Rep. Andy Biggs relaunches challenge against McCarthy for speaker

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Andy Biggs and Kevin McCarthy. AP

Rep. Andy Biggs relaunches challenge against McCarthy for speaker

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Former House Freedom Caucus Chairman Andy Biggs (R-AZ) said he will continue to run against House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) for speaker after challenging the California Republican during the House GOP’s internal conference vote in November.

McCarthy prevailed in the internal battle for the speaker nomination shortly after Election Day in a 188-31 vote, with five members voting for neither candidate in the closed-ballot leadership election. McCarthy is struggling to lock down the 218 votes needed to secure the gavel on Jan. 3 as multiple members from the far-right flank voice their opposition.

“I’m running for Speaker to break the establishment. Kevin McCarthy was created by, elevated by, and maintained by the establishment,” he tweeted along with an op-ed published in the Daily Caller.

“Will we elect an establishment Republican as the speaker — think Paul Ryan, or in this case, Ryan’s right-hand man, Kevin McCarthy,” Biggs wrote in the piece.

“The Left wants to see a McCarthy Speakership, as outgoing Majority Whip Clyburn said. Establishment Republicans want to see a continuation of the Swamp, as Paul Ryan has endorsed McCarthy for speaker. And, even phony conservative types, claim that McCarthy is the only guy for them,” the Arizona Republican said. “And people wonder why the establishment is the establishment.”

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Biggs took a swing at McCarthy’s leadership abilities, claiming that he will likely strike a funding deal in the coming days instead of pushing for conservative priorities.

“The lack of leadership by the Republican nominee for Speaker is evident in multiple ways. One is unfolding as I write this. A spending package is being considered that will bloat our national debt and extend until next October. The biggest leverage the Republicans will have with President Joe Biden in the White House will be the budget. But McCarthy is about to give that away,” he wrote.

“And, oddly because Congress grinds to a halt in the last year of a presidential cycle, by giving away our strongest leverage tool of the budget, either through an omnibus spending bill or a yearlong stopgap spender (Continuing Resolution), Leader McCarthy is about to eviscerate our leverage for the balance of the Biden presidency,” he said.

During an appearance on Fox News on Monday, McCarthy pushed back on the notion that he is supportive of striking a bipartisan spending deal as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) looks to negotiate an omnibus bill.

“Why would you want to work on anything if we have the gavel inside Congress?” he said.

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While Biggs continues his bid to derail McCarthy’s hopes to be speaker, other defectors have voiced that they will go with a consensus candidate whom all factions of the party can rally around.

Despite facing significant hurdles, McCarthy recently said he feels “very good” about his chances of obtaining the position next year.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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