Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s (R. CA) chances of becoming House Speaker are getting slimmer the closer we get to the vote on the position.

Rep. Andy Biggs (R. AZ) recently told the podcast “Conservative Review with Daniel Horowitz” that there are 20 members of the House Republican Conference who are “pretty hard no” votes against  McCarthy becoming the Speaker for the next session.

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Biggs also noted that those who plan to not vote for McCarthy are not all from the House Freedom Caucus, the most conservative group in the House, as many would expect.

Biggs, former chair of the Freedom Caucus, ran against McCarthy to be the GOP’s nominee for the Speakership earlier this month and McCarthy beat him with an overwhelming 188-31 vote, but McCarthy will need 218 votes on Jan. 3 to become Speaker, and with the GOP set to hold a very narrow majority, he cannot afford to lose many votes from his own party.

Every Democrat vote will likely go to Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D. NY) and McCarthy has warned his party that if they “play games” on the House floor, Democrats could win the speakership.

Kevin McCarthy, via Flickr / Gage Skidmore

Biggs and at least four other House Republicans have said that they will not vote for McCarthy in January.

Biggs believes that Republican leadership needs a change from “the status quo,” and noted that he has issues with McCarthy that have “galvanized” enough members to prevent him from becoming speaker:

“The sooner that they realize that, then the sooner that we can resolve who will be the Speaker.”

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Biggs was recently quoted by NBC News with a similar message to his fellow House Republicans:

“He doesn’t have the votes. Some of the stages of grief include denial, so there will be some denial and then there’ll be the stage of bargaining where people are trying to figure out … will there be some kind of consensus candidate that emerges.”

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Christopher Powell