One Quote Sums Up Republicans’ House Speaker Controversy

Despite having the endorsement of former President Donald Trump, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., has been blocked in his bid to become House speaker by a small and stubborn group of fellow House Republicans.

The money quote: “I could be dead I guess,” Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., said when asked what it would take to get him to drop his opposition to McCarthy, per Axios Thursday.

The standoff: Republicans’ narrow majority in the House, a product of the GOP’s lackluster performance in last month’s midterm elections, means McCarthy can’t lose the support of more than four members of his conference.

  • As it stands, five House Republicans, including Biggs, are planning to vote as a unit to oppose McCarthy, whom they view as a tool of the “establishment.”
  • Trump on Friday reaffirmed his support for the California Republican, warning detractors that they’re “playing a very dangerous game.”
  • “You could end up with the worse situation,” Trump told Breitbart News. “I don’t even want to say what it is, but I could tell you it’s a worse situation. You could end up with some very bad situations.”

What’s next: McCarthy’s fate will be decided by a leadership vote on Jan. 3.

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