(CNN) – More than a dozen of former President Donald Trump’s closest Republican allies in the House have skipped Friday’s votes and enlisted their colleagues to vote on their behalf, signing letters saying they can’t attend “due to the ongoing public health emergency.”
But those members are actually expected to be in Orlando and listed as speakers at the Conservative Political Action Conference, an annual meeting aimed at energizing conservative activists and boosting their own profiles.
The members include Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, who addressed the conference on Friday, as well as others who were listed as scheduled speakers — such as Reps. Paul Gosar of Arizona, Jim Banks of Indiana, Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina, Ted Budd of North Carolina, Mark Green of Tennessee, Darrell Issa of California, Ronny Jackson of Texas, Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania, Ralph Norman of South Carolina, Devin Nunes of California and Greg Steube of Florida.
Freshman Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado also signed a letter saying she couldn’t attend votes and was listed as a CPAC speaker, though CNN spotted her in the Capitol earlier in the day Friday and it was unclear if she planned to skip evening votes, including on the $1.9 trillion Covid relief package.
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