Another attempt to stop McCarthy becoming Speaker by Conservative Firebrand

Rep. Andy Biggs is launching a second bid against GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy as conservatives try to deny him the 218 votes he needs to be speaker of the House.

Three weeks ago, Republican Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) was defeated by GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy during their party’s internal vote to elect the House speaker.

Biggs announced Tuesday that he is launching a new challenge to McCarthy as speaker. This time, it will be in the House floor’s public vote set for January 3.

Biggs tweeted “I’m running as Speaker to break the Establishment.” He also linked to an article in the conservative Daily Caller that outlined his opposition to McCarthy. “Kevin McCarthy was created, elevated, and maintained by establishment.”

Biggs’s second attempt at speaker is not about winning the prized gavel. The former leader of House Freedom Caucus is unlikely to win over moderate Republicans who have been in conflict with him in the past.

Biggs, on the other hand, is trying to offer his colleagues an alternative vote to the House floor and to deny McCarthy 218 GOP votes that he needs to win the speaker’s chair during the first vote in the new Congress next month.

“People are delighted that Speaker Nancy Pelosi is ending her reign of Leftist extremism. Biggs wrote that the question is “Will we be treated to the status-quo that will move our along the same path, although perhaps more slowly?” in his op ed. “Will we elect an established Republican speaker? Think Paul Ryan or, in this instance, Ryan’s right-handman, Kevin McCarthy.”

Republicans won control of the lower chamber by a narrow margin in November’s midterms. However, McCarthy cannot afford to lose four GOP votes during January 3 roll call, as they hold a slim advantage over the Democrats.

Democrats are expected support their speaker, Rep. Five conservative lawmakers, including Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), have already stated that they won’t vote for McCarthy in any circumstances.

A McCarthy spokesperson did not respond immediately to a request for comment. Allies of the California Republican pledged that McCarthy would fight for the House floor and not give up his bid to become speaker, as he did in 2015 when the same group conservative rabble-rousers threatened to obstruct his first attempt at the position.

It could cause chaos in the House if McCarthy is blocked by Biggs and the other conservatives with 218 votes. This is more than half the 435 seats in this chamber. Since House business is at an impasse until the speaker is elected, members will have to vote again and then again until they secure a simple majority.

It was exactly 100 years ago that a speaker vote was multiple ballots. The House held 133 votes and was unable to choose a speaker for two months before the Civil War.

Some moderate GOP McCarthy supporters claim it will never reach this point. Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.) said last month to NBC News that he was willing to cross the aisle with Democrats in order to avoid chaos and to elect a moderate GOP speaker.

Bacon made a similar threat to conservative cowboys during a Tuesday appearance on C-SPAN. He said they “divide and weaken the team” when Republicans are needed to unite.

“I’m playing hardball back. Bacon stated that we are not going to be held hostage to a small group of people that will hurt the team. “So we’re going stand up to it.”

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