Rep. Andy Biggs to challenge McCarthy for Speaker

Late Monday, Andy Biggs (Ariz.), announced his candidacy for Speaker. He will challenge Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), in the Republican conference’s nomination.
“We have a brand new paradigm and the country is looking for a change in direction from the House of Representatives,” Biggs said. It’s a new world and I will be nominated tomorrow for the position of Speaker of House,” Biggs stated on Monday night’s Newmax.
Biggs stated, “We’ll see how we can get it done and the votes,” It’s going to take a lot of work. Kevin has done so much and raised a lot. This isn’t just about Kevin. It’s also about institutional direction and trajectory.
Biggs is a former chairman for the House Freedom Caucus. This challenge comes as House Republicans’ hopes of a red wave collide with reality in last week’s midterms. Although projections for the House have not yet shown a majority of seats being in Republican’s favor, the GOP expects it to win a narrow majority.
To secure the nomination of his conference for the position, McCarthy must win a majority vote from House GOP members during a secret ballot election on Tuesday. All House members will then vote on the floor in January’s new Congress. McCarthy would need to win at least 218 votes in secret ballot election on Tuesday in order to be elected Speaker. This assumes that all 435 members have been sworn in.
Sources in the room said that Biggs didn’t offer an alternative to McCarthy on Monday afternoon at the House GOP leadership candidate forum.
Bigg’s challenge is coming as Freedom Caucus presses GOP leadership to make changes to the rules that would, on the total, empower individual members and weaken leadership.
However, not all Freedom Caucus members support his plan to challenge McCarthy.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., warned that Republicans with a small majority could face danger if they don’t unite behind one candidate. She also suggested that moderate House Republicans might join Democrats to support a compromise speaker candidate.
Greene said Monday that “we have to elect Kevin McCarthy.” “I cannot support a challenge that allows the Democrats to — elect their own speaker through pulling some from ours,” Greene said to reporters Monday.
She also stated that she is working to persuade her colleagues to support McCarthy, even if they aren’t ready to do so.
As a confirmation of these fears, Rep. Don Bacon (R. Neb. , a moderate, said Monday to NBC News that he would vote with Democrats to support a consensus candidate if McCarthy failed to get 218 votes. Later, Bacon stressed to reporters that he believes McCarthy will reach that number and that working together with Democrats is not a realistic scenario.
There are questions about the consensus alternative that 218 House Republicans could support on their floor. After former Speaker John Boehner (R.Ohio), resigned in 2015, McCarthy’s bid for Speakership was thwarted by Freedom Caucus members. Paul Ryan (R.Wis.) became Speaker. This was later viewed as disappointing to some Freedom Caucus members.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R. Ohio), who challenged McCarthy to lead the House Republicans, was brought up by Rep. Matt Gaetz, R. Fla., who isn’t a member of Freedom Caucus. Jordan is expected to lead the House Judiciary Committee under a GOP majority and has stated repeatedly that he supports McCarthy as Speaker.
Biggs stated last week to reporters that McCarthy’s refusal to bring up impeachment issues made him question his eligibility as Speaker. Biggs introduced impeachment papers against Alejandro Mayorkas, Homeland Security Secretary, and joined impeachment resolutions for President Biden as well as Attorney General Merrick Garland.
Biggs stated last week that he believed that Mayorkas’ recent statement that [we] shouldn’t impeach Secretary Mayorkas suggests maybe that we’re not going to be as aggressive moving forward as we should,”
McCarthy has repeatedly downplayed the possibility of McCarthy bringing up impeachment, stating that he doesn’t want to use it for political purposes.
Biggs called for greater “decentralization” and a stronger policy and oversight plan. He stated last week that “we need to have very positive statements of what we’re planning to accomplish and do.”
McCarthy was the House Republican who released a “Commitment to America” policy and messaging plan in September for a House majority, but some Freedom Caucus members feel that it wasn’t clear enough about plans for a majority.
McCarthy supporters are dismissive of Biggs’s bid.
“I have respect for Mr. Biggs. Kevin McCarthy is our best strategist. He is our greatest fundraiser. He is our best recruiter. Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R. Pa.), said that McCarthy not being given the gavel “would be insulting.”