House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) bid to become the House speaker in the next Congress appears to be growing more complicated.
On Friday, Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) tweeted, “I’ve seen enough. I cannot vote for Kevin McCarthy as House Speaker.”
“I do not believe he will ever get to 218 votes, and I refuse to assist him in his effort to get those votes,” he added.
I've seen enough.
I cannot vote for Kevin McCarthy as House Speaker.
I do not believe he will ever get to 218 votes, and I refuse to assist him in his effort to get those votes.https://t.co/lyImFCOHgI
— Rep Andy Biggs (@RepAndyBiggsAZ) November 18, 2022
Republicans were projected to win the House majority, but by a slim margin.
NBC News projects they could win as many as 221 seats.
McCarthy secured his party’s nomination in a 188-31 vote. However, that is short of the 218 votes he will need to become speaker when the full House votes in January.
Politico’s Olivia Beavers tweeted after Biggs’ comment, “So far it’s Reps: Biggs Gaetz Good And Rosendale has signaled he’s a likely no.”
So far it’s Reps:
And Rosendale has signaled he’s a likely no https://t.co/cj79tDp3N3
— Olivia Beavers (@Olivia_Beavers) November 18, 2022
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) accused McCarthy of “threatening and pressuring incoming freshmen House members to vote for him.”
“We have the votes to force a change,” he added.
Kevin McCarthy (Establishment-CA) is now reduced to threatening and pressuring incoming freshmen House members to vote for him.
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) November 18, 2022
Biggs explained his decision to opppose McCarthy’s bid for speaker in a post on American Greatness. He noted a “red wave” did not sweep Republicans into power with sizable majorities. Additionally, he wrote that his constituents want new leadership.
“For conservatives, the Republicans are culpable for failing to put the brakes on the Left. Many of my constituents justifiably turned their ire on Republicans,” Biggs said. “They want us to fight. They want us to use every tool in the toolbox to prevent the further devolution of our constitutional rights.”
He went on:
“The Republicans in Congress have decided it’s better to cling to the status quo than to make change. I was told in 2020 that we were in the minority and shouldn’t make changes to our leadership. This year, I was told we would have a ‘red wave’ gaining 25 seats or more, so we wouldn’t want to change our leader, that our leaders earned the right to lead again.”
The Arizona Congressman said the new argument is “that we will barely have a three-seat majority, so we must not change leaders in order to protect unity.”
“I disagree. I believe it is time to make a change. Those thoughts are most immutable,” he added.
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