McCarthy won the Republican nomination to become Speaker over Biggs last month by a vote of 188 to 31. Biggs, who chairs the conservative House Freedom Caucus, wrote in a Tuesday opinion piece for The Daily Caller that further leadership from McCarthy would entrench the establishment “uniparty” in Congress.
“We cannot let this all too rare opportunity to effectuate structural change pass us by because it is uncomfortable to challenge the Republican candidate who is a creature of the establishment status quo, or because the challenge is accompanied by some minimal risk,” Biggs wrote. “We will never defeat or change the status quo, which is taking us to the Leftist’s vision of America, by selecting a status quo candidate as the third most powerful person in the government.”
Republicans are poised to secure a slim House majority entering next year following lackluster results in the recent midterm elections. Biggs spokesman Matthew Tragesser told The Daily Wire last month that the nomination vote revealed McCarthy does not presently have enough support among Republicans to become Speaker.
McCarthy has pledged not to seek additional votes from Democrats. He would need a simple majority of lawmakers to gain control of the gavel; presuming that all 435 members of the House vote for a candidate, opposition from even a few Republicans could disrupt his path to securing the top position in the chamber.
“It’s going to be a tight majority so everyone is going to have to work together,” McCarthy said last month after a meeting with House Republicans. “We’ll be successful as a team and we’ll be defeated as an individual if we don’t all work together.”
McCarthy, who has served in the House since 2007, congratulated his new colleagues for their modest gains in a letter sent one day after the midterms, emphasizing that he would be willing to consider proposals from rank-and-file members. “I will be a listener every bit as much as a Speaker, striving to build consensus from the bottom-up rather than commanding the agenda from the top-down,” he wrote. “That means putting the right people in the right spots and harnessing the power of our entire conference. Everyone has something valuable to bring to the table and my door will always be open to your ideas and input on how we best achieve our shared goals.”
Biggs, who has served in the House since 2017, argued on Tuesday that McCarthy has been disloyal to former President Donald Trump and encouraged colleagues to “reinvigorate the America First movement” that Trump pioneered.
“The purpose of the establishment is not to better the lives of Americans, the purpose is to gain and keep power,” he continued. “If anyone besides the establishment class experiences positive effects from the rule of the establishment, it is merely serendipitous.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), the first female Speaker of the House, recently announced that she would no longer serve in Democratic leadership, although she will retain her seat in Congress. The 82-year-old lawmaker had control of the gavel from 2007 to 2011 under President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama and assumed the position again in 2019 after Democrats regained control of the chamber under President Trump.