Far-right Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) indicated Monday that she’ll vote for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to be House speaker and added that any challenge against him would be “bad strategy.”
McCarthy is slated to be nominated as a candidate for speaker on Tuesday, and he could face a challenge from a candidate chosen by the conservative House Freedom Caucus, which has expressed its disappointment in the midterm election results that will likely see Republicans only take a slim majority in the lower chamber.
Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), the former chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, has emerged as one possible McCarthy challenger.
Greene warned that challenging McCarthy may open the door to an undesirable candidate for the GOP taking the top leadership spot in the House, such as outgoing moderate Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.).
“It’s very, very risky right now to produce a leadership challenge, especially for Speaker of the House, when they are going to open the door and allow Liz Cheney, possibly, to become Speaker,” Greene said on Bannon’s podcast.
Cheney lost her Wyoming primary election to Harriet Hageman in August, but House rules allow for a nonmember to be elected speaker. Cheney, the vice chairwoman of the House select committee investigating last year’s Capitol riot, is not known to be campaigning for the position.
“The danger is this, do we want to watch a challenge for Speaker of the House simply because the ‘Never Kevin’ movement — just like we’ve seen a ‘Never Trump” movement — do we want to see that challenge open the door to Nancy Pelosi handing the gavel to Liz Cheney?” Greene added.
Greene seems to have become a closer ally to McCarthy since last year, when she was stripped of her committee assignments after social media posts she made endorsing conspiracy theories resurfaced. She also told Republican colleague Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) on his podcast last year that McCarthy “doesn’t have the full support to be speaker.”
Last month in a New York Times Magazine profile, Greene argued that McCarthy will have to give her more “power” and “leeway” to keep GOP voters happy if Republicans take control of the House.
“I think that to be the best Speaker of the House and to please the base, he’s going to give me a lot of power and a lot of leeway,” Greene said. “And if he doesn’t, they’re going to be very unhappy about it. I think that’s the best way to read that.”
Greene told the outlet that she is seeking a spot on either the House Judiciary or Oversight committees.