Andy Biggs to challenge Kevin McCarthy for Speaker of the House

"Kevin has raised a lot of money and done a lot of things," Biggs said. "But this is not just about Kevin. I think it’s about the institutional direction and trajectory."

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Rep. Andy Biggs announced on Monday that he would run for Speaker of the House, challenging House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy for the Republican vote to the post. McCarthy held the position last time the GOP held the majority in the House.

"We have a new paradigm here, and I think the country wants a different direction from the House of Representatives. And it’s a new world, and, yes, I’m going to be nominated tomorrow to — to the position of Speaker of the House," Biggs said on Newsmax on Monday night.

"We’ll see if we can get the job done and the votes," said Biggs. "It’s going to be tough. I mean, Kevin has raised a lot of money and done a lot of things. But this is not just about Kevin. I think it’s about the institutional direction and trajectory."

Biggs is a former chairman of the House Freedom Caucus. His challenge comes as Republicans deal with the fallout from midterm elections that saw them gain a lot of ground, especially in New York, but not in the Senate. The GOP is expected to end up with a slim majority in the House.

McCarthy will need to win a majority of votes from the House GOP on Tuesday to secure his conference’s nomination for the post, The Hill reports. House members will then vote on the floor on day one of the new Congress in January. McCarthy would need 218 votes to secure the post.

​​"Bigg’s challenge comes as the Freedom Caucus is pressing GOP leadership to make rules changes that, on the whole, would empower individual members and weaken the power of leadership," The Hill writes.

The plan is not supported by all Freedom Caucus members, though. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene said that Republicans in a slim majority face risks if they do not uniformly support one candidate. She has endorsed McCarthy, as has Donald Trump, who is expected to announce on Tuesday his run for president in 2024.

"We have to elect Kevin McCarthy," Greene said to reporters Monday. "I can’t support a challenge that will allow the Democrats to — to elect their own speaker by pulling some of ours." 

Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb) said to NBC News on Monday that he would hypothetically vote with the Democrats to support a consensus candidate if McCarthy does not receive the 218 votes required. Bacon said, however, that he thinks McCarthy will get that number and that working with Democrats "is not even a realistic scenario."

Biggs has challenged McCarthy on several key issues, including his reluctance to bring up impeachment articles against President Joe Biden. He has already against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, as well as resolutions against President Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland.

"I think that his statement recently that [we] shouldn’t impeach Secretary Mayorkas indicates maybe we’re not gonna be as aggressive going forward as we should be," said Biggs.

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