What Lauren Boebert got from her fight against Kevin McCarthy

After holding out against U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s long-desired bid to become Speaker of the House for four days, U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert and several others finally acquiesced but not before securing what she called a “massive victory” for Americans.

“We changed the way bills will be passed,” Boebert said in a release. “We changed the way the government will be funded. We changed the ways committees will be formed. We secured votes on term limits, the fair tax, the Texas Border Plan, and so much more.”

McCarthy offered these changes as concessions in exchange for Boebert’s support. Or, rather, Boebert merely voted “present” during the final House vote for speaker rather than actively voting against McCarthy.

The concessions are largely symbolic, though, Justin Gollob, a political scientist with Colorado Mesa University, said. They might not substantially change the way all of Congress passes new laws so much as constantly reminding Speaker McCarthy that he’s on a “very short leadership leash.”

At any point, a small group of House Republicans, possibly as few as five, could disrupt the entire chamber, holding up legislation or calling McCarthy’s leadership into question, Gollob said.

“That’s the real big win here,” he said. “Their interests can’t be ignored.”

During his negotiations with Boebert and the other Republicans opposing his speakership, McCarthy agreed to assign some of them to select House committees, positioning them to have more influence on proposed legislation over the next two years.

Boebert highlighted four other concessions from McCarthy in an unpublished op-ed submitted to The Denver Post. The Denver Post’s opinion section does not publish guest commentary submissions that have already run in other publications.

First, Boebert wrote that new legislation proposed in the House must have a single subject. This means that unrelated proposals (infrastructure and protections for butterflies, she used as an example) can’t be lumped together.

Second, lawmakers should be allowed to have at least 72 hours to read and understand bills before they vote on them, Boebert said.

Third, Boebert said the House will begin work on an actual federal budget. This is meant to replace the years of continuing resolutions meant to keep the government operating rather than Congress passing a full budget.

And finally, now any single representative can call for a vote to replace McCarthy, Boebert noted.

McCarthy also promised votes on border security and congressional term limits, The Hill reported.

Whether the first three concessions change much in the day-to-day work of Congress remains to be seen, Gollob said. But there might not be a major, concrete shift.

“The House is just one chamber in Congress, and Congress is just one branch of three in the federal government,” he said. “It’s a very complex process.”

Even so, Boebert noted that if she and other House Republicans aren’t satisfied with McCarthy’s direction they have the fourth concession to keep him in check.

“Republican leadership must follow through on these promises and we have the accountability in place to ensure that occurs,” Boebert wrote.

On the flip side, Boebert appears likely to face little negative consequence for her opposition to McCarthy. With the Republican majority so slim, party leadership can’t afford to alienate their members.

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