One of the most notable concessions former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) made to his GOP detractors in order to secure the leadership position earlier this year involved approving a so-called “motion-to-vacate” rule that would allow a single lawmaker to call for a vote ejecting him from the post.
Months later, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) used that rule to oust McCarthy over claims that the speaker had not lived up to his promises.
As lawmakers consider a replacement, many are contemplating whether the low threshold for vacating the speakership is worth continuing into the future. In a social media post this week, one of the rule’s most vocal defenders indicated that she would be “willing to ditch” the policy if Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) is selected to become the next speaker.
I’m willing to ditch the Motion To Vacate with @Jim_Jordan as Speaker.
The House has a lot of work ahead, let’s get this over with and take our country back!
— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) October 5, 2023
“There is a section of the conference that won’t vote for ANY Speaker until this rule is removed,” Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) went on to explain. “It is a mechanism based to ensure promises are kept by the Speaker. I’m willing to get rid of the rule if we get a Speaker who is trustworthy — and Jim Jordan is absolutely trustworthy.”
Boebert theorized that the only way to secure the 218 votes needed to install Jordan might be to repeal the controversial rule.
Jordan and House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) are currently campaigning for the open position. While Scalise’s status as the second-highest-ranking House Republican would ordinarily make him the favorite to succeed McCarthy, Jordan has received support for a number of prominent conservatives — including former President Donald Trump.
While Boebert is among the House Republicans who would be willing to get rid of the motion-to-vacate rule in order to facilitate the approval of a preferred candidate, other prominent members of the party want to see the option remain in place.
For his part, U.S. Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) pointed to remarks made by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) as “a compelling reason” for the House to keep the rule.
McConnell, a divisive figure within his own party, spoke out in opposition to the motion-to-vacate rule, declaring: “I think it makes the speaker’s job impossible.”