'Held hostage': New analysis explains how far-right GOP lawmakers could hijack their own caucus

'Held hostage': New analysis explains how far-right GOP lawmakers could hijack their own caucus
Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California speaking at the 2016 Republican National ConventionRep. Kevin McCarthy of California speaking at the 2016 Republican National Convention, Wikimedia Commons
News & Politics

As Rep. Kevin McCarthy's (R-Calif.) bid for House Speaker faces great peril, a new analysis is breaking down how this political war serves as an example of how a small faction of far-right Republican lawmakers could hijack the political party's entire caucus.

In a new piece published by HuffPost, Matt Shuham and Christopher Mathias provided a detailed analysis of all that has transpired since Republican lawmakers managed to regain control of the House chamber.

"With House Republicans holding just a four-vote majority, the influence of the party’s far-right will only grow in the new Congress as each GOP vote holds sway," Shuham and Mathias wrote. "As Norm Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute observed to The New Yorker recently, 'When your margin is small, the problem is you’re held hostage.'”

READ MORE: 'Furious' Marjorie Taylor Greene torches House Freedom Caucus for opposing Kevin McCarthy's speakership bid

They also offered specifics on the lawmakers who are threatening the party's progress. They began by highlighting controversial remarks from Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), who recently announced his intent to challenge McCarthy's bid for House Speaker.

During an appearance on conspiracy theorist and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell's LindellTV, Biggs slammed McCarthy's leadership.

“I would say maybe not so fast, maybe we should have a good discussion within the confines of our internal body,” Biggs told Robinson. “We were told we were going to have an incredible wave, and if that would have been the case ... You would say Kevin is the presumptive nominee for speaker. But I think we need to have a serious discussion.”

In addition to Biggs, Shuham and Mathias specifically named several other Republican lawmakers at the center of the latest controversy. "The hostage takers, in this case — a far-right coterie that includes Biggs as well as Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), and Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) — don’t all necessarily oppose McCarthy’s speakership. Greene has endorsed him and received significant concessions.

READ MORE: Republicans withholding speakership support from Kevin McCarthy cite 'past and ongoing GOP failures'

Although the group opposing McCarthy is small, the writers have explained how they could have a real impact and shift discussions toward laws they've publicly supported.

"Taken together," they wrote, "the group has a real opportunity to shift the debate to the right on key issues: Laws they’ve sponsored include the criminalization of doctors who provide gender-affirming surgery to trans kids and a change in a statute to allow the government to jail families seeking asylum, including children, as their cases proceed through immigration court."

"They’ll be able to push this cruel agenda in part by leveraging their millions of followers on various social media platforms," they continued. "As much as they are politicians and members of Congress, they are also something perhaps more powerful: influencers."

READ MORE: Donald Trump refuses to say if he still supports Kevin McCarthy after humiliating speakership flop: report

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