by Andy Biggs
During this midterm campaign, I attended hundreds of events in my district, around Arizona, and around the country. The issue I was asked about most often was whether I or the Republicans in the House, or the Republicans in the Senate, would keep the same leaders.
Not only did my constituents want the “red wave” that didn’t materialize, they also wanted new leadership.
They told me that they want a leader who will take on the Biden Administration. A leader who will not acquiesce in the abrogation of our rights. They want someone who will use every tool, every procedure, and all of the processes available to fight against the radical Left they know has taken over our government.
We’re living in a new world. The Left controls every institution. Woke schools. Woke military. Woke corporate board rooms. Woke religious institutions. Over-the-top woke post-secondary education institutions. Bureaucrats in every agency or department at the federal level have gone as far left as they can.
Rightly or wrongly, conservatives and Republicans have been blamed almost as much as the Democrats for this left turn.
Democrats seem not only to have tolerated the radicals in their midst, but they have also embraced them and put them on pedestals. They can be justly rebuked for that.
But, for conservatives, the Republicans are culpable for failing to put the brakes on the Left. Many of my constituents justifiably turned their ire on Republicans. They want us to fight. They want us to use every tool in the toolbox to prevent the further devolution of our constitutional rights.
That is what I have tried to do every day since I was first elected to Congress.
It is imperative to use every tool to further freedom’s cause, and every implement to prevent the progress of the malevolent policies of the radical leftists that control the Democrats.
I urged current Republican House leaders to use “must-pass” legislation as leverage to change bad policies. For instance, the National Defense Authorization Act is a bill that gives Republicans tremendous leverage because most Democrats don’t want to support our troops, so the bill needs Republicans’ support to pass.
We could have leveraged it to exclude many provisions that advanced wokeism, such as the establishment of a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Office. How about cleaning up the bill by eliminating a provision that provided banking provisions for marijuana dispensaries, which has nothing to do with funding our military? And, most importantly, we could have demanded that military personnel dismissed from service solely for refusing the COVID vaccine be reinstated. We didn’t do any of that. That was a missed opportunity.
There will be more opportunities in the next term of Congress.
We need a leader who will open up the process to members of Congress by moving congressional authority away from the leadership and toward the members.
We need a leader who will be an open and honest broker, facilitating the kind of comity that inspires all members of Congress to come together. Why not eliminate massive, multi-subject bills? We should be handling more streamlined, single-subject bills. And, we should make sure every member has at least 72 hours to read every bill before it comes to the floor. Robust debate should be encouraged, as well as the opportunity for members to offer amendments on legislation.
The Republicans in Congress have decided it’s better to cling to the status quo than to make change. I was told in 2020 that we were in the minority and shouldn’t make changes to our leadership. This year, I was told we would have a “red wave” gaining 25 seats or more, so we wouldn’t want to change our leader, that our leaders earned the right to lead again.
Now I am told that we will barely have a three-seat majority, so we must not change leaders in order to protect unity.
I disagree. I believe it is time to make a change. Those thoughts are most immutable. Our current candidate for speaker doesn’t have the 218 votes necessary to become speaker on January 3, 2023.
I do not believe he will ever get to 218 votes, and I refuse to assist him in his effort to get those votes.
In the end, I must concur with my constituents: it is time to make a change at the top of the House of Representatives. I cannot vote for the gentleman from California, Mr. McCarthy.
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Congressman Andy Biggs represents Arizona’s Fifth Congressional District and serves on the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees.
Photo “Kevin McCarthy” by Office of the House Republican Leader.