[The following is an op-ed from Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) explaining why he is running for the House speakership and challenging Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).]
“Why aren’t you voting for Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to be the next speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives?”
This is a question that I’ve been hearing lately, usually with a few personal pejoratives directed my way. That’s OK.
I point out to my interlocutors that the speaker is the one who sets the agenda for the House. And if you get to point the direction of the House, you will set the tone of the nation. That means you can either pressure the Senate rationally to reject a massive, budget-busting, national-debt-increasing, spending omnibus bill, or you can quietly acquiesce to the spendthrift ways of the Senate. Admittedly, the Senate holds the cards… for now. But equivocation is not an option.
Many in the
have noticed that the pre-Trump status quo is returning to Washington, D.C. They are right. The question is whether the Republican speaker of the House will lead the charge against this self-serving comity and fearlessly push back against the Biden regime’s charge over the cliff.
Republicans in the
have failed on this front. In fact, a number of them worked with Democrats to pass legislation that will foment abuse of religious Americans by passing the so-called Respect for Marriage Act.
It falls to House Republicans, then, to hold the line, which is why many of us have concerns about McCarthy’s bid for the speakership.
For example, McCarthy not too long ago was on record saying he didn’t believe impeaching anyone in the Biden administration was a good idea, but now, he’s said an impeachment inquiry into Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas’s abysmal handling of the border crisis might be possible. That’s adding at least a little thickener to weak sauce — but it’s not good enough.
In the meantime, a bipartisan team of senators is
, and the border security crisis continues to worsen, with more than 11,000 people illegally entering the United States every day.
This marriage between establishment Republicans and Democrats is evident in the Senate’s spending bill as well. The bipartisan
to spend America into oblivion is a product of the leaders and process designed to insulate leadership and maintain the status quo.
McCarthy professes to have leadership chops. Well, now is the time to unite all Republicans against the pending spending spree. Whip against the bill. Write a letter of commitment against the omnibus spender and ask each Republican in the House to co-sign. Hold a presser on the steps of the U.S. Capitol building with all Republican members. Enlist the conservative universe of influencers, many of whom he’s already asked to support his leadership campaign, to join the fight against the package of spending.
It’s been reported that McCarthy silently supports the omnibus bill but will publicly vote against it. Perhaps his motivations are the same as they were when Republicans voted to keep budgetary earmarks: His public responsibility was minimized, but his ability to garner support privately by allowing earmarks or threatening to remove them remained. Again, the House GOP needs someone willing to lead out front, not just behind closed doors.
The budget is the most powerful constitutional tool of a minority in a split government, which we will have now that Democrats have retained control of the Senate. When the omnibus bill passes, it will determine spending for the rest of the fiscal year — until Sept. 30, 2023.
That means 90% of our leverage against the
will dissipate. And in the meantime, we’ll be forced to spend our time pushing and passing policies that, as good as they might be, will never be taken up in the Senate or signed by the White House because we’ve given up what little leverage we had.
That’s not good governance — it’s performance art.
And that leads us back to leadership. Are you content to watch our opportunity to slow down Biden’s policies be squandered for failure to find, protect, and use procedural leverage? Because that’s what happens when the establishment gets its way, and there is no reason to think that will change unless we change those calling the shots.
That’s why I’m challenging McCarthy’s bid for the speakership. My disagreements with McCarthy are rooted in my desire for a stronger, better Republican Party, one that prioritizes the needs of our voters, resists the pull of establishment influences, and is unified in both its ideological and political goals. That’s the kind of party that can set this nation back on the right track.
Andy Biggs is a U.S. representative for Arizona and serves on the House Judiciary Committee and the Oversight and Reform Committee.
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