Congressman Biggs refuses to back McCarthy for Speaker as House plans to reconvene on Wednesday

Congressman Biggs refuses to back McCarthy for Speaker as House plans to reconvene on Wednesday.
Published: Jan. 3, 2023 at 4:37 PM MST|Updated: Jan. 3, 2023 at 5:34 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Congressman Andy Biggs, a representative of part of the East Valley, is helping lead the charge to keep California congressman Kevin McCarthy from becoming the next speaker of the house.

It was a long shot for Biggs from the beginning. Voting was suspended after 3 rounds and still no speaker. Still, it was a historic day for the House since the election for speaker went into multiple ballots for the first time since 1923, one hundred years ago.

Biggs has made it clear for months that he wasn’t going to support McCarthy for the top spot. Biggs was recently reelected to his fourth term in the Arizona’s 5th congressional district, an area that includes Mesa. He’s the former leader of the conservative freedom caucus and was a close ally of former President Donald Trump. Last month, the committee investigating the 2021 attack on the Capitol referred Biggs and 3 other Republicans to the House Ethics Panel. Biggs says he thinks it’s a political stunt.

“I think Kevin McCarthy has a history, so I’m a ‘No’ on him because he has a history of saying things and not delivering, not acting, and not being a leader.” Biggs got 9 votes for Speaker on the first ballot, although that’s a far cry from the 218 needed to win. Regardless, it was more than enough to prevent McCarthy from clinching the speakership. He can only afford to lose four Republican votes, but at this point it looks like there’s nearly 20 Republicans who refuse to back him.

Congress will reconvene tomorrow when they will try to do this all over again. Some of the drama has to do with newly-elected yet disgraced New York Republican George Santos. He was set to be sworn in today, and McCarthy refused to condemn him after Santos admitted he’d outright lied about nearly everything on his resume from where he worked and went to school to his mother being a 9/11 survivor and a descendent of Holocaust survivors.

Despite widespread calls to resign, Santos shows no signs of doing so. As lawmakers prepare to take their oaths in a divided Congress, a record-breaking 149 women will be sworn-in, 42 of which are Republicans. That’s the most ever for the GOP.