Washington Rep. Herrera Beutler breaks from GOP party line again over Bannon contempt vote

Oct 22, 2021, 6:16 AM | Updated: 11:12 am
Jaime Herrera Beutler...
Washington Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler. (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The U.S. House of Representatives voted to hold Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress on Thursday, with a small contingent of Republicans joining Democrats in support of the move. Among those Republicans was Washington Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler.

Report card grades state Republicans who supported impeachment

Nine Republicans voted in favor of holding Bannon in contempt for failing to appear after getting subpoenaed by the commission investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. In addition to Herrera Beutler, that included Representatives Liz Cheney (R-WY), Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH), John Katko (R-NY), Nancy Mace (R-SC), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Fred Upton (R-MI), and Peter Meijer (R-MI).

Thursday’s vote now tasks the U.S. attorney’s office with deciding whether to put the case in front of a grand jury to pursue criminal charges against Bannon.

Rep. Herrera Beutler — who has served in Congress for nearly a decade — has frequently faced criticism from her Republican colleagues over the last 10-plus months, having split from the party line in numerous high-profile votes.

In January, she joined 10 other Republicans in Congress in voting to impeach then-President Donald Trump for his role in inciting the Jan. 6 riot. She also corroborated reports that when Minority House GOP Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy spoke to Trump on Jan. 6 asking him to publicly call off the riot, Trump responded by saying, “Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are.”

Months later, she voted against the eventual ouster of Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney from her role as Republican conference chair in Congress. Cheney’s removal was the culmination of months of vocal opposition to Trump’s prominence within the party following the events of Jan. 6.

Herrera Beutler also received a formal censure from the Clark County GOP in February, and now faces her first major primary challenger since she first took office in pro-Trump Republican Joe Kent.

Rep. Herrera Beutler censured by Clark County GOP

Kent has previously expressed that he is “concerned that the person we elected to represent our values and make our voices heard decided to listen to deceptive and divisive media and radical left instead of standing strong for the people of Southwest Washington and the over 74 million Americans who voted for President Trump.”

Fellow Washington Republican Representatives Dan Newhouse and Cathy McMorris-Rodgers joined the larger contingent of their party Thursday in voting against holding Bannon in contempt. Newhouse — who similarly voted to impeach Trump in January — faces a primary challenger of his own in former gubernatorial candidate Loren Culp. McMorris-Rodgers made several public statements in support of Trump’s election challenges in the months following November 2020, and voted against impeachment in the House.

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Washington Rep. Herrera Beutler breaks from GOP party line again over Bannon contempt vote