The specter of the new House falling into disarray because it can't elect a speaker is a lot like talk of a "contested convention" when there's a crowded presidential primary. Every few years, talk of it bubbles up. But much as the first few primaries and Super Tuesday tend to solidify a frontrunner, irascible House factions dissatisfied with their options tend to fall in line and threats of a mutiny haven't lived up to the hype.
This year, House Republicans won a narrow 222-213 majority, meaning GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy can only afford to lose four GOP votes and still get the 218 necessary to become speaker when Congress convenes on January 3.
On November 15, McCarthy won his conference's nod by secret ballot 188-31 over Freedom Caucus Rep. Andy Biggs (AZ-05). This week, Biggs announced in a lengthy Daily Caller manifesto that he'll press forward with a bid anyway, lambasting McCarthy as "Paul Ryan's right hand man" who supports earmarks, "circulated a censure resolution of Trump" following January 6 and "protected Liz Cheney."
So far, five Republicans have
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