Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) is sending out fundraising emails seeking political donations, stating the donations will help him as he challenges House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) in the House speaker race taking place January 3.
Breitbart News reviewed three separate but nearly identical fundraising emails sent out in December and paid for by Biggs for Congress in which Biggs seeks “help” to “mount a pressure campaign” against McCarthy, the Republicans’ nominee for speaker, amid uncertainty about McCarthy having enough votes to secure the position.
The emails state, “My efforts to win over Congress are FAR more powerful if they know that VOTERS want a conservative in charge. Pitch in just $30 to turbocharge our emergency efforts to break the Establishment and elect a CONSERVATIVE Speaker of the House.”
A screenshot of one of the emails is below:
Biggs, along with Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Ralph Norman (R-NC), Matt Rosendale (R-MT), and Bob Good (R-VA), are openly opposed to voting for McCarthy, and given Republicans’ narrow four-vote majority, it is possible McCarthy will not have enough votes to win if those five and any others vote against him.
No other business in the Republican-led House, including passing legislation or holding investigative hearings, will be able to take place until a speaker is elected.
Neither Biggs nor the other vocal McCarthy opposers have offered a public plan at this stage for how a member more conservative than McCarthy could reach the majority of votes required to win. Names such as incoming Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) and incoming Judiciary Committee chair Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) have been floated, but both Scalise and Jordan are planning to vote for McCarthy and encouraging others to do so.
Gaetz indicated in an interview with Charlie Kirk that he supports delaying House business until after “the cherry blossoms bloom” — a typically late-March or early-April occurrence — if it would mean electing someone besides McCarthy to become speaker.
“I’ve seen the way the guy acts in leadership, and there’s not gusto there. There’s no strength. There’s only slower surrender than yesterday,” Gaetz reasoned.
If McCarthy does not win the speakership outright, a number of scenarios could play out, including a doomsday scenario in which Democrats and a handful of Republicans unite to elect a centrist speaker who could weaken Republicans’ investigative pursuits. In another scenario, deliberations could devolve into chaos and multiple ballots could occur, possibly cutting into days or even weeks of valuable session days, before a speaker is elected.
On the other side of the spectrum, 54 Republicans and incoming Republicans have vowed to support only McCarthy, meaning no other Republican would be able to win the speakership if all 54 stick to voting strictly for McCarthy.
Donation solicitations highlighting political causes are a frequent occurrence among politicians. Asked how Biggs justifies seeking donations for this particular cause, i.e., his challenge to McCarthy when neither Biggs nor any other alternative candidate appears to have a majority of votes, Biggs said voters are “relying” on him to install new leadership in the Republican Party.
“The McCarthy Machine has been relentlessly attacking me since I’ve attempted to change the status quo. Their bullying isn’t convincing anyone. Just like McCarthy has done over the past few years, I, too, will use every opportunity to maximize the possibility of securing a quality Speaker,” Biggs told Breitbart News in a statement. “The American people have long asked for new leadership and are relying on me to get it done. I won’t stand down to the Establishment’s cheap antics.”
When asked, Biggs’ office did not answer how much money had been raised from the fundraising emails. The emails all link to Republicans’ main donation platform, WinRed, and a notice that donations will be directed to Biggs for Congress.
Outside of the five members, a handful of other members indicated in a “Dear Colleague” letter obtained by Breitbart News a list of requirements they would need a prospective speaker to meet before they would vote for that person. Seven individuals signed the letter, written December 8: Freedom Caucus chair Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA); Reps. Chip Roy (R-TX), Dan Bishop (R-NC), Andrew Clyde (R-GA), and Paul Gosar (R-AZ); and Reps.-elect Eli Crane (R-AZ) and Andy Ogles (R-TN).
The requirements included agreeing to allow a “motion to vacate the chair” rule, which would effectively allow members to vote to oust a speaker mid-Congress.
While negotiations between McCarthy and those who have not committed to voting for him continue ahead of January 3, Biggs said in a Fox Business interview Wednesday that he has heard from members who will either vote for Biggs or someone else:
“Quietly we have a lot of support that’s coming in,” Biggs said. “The question, of course, will always be … day one, the board of truth, what I call the board of truth when people actually have to say it, but we feel support. There are those who will not support me, but there are others who are quietly indicating that they’ll either support me or someone else.”
Write to Ashley Oliver at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at @asholiver.
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