House Speaker Kevin McCarthy was voted out of the job Tuesday in an extraordinary showdown, a first in U.S. history.
U.S. Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado cast one of the eight deciding Republican votes to oust McCarthy, a California Republican. Lauren Boebert and Doug Lamborn, the two other GOP members of Colorado’s U.S. House delegation, voted against removing McCarthy.
All six Democrats in Colorado’s U.S. House delegation voted with the rest of their party in the chamber to remove McCarthy as speaker.
The 216-210 vote, forced by a contingent of hard-right conservatives, throws the House and its Republican leadership into chaos.
McCarthy’s chief rival, Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, brought forward the “motion to vacate” drawing together more than a handful of conservative Republican critics of the speaker and many Democrats who say he is unworthy of leadership.
Next steps are uncertain, but there is no obvious successor to lead the House Republican majority.
Buck explained his vote in a post on X, the social media site formerly known as Twitter.
“I supported Kevin McCarthy in January because I thought he was the person best positioned to keep our promises to our constituents,” Buck wrote. “It’s clear that we need a principled Speaker who can keep his word not just to members of Congress, but to the American people.”
Boebert wrote on X that her “no” vote was because Congress should be prioritizing spending bills and the Republican impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden.
“Another Speaker fight right now, in my opinion, undermines those priorities at the worst possible time,” she said. “It would delay the hard work and important fights necessary to get this country back on track. We need to finish the job the American people elected us to do, and I’m here to ensure that happens.”
Democrats in Colorado’s U.S. House delegation characterized the speaker battle as a GOP problem not of their making.
“The Republican civil war is theirs to fix,” U.S. Rep. Jason Crow, D-Centennial, posted on X.
U..S. Rep. Yadira Caraveo, D-Thornton, offered a critique of McCarthy.
“From the first day of this congress, Mr. McCarthy has wrought chaos on our Capitol. He has spent nine months filling normally bipartisan packages with poison pills and letting a few extreme members hijack our work in Congress,” she wrote on X.
This is a developing story that will be updated.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. Colorado Sun reporter Jesse Paul contributed to this report. Colorado Sun correspondent Sandra Fish contributed to this report.