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Certified MTG Follower GOP Cong. Andy Biggs

GOP Congressmember Andy Biggs –A Certified Member of Majorie Taylor Greene’s “Chaos Caucus”  May 26, 2024


       As followers of U.S. politics know, on May 8, 2024, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA), survived an attempt by GOP wacko MTG, Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) to remove him from the Speakership. The vote was 359-43. That vote to “save” Johnson required the help of 163 Democrats led by Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY). As I discussed in my prior blog post, Cong. Jeffries believes that  Speaker Johnson is a more honest political broker than previous GOP leaders.Despite his Houdini-like political escape, Johnson remains in a very weakened position. He holds power in the House with just a “Team Red” majority of 4. Cong. MTG was joined by 10 other GOP extremists, the “Chaos Caucus” who are angry at his support of a $95 billion foreign aid package that passed Congress in April 2024. IMHO, the “Chaos Caucus” remains obsessed with destroying domestic programs and weakening the U.S. throughout the world where we are facing threats from Russian leader Vladimir Putin and terrorist actors including Hamas. Any “compromise” with Biden and his Democrats on spending, domestic programs, and foreign aid constitutes a “sell out.” One of those certified members of MTG’s “Chaos Caucus” is Representative Andy Biggs. Just who is Congressmember Biggs?


      Fourth term Congressmember Andy Biggs (65) currently represents Arizona’s 5th Congressional District (CD). The present AZ 5th is made up of Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, and Queen Creek, the East Valley suburbs of Phoenix. This area is nicknamed the “Silicon Desert.” Chandler has become one of the fastest growing tech centers in the U.S. Intel and Apple have strong presences here. The Grand Canyon State 5th has AZ’s highest median income, but this CD’s cultural tone is middle class. Its most recent Cook PVI (Partisan Voting Index) has an R+11 score. The 5th is 67.1% White, 17.8% Hispanic, 5.9% Asian, and 3.5% Black (wiki). Mesa, Maricopa County’s second largest city after Phoenix, was laid out by Mormon settlers in the style of Utah’s Salt Lake City. In 1927, a Mormon temple was built in Mesa. Mormon Mitt Romney won 64% of the vote here in 2012. Donald won 56% of the 5th’s vote in both 2016 and 2020, an indication that the 5th remains GOP-leaning (Cohen & Cook 2022 Political Almanac). 


      Phoenix native Andy Biggs did a stint as a Mormon missionary in Japan and speaks Japanese fluently (legislator-profile-andy-biggs, 10/20/2020). He obtained his undergraduate degree from Brigham Young University (BYU), a master’s in political science from Arizona State University, and his law degree from the University of Arizona. In 1993, Biggs won $10 million in the Publisher’s Clearing House sweepstakes. After practicing law in both Phoenix and Gilbert, Biggs won election to the AZ state House and served there for eight years. In 2010, Biggs moved to the AZ Senate and became majority leader and then Senate president. Biggs was an illegal immigration hard-liner and became a conservative icon. The right-wing Americans for Prosperity’s AZ chapter named Biggs a “Champion of the Taxpayer.” The Goldwater Institute labeled him a “Friend of Liberty,” and the American Conservative Union (ACU) gave him its “Conservative Excellence Award (Cohen & Cook 2022).” When GOP Cong. Matt Salmon announced his retirement, Biggs won the GOP primary in a nail-biter. In the general election, Biggs trounced his Democratic opponent 64%-36%, a 28% margin. He has easily been re-elected in his three other campaigns. In 2022, Biggs took 57% of the vote (CQ 118th Congress At Your Fingertips, AZ 5th Congressional district elections, 2018, 2020, 2022). 


       In the House, Cong. Biggs has become a conservative leader and outspoken defender of Demagogue Donald. Biggs has often gone more to the right than his hard-line party. Biggs was one of the few conservatives who voted against the GOP’s plan to gut Obamacare which the Senate killed. Biggs called this GOP plan “ill-considered, ill-defined, and ill-fated.” He was an outspoken critic of special counsel Robert Mueller who was investigating Trump. He called the investigation, as did Donald, “a witch hunt (Cohen & Cook 2022).” Biggs voted for Donald’s regressive top 1% tax cut in 2017 (nytimes.com, Almukhtar, S., 12/19/17).Biggs and Cong. Ken Buck were the only two representatives to vote against an $8.3 billion emergency aid package meant to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ten days later, Biggs voted against the larger COVID-19 Response Act which passed the House 363-40 (nytimes.com, Lee, J., 3/14/20, rollcall.com, Shutt, J., 3/04/20). Biggs stated that he opposed the second bill because it provided benefits to domestic partners which “redefined the family (newsweek.com, Martin, J., 3/18/20).”

  

      In 2020, Biggs joined Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) in a video falsely claiming there was widespread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election. Biggs claimed that 10,000 Maricopa County voters were “disenfranchised,” but gave no evidence for this allegation (Dana, J.,   11/13/20, 12 news.com). In December 2020, Cong. Biggs was one of 126 House House GOPers who unsuccessfully sued the Supreme Court to overturn Biden’s election victory (SupremeCourt.gov, 10/20/20). Biggs spoke at rallies promoting the “Stop the Steal” election conspiracy and claimed that antifa was behind the January 6, 2021 storming of the Capitol (Anglen & Hansen, azcentral.com, 1/14/22). On October 7, 2021, Biggs falsely claimed that “we don’t know who won Arizona in the 2020 presidential election (nbcnews.com/politics,10/07/21).” After the 1/06/2021 attempted Capitol coup, Biggs objected to AZ and PA’s electoral votes for Biden (Yourish, Buchanan, & Lu, nytimes.com, 1/09/21). Biggs was one of 12 House GOPers to vote against awarding three Congressional Gold Medals to the U.S. Capitol Police for protecting the Capitol on Jan. 6 (washingtonpost.com, Itkowitz, C., 3/18/21). When then Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) defended the advice of medical expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Biggs accused her of undermining House GOP election prospects (Cohen & Cook 2022).


       On March 19, 2021, Biggs voted against a House resolution that overwhelmingly condemned the military coup in Myanmar, formerly Burma. Biggs voted in 2022 against a bill to provide approximately $14 billion to aid the government of Ukraine in its fight against the unprovoked Russian invasion (Solender, axios.com,3/11/22). Biggs has voted to impeach Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas and has co-sponsored two resolutions to impeach President Biden as well as two resolutions to impeach Attorney General Merrick Garland (wiki). Biggs unsuccessfully ran against Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to be Speaker of the House. He was one of eight GOPers who voted to remove McCarthy as Speaker on October 3, 2023 (wiki). 


        Biggs voted in line with Demagogue Donald’s positions 82.9% of the time, but just 5.1% of the time with President Joe Biden’s views (projects.fivethirtyeight.com, Bycoffe Anna & Aaron, 4/22/21). He has received grades of 0% from the liberal Americans for Democratic Action and 95%-96% ratings from the ACU (American Conservative Union). In 2019, Biggs was elected to succeed Mark Meadows as chair of the firebrand/anti-government GOP House Freedom Caucus. He took Meadows’s place when Meadows became Trump’s chief-of-staff. Biggs stated, “We will stand with President Trump as he keeps his promises to the American people (Cohen & Cook 2022).”


          Biggs supported the 2022 Supreme Court overturning of “Roe v. Wade.” He called this decision a “major victory for the rights of the unborn (Biggs, twitter.com, 6/24/22).” He has a zero rating from pro-choice NARAL and a 15% lifetime rating from Planned Parenthood. He denied that climate change is occurring, and that the federal government should stop “regulating our economy and freedoms because of this discredited theory (scientificamerican.com, Waldman, S., 1/17/17).” Biggs opposes wearing masks to prevent transmission of COVID-19 and called for the White House Coronavirus Task Force to be disbanded (Fernandez, M., 7/02/20). Biggs was among 14 House GOPers who voted against passing legislation to establish June 19 or Junteenth as a federal holiday (cnn.com, Grayer & Diaz, 6/16/21). Biggs  opposes same-sex marriage and condemned the Supreme Ct. ruling in “Obergefell v. Hodges” that called same-sex marriage bans unconstitutional (intercept.com, Fang, L., 3/17/20). 


     With the strong GOP lean of his AZ 5th Congressional District, Biggs should have no trouble winning here if he wants to. However, should he want to run for the Senate or statewide office, the voters in AZ must defeat him. His reactionary views do not match the views of most Arizonans in this “Purple”-trending state. 


         

    


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