Rep. Andy Biggs/Gage Skidmore/CC BY-SA 2.0
If GOP lawmakers refuse to relent in their delay tactics, it would mean a slog of votes on mundane issues.
By Melanie Zanona, Sarah Ferris and Olivia Beavers | POLITICO
A leading Republican hard-liner clashed behind closed doors with House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy on Wednesday, exposing a rift in the Republican conference and suggesting that a chamber-rattling floor protest by the far right isn’t fading anytime soon.
During a closed-door conference meeting, House Freedom Caucus Chair Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) went after McCarthy for not being more supportive of a conservative-led effort to force a series of lengthy — and largely fruitless — procedural votes that have snarled the floor, according to sources in the room.
McCarthy, who has been urging Republicans to adopt a more tailored approach, countered that the delaying tactics could actually prove counterproductive by resulting in fewer GOP bills getting passed. The California Republican wanted to have more of a dialogue, but Biggs wasn’t interested and made clear he still plans to push ahead with his procedural gambit, sources said.
McCarthy also urged Republicans to be unified on party messaging. He called attention to GOP efforts to spotlight the growing crisis at the southern border, where a wave of unaccompanied migrant children has crested since the start of the Biden administration.
Sources say that during Wednesday’s GOP meeting, Biggs responded that some members have been visiting the border for years and didn’t just show up there recently — a not-so-subtle dig at McCarthy, who led a GOP delegation to the border earlier this week.
“I didn’t think anything was heated. People are passionate,” Biggs said after the meeting, though he declined to discuss what happened inside.“If we won’t use every procedural tool in the toolbox we have … yes, that frustrates me.”