Andy Biggs

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Andy Biggs
Andy Biggs official portrait.jpg
Chair of the House Freedom Caucus
Assumed office
October 1, 2019
Preceded by Mark Meadows
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arizona's 5th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2017
Preceded by Matt Salmon
President of the Arizona Senate
In office
January 14, 2013 – January 3, 2017
Preceded by Steve Pierce
Succeeded by Steve Yarbrough
Member of the Arizona Senate
from the 12th district
In office
January 14, 2013 – January 3, 2017
Preceded by John Nelson
Succeeded by Warren Petersen
Member of the Arizona Senate
from the 22nd district
In office
January 10, 2011 – January 14, 2013
Preceded by Thayer Verschoor
Succeeded by Judy Burges
Member of the Arizona House of Representatives
from the 22nd district
In office
January 2003 – January 2011
Preceded by Richard Miranda, John A. Loredo [1]
Succeeded by Eddie Farnsworth, Steve Urie [2]
Personal details
Born
Andrew Steven Biggs

(1958-11-07) November 7, 1958 (age 61)
Tucson, Arizona, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s)Cindy
Children6
Education Brigham Young University ( BA)
University of Arizona ( JD)
Arizona State University, Phoenix ( MA)
Website House website

Andrew Steven Biggs [3] (born November 7, 1958) is an American politician and Republican member of the United States House of Representatives, representing Arizona's 5th congressional district. The district includes most of the East Valley, covering most of Mesa and Chandler and all of Queen Creek and Biggs's hometown of Gilbert.

Previously, he was a member of the Arizona Senate representing the 12th District from 2011 to 2017 (numbered as the 22nd District from 2011 to 2013) and a member of the Arizona House of Representatives representing the 22nd District from 2003 to 2011. He was President of the Arizona Senate from 2013 to 2017.

Education

Biggs earned his B.A. in Asian studies from Brigham Young University, his M.A. in political science from Arizona State University, and his J.D. from the University of Arizona.

U.S. House of Representatives

Tenure

Biggs voted in support of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. [4] After the vote, Biggs said that the bill would "provide much-needed economic relief" to Americans and businesses, claiming "families will be able to save more money to send their children to college. We are already seeing the positive economic impact based on the promise of tax reform. When this bill is signed into law, we will see an even more robust economy." [5]

Biggs is a member of the Freedom Caucus [6] and the Congressional Western Caucus. [7] In 2019, Biggs was elected as the next leader of the Freedom Caucus, to succeed Mark Meadows in October. [8]

On March 4, 2020, Colorado Republican Ken Buck joined Biggs as the only two Representatives to vote against an $8.3 billion emergency aid package meant to help the United States respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. [9] [10] In a statement, Biggs said that the "larded-up bill" was "bloated". [11] Biggs said he opposed the bill because it provided benefits to domestic partners, and argued that it "redefined the family. [12] [13]

Committee assignments

Elections

In 2016, Biggs ran for the United States Congress in the 5th District to replace retiring congressman and fellow Republican Matt Salmon. Biggs defeated Christine Jones by 27 votes, triggering an automatic recount, to become the Republican candidate. [15] He defeated Democrat Talia Fuentes in November, 64.1% to 35.9%. [16] He was not required to give up his state senate seat under Arizona's resign-to-run laws, since he was in the last year of what would have been his final term in the chamber.

Biggs's primary victory virtually assured him of being the next congressman from this heavily Republican district; the 5th and its predecessors have been in Republican hands for all but one term since 1953.

State Senate

  • 2010 When Republican Senator Thayer Verschoor ran for State Treasurer of Arizona and left the Senate District 22 seat open, Biggs was unopposed for both the August 24, 2010 Republican Primary, winning with 25,792 votes, [17] and the November 2, 2010 General election, winning with 59,933 votes. [18]
  • 2012 Redistricted to District 12, and with incumbent Republican Senator John B. Nelson redistricted to District 13, Biggs was unopposed for both the August 28, 2012 Republican Primary, winning with 19,844 votes, [19] and the November 6, 2012 General election, winning with 63,812 votes. [20]

State House of Representatives

  • 2002 With incumbent Democratic Representatives Richard Miranda running for Arizona Senate and John Loredo redistricted to District 13, and with Republican Representative Eddie Farnsworth redistricted from District 30, Biggs ran in the five-way September 10, 2002 Republican Primary, placing second with 5,778 votes; [21] Biggs and Representative Farnsworth were unopposed for the November 5, 2002 General election, where Biggs took the first seat with 31,812 votes and Representative Farnsworth took the second seat. [22]
  • 2004 Biggs and Representative Farnsworth were unopposed for the September 7, 2004 Republican Primary; Representative Farnsworth placed first and Biggs placed second with 11,202 votes; [23] for the three-way November 2, 2004 General election, Representative Farnsworth took the first seat and Biggs took the second seat with 51,932 votes ahead of Libertarian candidate Wade Reynolds. [24]
  • 2006 Biggs and Representative Farnsworth were challenged in the four-way September 12, 2006 Republican Primary; Representative Farnsworth placed first and Biggs placed second with 7,793 votes; [25] in the three-way November 7, 2006 General election, Representative Farnsworth took the first seat and Biggs took the second seat with 38,085 votes ahead of Libertarian candidate Edward Schwebel. [26]
  • 2008 With Representative Farnsworth running for Arizona Senate and leaving a House District 22 seat open, Biggs ran in the four-way September 2, 2008 Republican Primary, placing first with 9,800 votes; [27] Biggs and fellow Republican nominee Laurin Hendrix won the November 2, 2010 General election, where Biggs took the first seat with 59,615 votes and Hendrix took the second seat ahead of Democratic nominee Glenn Ray, [28] who had run for the district's senate seat in 2006.

Political positions

Abortion

Biggs opposes abortion of any kind, including those involving rape, incest or risk to the mother. He supports overturning Roe vs. Wade. [29] He has argued in favor of changing Senate rules to make it easier for the "GOP pro-life agenda." [30] He has attended an anti-abortion conference hosted by the pro-life group, Susan B. Anthony List. [31]

He has received mixed ratings from special interest groups focused on abortion. In 2017, he received a 30% rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America. [32] He also has a 29% lifetime rating from Planned Parenthood, which supports legal access to abortion, as well as an 87% from National Right to Life Committee and a 100% from Campaign for Working Families which both oppose legal abortion. [33]

Anthropogenic global warming

In comments at an April 2017 constituent town hall, as he was frequently interrupted with boos, Biggs rejected the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change, asserting in a halting answer that, "There are credible scientists who say it exists; we aren't sure why," at the same time he contended, "there are credible scientists who say it doesn't." [34] Replying to a candidate survey from The Arizona Republic, Biggs wrote "I do not believe climate change is occurring. I do not think that humans have a significant impact on climate. The federal government should stop regulating and stomping on our economy and freedoms in the name of a discredited theory." [35] [36] [37] Biggs submitted an amendment to the 2018 spending bill which would defund the National Climate Assessment. [37] He urged president Trump to withdraw from the Paris Accords. [38] In February 2020, when House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California attempted to make a modest effort to gather the support of concerned young voters via a restrained approach to address climate change, Biggs and other hard line denialists objected, Biggs, chairing the House Freedom Caucus said, "There are some that want to go that route, and some who don't ... A number of people brought issues to me." "People are like, 'Is this an official rollout? It can't be official. We didn't vote on it'. [39]" Conservative, Koch-funded groups such as the Club for Growth (CFG) and the Competitive Enterprise Institute, [40] vigorously opposed any appeasement, and there are Republican party factions determined to continue climate disruption denialism. [39] In 2018, Biggs was the sole House member to receive a 100% rating from the CFG. [41]

Healthcare

In 2018, Biggs sponsored a bill "designed to let very sick patients request access to experimental medicines without government oversight", which passed in the House by a vote of 267–149. Biggs stated the bill is "not false hope; It is hope." [42] On March 4, 2020, Biggs was one of only two Representatives to vote against an emergency bill to fund a response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. [43]

LGBT rights

Biggs is a former policy advisor to United Families International, a nonprofit that opposes same-sex marriage. [44]

Net neutrality

Biggs has gone on record as opposing net neutrality, and favors FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's plan to do away with governmental protections of the utility. In a letter sent to his constituents in reply to those favoring the continuation of Net Neutrality guidelines, Biggs has said that "the repeal of net neutrality also maintains consumer and anti-competitiveness protections enforced by the FCC and the Federal Trade Commission," and that he "(does) not believe that adding an extra layer of regulations will help to protect consumers. Instead, we should allow the free market to expand the internet and its services." Biggs has accepted campaign donations in the past in the amount of $19,500 from the same members of the Telecom industry that stand to profit from the elimination of Net Neutrality guidelines. [45]

Robert Mueller resignation demand

On June 23, 2017, Representative Biggs was one of three Republicans who called for the resignation of Robert Mueller, the prosecutor investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, on the grounds that Mueller can not conduct his investigation fairly because of events that happened when he had been the acting director of the FBI. [46] On March 19, 2018, Biggs renewed his call for Robert Mueller to resign. [47] On July 25, 2018, Biggs was among nine other Republican co-sponsors for a resolution to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, [48] Mueller's direct supervisor following the recusal of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. [49] On April 8, 2019, an op-ed written by Biggs was published by The Arizona Republic on the topic of the initial findings of the Mueller investigation. [50] In it, Biggs refers to the Mueller investigation as "an illegitimate attack on the executive branch," and the findings "demonstrate the weakness of the initial premise to investigate Trump, his family and campaign staff." He blamed the investigation on "(T)he media that fueled this bogus attempt to overthrow the will of the American voter." Biggs's op-ed was published well ahead of the release of Mueller's entire report on April 18, 2019, and was most likely written after viewing a four-page summary of the report generated by Attorney General William Barr and released on March 24, 2019. Following the publication of the full report on April 18, Biggs posted a video on Twitter declaring that there was "no basis for an obstruction (of justice) charge" to be brought against President Donald Trump, and chastising the Democratic party for attempting to "undermine the POTUS." [51]

9/11 Victims Compensation Fund

In 2019, Andy Biggs was one of eleven Republicans in the House of Representatives to oppose funding for the September 11 Victims Compensation Fund bill H.R. 1327. [52] On July 12, 2019, the measure passed the House by a vote of 402–12.

Texting while driving

Biggs used his powers as transportation chair and President of the Arizona State Senate in 2017 to block a bill banning driving while texting for holders of a learning permit. [53]

Personal life

Biggs is married to Cindy Biggs. [44] He is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. [54] [55]

Biggs won $10 million in the American Family Sweepstakes and subsequently appeared in a TV ad with Dick Clark and Ed McMahon promoting the sweepstakes. [56]

References

  1. ^ "AZ State House 22". Our Campaigns. November 6, 2002. Retrieved September 11, 2019.
  2. ^ "AZ State House 22". Our Campaigns. November 4, 2006. Retrieved September 11, 2019.
  3. ^ "Andy Biggs' Biography". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved January 6, 2014.
  4. ^ Almukhtar, Sarah (December 19, 2017). "How Each House Member Voted on the Tax Bill". The New York Times. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
  5. ^ Sunnucks, Mike. "House passes Trump tax cuts; Arizona delegation splits on party lines". Phoenix Business Journal. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
  6. ^ Hansen, Ronald J. (March 24, 2017). "Two Arizona Republican House members helped sink 'Obamacare' repeal". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved February 7, 2018.
  7. ^ "Members". Congressional Western Caucus. Retrieved June 27, 2018.
  8. ^ Brufke, Juliegrace (September 10, 2019). "Meadows to be replaced by Biggs as Freedom Caucus leader". The Hill. Retrieved September 11, 2019.
  9. ^ Cochrane, Emily (March 4, 2020). "House Passes $8.3 Billion Emergency Coronavirus Response Bill". The New York Times. Retrieved March 4, 2020.
  10. ^ Shutt, Jennifer (March 4, 2020). "House OKs $8.3 billion coronavirus aid package with little debate". Roll Call. Retrieved March 4, 2020.
  11. ^ Biggs, Andy (March 4, 2020). "Congressman Biggs' Statement on Coronavirus Funding". Andy Biggs, U.S. House of Representatives. Retrieved March 4, 2020.
  12. ^ ANTI-GAY LAWMAKER VOTED AGAINST CORONAVIRUS BILL BECAUSE IT “REDEFINED FAMILY” BY PROVIDING SICK LEAVE TO DOMESTIC PARTNERS, The Intercept, Lee Fang, March 17, 2020. Retrieved March 19, 2020.
  13. ^ ANDY BIGGS VOTED AGAINST CORONAVIRUS BILL BECAUSE IT GIVES SICK LEAVE TO SAME-SEX PARTNERS, Newsweek, JEFFERY MARTIN, March 18, 2020. Retrieved March 19, 2020.
  14. ^ "Member List". Retrieved November 6, 2017.
  15. ^ "Christine Jones concedes after losing by 27 votes to Biggs in GOP Congress primary". Phoenix Business Journal. September 16, 2016. Retrieved May 5, 2017.
  16. ^ "Arizona's 5th Congressional District election, 2016". BallotPedia. Retrieved May 5, 2017.
  17. ^ "State of Arizona Official Canvass 2010 Primary Election - August 24, 2010" (PDF). Phoenix, Arizona: Secretary of State of Arizona. p. 7. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 20, 2013. Retrieved January 6, 2014.
  18. ^ "State of Arizona Official Canvass 2010 General Election - November 2, 2010" (PDF). Phoenix, Arizona: Secretary of State of Arizona. p. 5. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 20, 2013. Retrieved January 6, 2014.
  19. ^ "State of Arizona Official Canvass 2012 Primary Election August 28, 2012" (PDF). Phoenix, Arizona: Secretary of State of Arizona. p. 5. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 12, 2013. Retrieved January 6, 2014.
  20. ^ "State of Arizona Official Canvass 2012 General Election November 6, 2012" (PDF). Phoenix, Arizona: Secretary of State of Arizona. p. 7. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 24, 2012. Retrieved January 6, 2014.
  21. ^ "State of Arizona Official Canvass 2002 Primary Election - September 10, 2002" (PDF). Phoenix, Arizona: Secretary of State of Arizona. p. 12. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 26, 2004. Retrieved January 6, 2014.
  22. ^ "State of Arizona Official Canvass 2002 General Election - November 5, 2002" (PDF). Phoenix, Arizona: Secretary of State of Arizona. p. 9. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 26, 2004. Retrieved January 6, 2014.
  23. ^ "State of Arizona Official Canvass 2004 Primary Election - September 7, 2004" (PDF). Phoenix, Arizona: Secretary of State of Arizona. p. 10. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 22, 2004. Retrieved January 6, 2014.
  24. ^ "State of Arizona Official Canvass 2004 General Election - November 2, 2004" (PDF). Phoenix, Arizona: Secretary of State of Arizona. p. 10. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 26, 2004. Retrieved January 6, 2014.
  25. ^ "State of Arizona Official Canvass 2006 Primary Election - September 12, 2006" (PDF). Phoenix, Arizona: Secretary of State of Arizona. p. 11. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 26, 2006. Retrieved January 6, 2014.
  26. ^ "State of Arizona Official Canvass 2006 General Election - November 7, 2006" (PDF). Phoenix, Arizona: Secretary of State of Arizona. p. 9. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 6, 2006. Retrieved January 6, 2014.
  27. ^ "State of Arizona Official Canvass 2008 Primary Election - September 2, 2008" (PDF). Phoenix, Arizona: Secretary of State of Arizona. p. 10. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 24, 2009. Retrieved January 6, 2014.
  28. ^ "State of Arizona Official Canvass 2008 General Election - November 4, 2008" (PDF). Phoenix, Arizona: Secretary of State of Arizona. p. 11. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 19, 2008. Retrieved January 6, 2014.
  29. ^ Fischer, Howard. "Supreme Court ruling could invalidate Arizona abortion rules". Arizona Daily Sun. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
  30. ^ "Rep. Andy Biggs: Change Senate rules that hinder GOP pro-life agenda". KTAR.com. May 23, 2018. Retrieved October 22, 2018.
  31. ^ "Mostly male congress members attended the Susan B. Anthony List anti-abortion gala with Trump — Quartz". qz.com. Retrieved October 22, 2018.
  32. ^ "Congressional Record - NARAL Pro-Choice America". NARAL Pro-Choice America. Retrieved October 22, 2018.
  33. ^ "The Voter's Self Defense System". Vote Smart. Retrieved October 22, 2018.
  34. ^ Hansen, Ronald J. (April 11, 2017). "Rep. Andy Biggs jeered on health care, climate change at Mesa town hall". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved August 29, 2017.
  35. ^ Waldman, Scott (January 17, 2017). "House Science Panel Adds Climate-Denying Members". Scientific American. Environment & Energy Publishing. Retrieved March 20, 2020.
  36. ^ Atkin, Emily (August 29, 2017). "Minutes". The New Republic. Retrieved March 20, 2020.
  37. ^ a b Savitsky, Shane (August 29, 2017). "House Republican introduces measure to defund key climate research". Axios. Retrieved March 20, 2020.
  38. ^ "Biggs Urges Trump To Withdraw From Paris Climate Agreement, Flake Pushing NAFTA". Arizona Daily Independent. June 1, 2017. Retrieved March 20, 2020.
  39. ^ a b [1], Politico, February 13, 2020. Retrieved March 20, 2020.
  40. ^ Analysis: Americans for Prosperity Anti-Wind Letter, Energy and Policy Institute, June 2014. Retrieved March 20, 2020.
  41. ^ Persons, Sally (February 22, 2018). "Rep. Andy Biggs, lone House member, gets top score on Club for Growth's annual economic scorecard". Washington Times. Retrieved March 20, 2020.
  42. ^ KARLIN-SMITH, SARAH. "House passes right-to-try on second try". Politico. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  43. ^ The U.S. House votes overwhelmingly to pass $8.3B coronavirus bill. 1 Arizonan votes no, Arizona Republic, Ronald J. Hansen, March 4, 2020. Retrieved March 5, 2020.
  44. ^ a b Hendley, Matthew (March 9, 2012). "Andy Biggs, Other Politicos Tied to Gilbert Religious Group Labeled as Anti-Gay "Hate Group" by Southern Poverty Law Center". Phoenix New Times. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
  45. ^ "All 535 members of Congress, and how much money they got from ISPs". The Verge. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
  46. ^ Newsy, 3 House Republicans Call Mueller Compromised, Demand Resignation, Retrieved November 4, 2017, "...Reps. Gaetz, Biggs and Gohmert think Mueller can't fairly conduct his Russia investigation because of events that happened while he was FBI director..."
  47. ^ "Congressman Biggs Renews Call for Robert Mueller to Resign". March 19, 2018. Retrieved July 27, 2018.
  48. ^ "Biggs, Gosar join calls in U.S. House to impeach Deputy AG Rosenstein". July 25, 2018. Retrieved July 27, 2018.
  49. ^ "Who would be Mueller's boss if Rosenstein goes?". April 11, 2018. Retrieved July 27, 2018.
  50. ^ "I never flipped on the Mueller report. It supported what I said all along". azcentral. Retrieved April 19, 2019.
  51. ^ "Mueller report: Arizona's congressional delegation reacts". www.msn.com. Retrieved April 19, 2019.
  52. ^ "11 Republicans vote against helping 9/11 first responders". Source Politics. July 13, 2019.
  53. ^ Pitzl, Mary Jo (April 5, 2017). "Texting ban for drivers? Arizona legislature pushing the brakes on the idea". azcentral.com. Retrieved March 20, 2020.
  54. ^ "RollCall.com - Member Profile - Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz". media.cq.com.
  55. ^ "U.S. Congress Includes 10 Latter-day Saints—the Fewest Number in a Decade - Church News and Events". www.churchofjesuschrist.org.
  56. ^ Barry, Jason (April 12, 2016). "AZ Senate president is former $10M sweepstakes winner". www.azfamily.com. Retrieved June 20, 2016.

External links

Arizona Senate
Preceded by
Thayer Verschoor
Member of the Arizona Senate
from the 22nd district

2011–2013
Succeeded by
Judy Burges
Preceded by
John Nelson
Member of the Arizona Senate
from the 12th district

2013–2017
Succeeded by
Warren Petersen
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Matt Salmon
Member of the  U.S. House of Representatives
from Arizona's 5th congressional district

2017–present
Incumbent
Party political offices
Preceded by
Mark Meadows
Chair of the Freedom Caucus
2019–present
Incumbent
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Jack Bergman
United States Representatives by seniority
291st
Succeeded by
Lisa Blunt Rochester