate a vote to oust the speaker.
But the GOP holdouts have refused to let up. A sixth vote is currently underway.