Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is the highest-ranking House Republican and seemingly in line for the speaker’s gavel when the GOP presumably takes control of the chamber.
However, members of his party have begun making noise, either by floating a challenger for the position or demanding deals be made for support. Though his bid for the top House job is currently unopposed, that may soon change.
A faction of more conservative lawmakers has momentum on its side after the underperformance by the party in the midterm elections. The highly anticipated “red wave” never materialized, and the GOP is looking at having a very slim majority if projections hold.
One, in particular, the Freedom Caucus, is reportedly ready to present an alternative to McCarthy’s leadership.
That alternative appears to be Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), a strong conservative who chaired the Freedom Caucus until earlier this year. There are several reports that he is weighing a bid for the gavel.
Biggs won a fourth congressional term, is the former president of the Arizona state Senate and is considered one of the most conservative House members.
He was one of the first vocal critics of Dr. Anthony Fauci’s recommendations in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns.
NEWS: Andy Biggs likely to challenge McCarthy to show he doesn’t have the speaker votes. McCarthy & Trump have spoke multiple times since Tues. And McConnell facing dissension of his own.
— Melanie Zanona (@MZanona) November 13, 2022
Biggs was adamant in his disagreement with shutting down the economy early in 2020 to combat the virus. He was also one of four GOP members to sign onto a bill last year to impeach President Joe Biden.
As for his opposition to McCarthy, the Arizona representative made his feelings obvious last week while speaking to reporters in Washington.
Biggs declared that the party needs “to have a real discussion about whether he should be the speaker.” He added that a very frank talk should take place internally about where Republicans wish to be going forward.
McCarthy is expected to be swept into the conference’s speaker-designee position this week since only a simple majority vote is required. However, to assume the gavel in January he will need at least 218 votes when the entire 435-member body is seated and voting.