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The six Republican rebels who refused to vote for Kevin McCarthy

January 7th, 2023

Lauren Boebert and Matt Gaetz are two “Never McCarthy” holdouts

Over the course of four days and 15 tense rounds of voting, Kevin McCarthy wore down enough of his opponents to finally be elected Speaker of the House.

In the final round, after a near-altercation on the chamber floor, six final holdouts opted to vote “present” instead of pick an alternative candidate, thus allowing Mr McCarthy to clinch victory.

The six rebels are all presenters of the Freedom Caucus – the most conservative bloc of the Republican party.

Here’s a look at the holdouts who stood between Mr McCarthy and his prized Speaker’s gavel.

Matt Gaetz

Matt Gaetz

The 40-year-old Floridian remains among the most vocal presenters of the anti-McCarthy holdouts.

Once considered a rising Republican star, Mr Gaetz is a loyalist to former President Donald Trump. Earlier this week, he lodged a symbolic protest vote against Mr McCarthy by nominating Mr Trump instead for House Speaker.

Some of Mr Gaetz’s hostility to Mr McCarthy may stem from a feeling that he did not receive adequate political support when he was the subject of a sex-trafficking investigation, which was dropped last year.

Bob Good

Bob Good

Bob Good, 57, of Virginia, was first elected to Congress in 2020 after running a campaign railing against “socialism” and warning that religious liberties were “under assault”.

Mr Good has said there is “no possibility” he will vote for Kevin McCarthy as House Speaker.

Lauren Boebert

Lauren Boebert

Representative Lauren Boebert, Colorado’s right-wing firebrand, just barely made it back for her second term in Congress, eking out a victory by less than 600 votes over a moderate Democrat challenger.

In her first two years, she rose to fame by picking frequent fights with her Democratic colleagues and promoting unproven claims of mass election fraud.

A staunch defender of gun rights, the 36-year-old vowed to bring her pistol to the Capitol in an ad before she was sworn in for her first term.

Eli Crane

Eli Crane

Eli Crane flipped a Democratic-held Arizona seat in 2022, helping Republicans recapture the House.

On his campaign website, he describes himself as “a faith-oriented, family man”, who is ” unafraid to take a stand against cancel culture and the radical left”.

Before running for Congress, Mr Crane served in the US Navy Seals, and once appeared on the business reality show Shark Tank to pitch a line of bottle openers made out of .50-calibre shell casings. He dubbed the product the “Bottle Breacher”.

Matt Rosendale

Matt Rosendale

Montanans elected Matt Rosendale to Congress in 2020, after his stints as the state’s auditor and member of the legislature. He first ran unsuccessfully for US Senate in 2018, before finding better luck in the House contest two years later.

During one vote, Mr Rosendale, 62, teased his House colleagues by adding a lengthy pause while voting for “Kevin… Hern”, another congressman who shares a first name with the embattled Speaker front-runner.

His colleagues groaned audibly in response.

Andy Biggs

Andy Biggs

An attorney by trade, Andy Biggs was until last year chairman of the Freedom Caucus.

During the last administration, statistics show he voted nearly 80% in line with President Trump’s position on issues – compared to about 5% since Joe Biden has been in the White House.

Mr Biggs was also one of a number of Republican lawmakers referred for an ethics inquiry by the committee investigating the riot that took place at Capitol Hill two years ago.

He dismissed the move as a “political stunt”.

With reporting from Kayla Epstein, Holly Honderich, and Bernd Debusmann

This content was originally sourced and posted at Yahoo Canada Sports – Sports News, Scores, Rumours, Fantasy Games, and more »
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