McCarthy fended off a late challenge from GOP Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona.
Washington — House Republicans nominated Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the current minority leader, as their candidate for speaker of the House on Tuesday, with McCarthy overcoming a conservative challenger as the party inches closer to winning control of the lower chamber.
McCarthy was tapped as the nominee in an internal meeting of the Republican conference by a secret-ballot vote of 188 to 31, multiple sources in the meeting confirmed to CBS News. The vote means the California Republican is the favorite to become speaker of a GOP-controlled House, but the path to securing the 218 votes needed to claim the gavel during a vote of the full House in January is likely to be a difficult one, since Republicans are poised to hold a razor-thin majority of seats after a weaker-than-expected performance in last week’s midterm elections.
CBS News estimates the GOP will win at least 216 seats and Democrats will control at least 211. Republican candidates are leading in several battleground races in which CBS News has not projected a winner.
McCarthy fended off an 11th-hour challenge for the nomination from Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona, a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus who wasboth within Congress and at the state level to reverse the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. Biggs announced his bid Monday night, telling Newsmax in an interview that “we have a new paradigm here, and I think the country wants a different direction from the House of Representatives.”