Marjorie Taylor Greene loses another far-right member of Congress: There are already indications that there is dissension in the ranks of the far-right of the House Republican caucus.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), often grouped together as Congresswomen elected in 2020 who were at least curious about QAnon, have been openly feuding for some time. Their latest disagreement is over the speakership candidacy of Rep. Kevin McCarthy, which Greene supports and Boebert opposes.
Boebert made a crack recently about Greene’s supposed belief in “Jewish space lasers.” At the same time, Greene accused her Colorado counterpart of engaging in “high school drama and media sound bites,” while also mocking Boebert for her surprisingly narrow re-election win.
Now, another prominent far-right member of the House appears to have broken with Marjorie Taylor Greene.
According to The Daily Beast, Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) recently stated that Greene has “crossed the Rubicon,” in accusing the anti-McCarthy faction of lying. The comments originally came in an interview with Lindell TV.
“She’s calling us liars and saying we’re misleading,” Biggs added.
Biggs is part of the “Never Kevin Five,” a group of five Republican House members who vow to “never” support McCarthy as the speaker, and Biggs announced in early December that he is seeking the speakership himself. Biggs was also one of four members of Congress who were referred to the House Ethics Committee by the January 6 Committee for refusing to comply with subpoenas.
At issue is an op-ed recently authored by Greene for the Daily Caller.
“Lying to the base is a red line for me, and that’s what five of my closest colleagues are doing when they claim a consensus House Speaker candidate will emerge as they oppose Kevin McCarthy,” Greene wrote, in something of a curious thing to write for someone with a long and colorful record of false statements.
Greene did argue, with some merit, that there is no particularly viable non-McCarthy candidate should the House Minority Leader not gain the votes for the speakership. Biggs himself certainly does not have the votes, having only gained 31 votes in the conference nomination contest last month.
“Perhaps more than any Republican, I am ready for our majority because I believe there is real work to be done to save our country. And the last thing I want is everything blown up on day one simply because a few dislike Kevin McCarthy, who is promoting the very agenda they believe in.”
With the speakership vote set for January 3, it’s unclear what exactly will happen. CNN reported earlier this month about the “doomsday scenario” that may happen if McCarthy fails to gain the necessary 218 votes for speaker.
The most likely scenario appears to be that McCarthy agrees to some demands of the holdouts in exchange for their votes, possibly agreeing to make it easier to oust the speaker in the middle of the next Congress.
“To prevent [multiple ballots], McCarthy and his team have been engaged in serious talks with a group of conservatives, including over potentially giving them influential committee assignments and more power to drive the legislative process. GOP sources said those negotiations are still early in the process and could ultimately end up giving the group some aspect of what the hardliners desperately want: additional power to seek a sitting speaker’s ouster with a vote on the floor.”
There is another scenario, however unlikely, per CNN:
“Some pro-McCarthy Republicans are signaling support for a different approach. Some said they would be willing to work with Democrats to find a moderate Republican who can get the 218 votes to clinch the gavel – a long-shot idea that underscores the uncertainty looming over the speaker’s race.” It’s unclear who among the Republican caucus might be put forward in such a scenario.
The last several times that control of the House has changed parties, there has been little doubt over who would become speaker in the new Congress.
Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.