Kevin McCarthy wins nomination for House Speaker despite growing opposition

Although Republicans are set to assume majority control of the House of Representatives – pending the results of a few more elections – who should become the leader of the House GOP has become heavily disputed.

Representative Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., had told reporters that House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy will not be running unopposed. Biggs planned on running for the leadership position, a move that he had hoped would squander McCarthy’s long-held ambitions to gain the speakership.

In an interview on NewsMax, Biggs announced his intentions. “It’s 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 the position of speaker of the House,” he said. “It’s going to be tough. I mean, Kevin has raised a lot of money.”

In the Arizona congressman’s press release he said that his bid for the leadership role was about changing the status quo of the GOP, and credited the American people for providing the impetus for change.

“The American people want us to turn a page. They do not want excuses or performance art, they want action and results,” said Biggs.“The promised red wave turned into a loss of the United States Senate, a razor-thin majority in the House of Representatives, and upset losses of premiere political candidates.”

“My bid to run for Speaker is about changing the paradigm and the status quo. Minority Leader McCarthy does not have the votes needed to become the next Speaker of the House and his speakership should not be a foregone conclusion,” the House Freedom Caucus member continued.

While Biggs claimed that Americans “want to turn a page,” the Republican members of the House of Representatives signaled that they felt differently with a vote to secure McCarthy as the nominee for Speaker.

McCarthy is well aware that he currently doesn’t possess the simple majority of 218 votes when the new Congress convenes and the speakership vote takes place on January 3rd. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., who is not a member of the Freedom Caucus, has further placed McCarthy’s leadership under scrutiny as he has publicly suggested that Ohio congressman Jim Jordan is the right man for the job.

He also has publicly criticized the House Minority leader saying that he is “not a Speaker for these times.”

Most recently, it appears he supported Biggs’ aims for the leader of the party, if not practically at least as a symbol that McCarthy’s assumption he had majority support is erroneous. Gaetz retweeted Ross Vought, a former member of Trump’s cabinet, who said the move “ensures that no member can go home and mansplain to their voters that nobody was running as an alternative.”

Some Republicans who are aiming to maintain current party leadership had reportedly made an entreaty to conservative Democrats hoping to secure their vote for McCarthy. Reports suggest that someone close to the McCarthy camp contacted Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, in an attempt to convince him to vote for the minority leader come January. Cueller purportedly rejected the idea.

Other Democrats, however, may have been more open to the idea of bolstering support for the California representative next year. Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., lobbed the idea of McCarthy cutting a deal with Democrats suggesting that it would be better than whatever is offered by the Freedom Caucus. Gallego assured that a potential agreement struck with the Freedom Caucus members “will not be worth it.”

According to the Washington Examiner, one Democratic Congress member suggested that McCarthy is “so vapid and desperate for power” that extracting a favorable deal with minor concessions would be facile.

The House Republicans’ vote for McCarthy’s nomination does not seal the deal for the wanna-be-speaker, especially considering that several elections haven’t yet been certified or called:

 

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