These Republicans refuse to support McCarthy as speaker in the House

House Republicans will smaller majority than they expected, which is why House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy may find he has a tougher road to being Speaker of the House.

A handful of Republicans have already announced they will vote against McCarthy’s bid to become speaker. He won easily the nomination for speaker within the Republican conference, but he has yet to win 218 votes next month. CBS News projects Republicans will have 221 seats in the new Congress, so he’ll need almost all of them since all House Democrats are expected to support a Democrat as speaker.

Representative Andy Biggs (Arizona)

Perhaps the most vocal opponent of a potential speaker McCarthy is Representative Andy Biggs of Arizona, who ran against McCarthy at the Republican conference for speaker. The secret ballot of the GOP conference was 188-31.

Biggs has expressed frustration that McCarthy and Republicans are not doing enough to fight “radical leftists” and “not putting the brakes on the left”. Biggs wrote that in a Nov. 18 op-ed on the conservative American Greatness website. And right now, he’s saying he won’t support him in the full House vote.

“Now I am told that we will barely have a three-seat majority, so we must not switch leaders to protect the unit,” Biggs wrote. “However, I believe it is time to make a change. Those thoughts are very immutable. Our current candidate for Speaker does not have the 218 votes needed to become Speaker on January 3, 2023. I don’t believe he will ever get to 218 votes, and I refuse to help him in his attempt to get those votes Ultimately, I have to agree with my constituents: it is time for something to change at the top of the House of Representatives I cannot vote for Mr from California, Mr. McCarthy.”

Representative Matt Gaetz (Florida)

Florida Representative Matt Gaetz, one of former President Trump’s most trusted allies in Congress, agrees with Biggs. Gaetz has consistently voiced his opposition to McCarthy as a speaker.

“Kevin McCarthy (Establishment-CA) is now reduced to threatening and pressuring incoming freshman House members to vote for him,” Gaetz tweeted on Nov. 18, along with Biggs’ op-ed. “We have the voices to force a change.”

A day before the House GOP conference election, Gaetz told “The Charlie Kirk Show,” “I’m not voting for Kevin McCarthy. I’m not voting for him tomorrow. I’m not voting for him on the floor.”

Rep. Ralph Norman (South Carolina)

Rep. Ralph Norman, a member of the House Freedom Caucus, told Politico early this month that he is also a hard “no” to McCarthy. But Norman told the news outlet that he will either vote “present” or not come to the vote, which could be less damaging to McCarthy’s prospects. If some of the Republicans opposed to McCarthy choose Norman’s path, they would lower the threshold McCarthy would have to reach, because the number forming a majority would be less than the 218 he would need if all 435 lawmakers voted yes or vote no. Norman cited McCarthy’s approach to the budget and national debt, suggesting that the House minority leader is not being aggressive enough to get the country’s budget in order.

2021, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi won the speakership by 216 votes after three Democrats voted “present.”

Other possible “no” votes

They are not the only ones against McCarthy.

While they have not said they will definitely vote against McCarthy, Representatives Bob Good of Virginia and Matt Rosendale of Montana have expressed serious concerns and have the power to reduce McCarthy’s chances.

Rosendale issued a statement after the conference vote accusing McCarthy of wanting to “maintain the status quo, which consolidates power in his hands and a small group of individuals whom he personally selects.” He continued, “We need a leader who can take on a Democratic-controlled Senate and President Biden, and unfortunately that’s not Kevin McCarthy.”

The vote will take place on January 3 on the House floor.

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