Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy might not end up getting the Speaker’s gavel when the next Congress is sworn in.
Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs is already preparing a challenge to the Californian, according to the Wall Street Journal.
“All I’ll say at the moment is McCarthy doesn’t have 218, and there will be an alternative challenger,” a representative for Biggs said of the House GOP’s leadership contest on Monday.
McCarthy is slated to run for the office of Speaker of the House as per congressional tradition, in which party caucus leaders are elected to the position.
With contested House elections still uncalled for as of Monday, indications suggest that Republicans will end up with a small House majority of less than 225 seats.
Republicans affiliated with the conservative House Freedom Caucus plan to support Biggs’ candidacy for Speaker sooner rather than later if McCarthy doesn’t agree to postpone caucus leadership elections slated for Tuesday, according to Politico.
The leadership election remains scheduled as planned.
Meadows says House Republicans should vote on the rules package before the leadership elections.
Right now, it’s the other way around
— Max Cohen (@maxpcohen) November 14, 2022
Biggs, a member of the Freedom Caucus, wouldn’t have an easy path to the Speaker’s gavel in a Congress with a paper-thin Republican majority, either.
A Speaker candidate needs 218 votes in the House, and a majority of less than a dozen seats doesn’t provide room for error.
A handful of Republican dissidents could tank the majority’s legislative and leadership plans.
Sources familiar with the effort have described Biggs’ candidacy as an effort to tank McCarthy, according to Politico.
Biggs’ bid would show the current Republican leader doesn’t have the support necessary to become Speaker, given the circumstances.
McCarthy’s challengers envision Rep. Jim Jordan as the eventual compromise pick for Speaker, according to Politico.
An underwhelming performance in the Tuesday midterms has spurred criticism of Republican leadership, with members of Congress and Senators openly discussing the prospect of changes at the top.
Sen. Marco Rubio called for Senate Republicans to delay their own leadership elections, calling for the party to assess why a “red wave” didn’t ultimately materialize in the midterms.
We should not have a Senate GOP leadership vote until we have a clear explanation for why our 2022 campaign efforts failed AND until we have a clear understanding of the political & policy direction for the GOP Senate moving forward
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) November 14, 2022
McCarthy reiterated his intention to replace Nancy Pelosi as Speaker before it became clear that the GOP would only have a thin majority, according to the New York Times.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.