54 GOP House leaders say they’ll back McCarthy as House speaker

A total of 54 GOP House members have committed to backing Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as the next Speaker of the House despite recent attempts by others to choose a new leader.

The controversy continues even as Republicans barely won back the majority during the midterm elections.

The details

“Kevin McCarthy has my vote on the first ballot and every ballot until he’s elected Speaker,” said a statement from Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-TX). “My colleagues can waste time and keep those gavels out of Republican hands longer than necessary or they can join the overwhelming majority of our conference, unite behind Kevin and get to work for their constituents. My decision is final.”

“I know that some of my colleagues have concerns, but there’s a serious risk of letting Democrats have a hand in choosing the next speaker, which would be a disaster for our shared conservative goals,” added Representative-Elect Harriet Hageman (R-WY), who will replace Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY).

“It’s time to move forward with our House majority and not squander it. Kevin has earned this. It’s time to unite and get to work to fight for the American people,” she added.

The alternative

Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) has launched a challenge to oppose McCarthy and pursue becoming House speaker.

“McCarthy recently said he didn’t believe impeaching anyone in the Biden Admin was a good idea, but now, he’s said an inquiry into Mayorkas’s handling of the border might be possible,” he tweeted.

“That’s adding a little thickener to weak sauce — but it’s not enough,” he added.

The controversy will be decided when the House gathers in January, with Republicans faced with whether to unite around McCarthy or go to battle for new leadership.

McCarthy, who served as House speaker under former President Donald Trump, is the expected leader, but nothing is certain in the next Congress.

Conservatives are ready to fight for new leadership to strengthen the party as it seeks to block leftist legislation for the next two years.