- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 3, 2022

House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy‘s foes are adding to their list of grievances against the likely next speaker, after he attended a state dinner at the White House this week.

Mr. McCarthy, who attended the glitzy event with his mother, was one of several high-profile guests, which includes Hollywood actors, politicians, and President Biden’s son Hunter — whom Republicans are making a top target when they take control of the House.

“I realize there are protocols but there are some times when you have to say ‘I can’t get there.’ We’re going to be doing an investigation. We’ve already started the investigation into Hunter Biden and that was certainly an awkward thing,” Rep. Andy Biggs, Arizona Republican, told The Washington Times.

He added: “I don’t know how many dozens and dozens of Democrats didn’t come to the State of the Union because it was Donald Trump and they were investigating him. Well, we’re investigating Hunter Biden.”

Rep. Matt Gaetz, Florida Republican, echoed that sentiment.

“Republicans need a speaker who will investigate Hunter Biden, not eat lobster with him,” Mr. Gaetz tweeted.

Mr. McCarthy is facing pushback from at least five Republicans, including Mr. Biggs and Mr. Gaetz, who has vocalized against voting for him as speaker in January.

Members of the rightwing Freedom Caucus have called for decentralizing power, among other rules changes, as well as Mr. McCarthy to be more aggressive in enforcing a conservative agenda.

Mr. McCarthy, who inherited a smaller-than-expected majority for January, can only lose a few votes in order to secure the speakership.

He‘ll need 218 votes, and Republicans are poised to control 222 seats next year.

Mr. McCarthy‘s office did not immediately respond for comment.

• Mica Soellner can be reached at msoellner@washingtontimes.com.

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