On Monday, Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), one of the key members of the so-called "Never Kevin" bloc among House Republicans, took to Twitter to taunt Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) for still lacking the votes to be elected Speaker of the House — with just hours to go before that vote is scheduled to take place.
"Even after the McCarthy Machine’s attempts to whip votes and smear my name for several weeks, McCarthy is still well short of the 218 threshold," wrote Biggs. "Our party still requires new leadership and I will continue to oppose McCarthy for House Speaker."
Republicans won an unexpectedly narrow majority in the House elections last year, leaving McCarthy only room for four defectors from his caucus to get the 218 votes required. The "Never Kevin" group consists of five Republicans, including Biggs, all of whom have vowed to vote as one, which would on its own be enough to block McCarthy.
In addition, there are nine other Republican members who are reportedly undecided and skeptical on McCarthy — despite his concessions on key rule changes.
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On the flip side, allies of McCarthy are enraged at the division in the ranks, with Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-SD) slamming them as "chaos agents who are trying to cause trouble."
The arguments over McCarthy as leader of the new majority are even dividing Republican lawmakers who are traditionally close; Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) even publicly attacked Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) for whipping support for McCarthy, saying that she doesn't believe in coronating McCarthy "just as I don't believe in ... Jewish space lasers," a reference to a conspiracy theory Greene pushed on social media.