Andrew Steven Biggs (born November 7, 1958) is an American attorney and politician. He serves as a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives representing Arizona's 5th congressional district.
|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|
January 14, 2013 – January 3, 2017
|Preceded by||Steve Pierce|
|Succeeded by||Steve Yarbrough|
|Member of the Arizona Senate|
January 10, 2011 – January 3, 2017
|Preceded by||Thayer Verschoor|
|Succeeded by||Warren Petersen|
|Constituency||22nd district (2011–2013)|
12th district (2013–2017)
|Member of the Arizona House of Representatives|
from the 22nd district
January 2003 – January 2011
|Preceded by||Richard Miranda, John A. Loredo|
|Succeeded by||Eddie Farnsworth, Steve Urie|
Andrew Steven Biggs
November 7, 1958
Tucson, Arizona, U.S.
|Residence||Gilbert, Arizona, U.S.|
|Education||Brigham Young University (BA)|
University of Arizona (JD)
Arizona State University, Phoenix (MA)
He was a member of the Arizona House of Representatives from 2003 to 2011, and a member of the Arizona Senate from 2011 to 2017. He was President of the Arizona Senate from 2013 to 2017. In 2016, he was elected to the United States Congress. In September 2019, Biggs became chairman of the Freedom Caucus, considered the furthest-right bloc within the House Republican Conference.
When he was young, Biggs went on a mission to Japan for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and learned to speak fluent Japanese. He later earned his B.A. in Asian studies from Brigham Young University in 1982, his J.D. from the University of Arizona in 1984, and his M.A. in political science from Arizona State University in 1999.
Biggs worked as a lawyer for a firm based in Hobbs, New Mexico, before relocating to Phoenix where he worked as a prosecutor. In 1993, Biggs won $10 million in the American Family Publishers sweepstakes. He subsequently appeared in a TV advert with Dick Clark and Ed McMahon to promote the sweepstakes.
U.S. House of RepresentativesEdit
In 2016, Biggs ran for the United States Congress in the 5th District to replace retiring congressman and fellow Republican Matt Salmon. 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. Biggs defeated Christine Jones in the Republican primary by 27 votes, triggering an automatic recount, to become the candidate. Biggs's primary victory virtually assured him of being the next congressman from the heavily Republican district; the 5th and its predecessors have been in Republican hands for all but one term since 1953.
He defeated Democrat Talia Fuentes in November, 64.1 to 35.9 percent. 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.
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. In a statement, Biggs said that the "larded-up bill" was "bloated". Ten days later, Biggs voted against the larger Coronavirus Response Act that passed the House by a vote of 363–40. Biggs said he opposed the second bill because it provided benefits to domestic partners and argued that by so doing, it "redefined the family."
Contesting of the 2020 presidential electionEdit
In 2020, Biggs joined fellow Arizona Representative Paul Gosar in a video falsely claiming that there was widespread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election. They claimed that voting machines were faulty in Arizona, and Biggs claimed that poll-watchers were allowed to participate in vote tabulations in Detroit. They also demanded an audit of Maricopa County's vote count. Later, Biggs falsely claimed that 10,000 voters were "disenfranchised" in Maricopa County, and did not provide evidence.
In December 2020, Biggs was among 126 House Republicans who signed on to the amicus brief Texas v. Pennsylvania, an unsuccessful lawsuit that asked the Supreme Court to overturn election results from Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, thereby denying Joe Biden from taking office as president.
2021 storming of the United States CapitolEdit
During the storming of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, Biggs was ushered to a secure location when the House Chamber was cleared and all members of the House were taken to a safe location. A video of Biggs later surfaced in which he refused to wear a mask in violation of House rules. Sources noted that following the siege lockdown, during which several other congressional Republicans had also refused to wear masks, three House Democrats tested positive for COVID-19. He subsequently voted to object to Arizona and Pennsylvania's electoral votes that same day, joining 146 House Republicans.
On January 12, 2021, Biggs called on fellow GOP Representative Liz Cheney (R-WY) to resign from her leadership position within the Republican Caucus, after she voted in favor of Donald Trump's second impeachment.
In the aftermath of the events on January 6, Biggs' brothers William and Daniel wrote a letter to the editor of The Arizona Republic demanding their brother's removal from office. They wrote that Biggs is "at least partially to blame" for the Capitol storming. They also condemned his refusal to wear a mask in the secure location. According to the brothers, this "was a passive-aggressive tantrum and the ultimate disrespect for all present".
Biggs was one of the 12 GOP members of the House who voted against H.R 1085 to award three Congressional Gold Medals to the United States Capitol Police who protected the U.S. Capitol on January 6. In a subsequent vote in June 2021, Biggs and 20 other House Republicans voted against a similar resolution. Explaining his vote, Biggs said he wanted the bill to be "non-political".
- Committee on the Judiciary
- Committee on Oversight
- Previous assignments
- Committee on Science, Space, and Technology (2017–2021)
State House of RepresentativesEdit
- 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. Biggs and Rep. Farnsworth were unopposed for the 2002 general election, where Biggs took the first seat with 31,812 votes and Farnsworth took the second seat.
- 2004: Biggs and Farnsworth were unopposed for the September 7, 2004 Republican Primary; Farnsworth placed first and Biggs placed second with 11,202 votes. For the three-way November 2, 2004 general election, Farnsworth took the first seat and Biggs took the second seat with 51,932 votes, ahead of Libertarian candidate Wade Reynolds.
- 2006: Biggs and Farnsworth were challenged in the four-way September 12, 2006 Republican Primary; Farnsworth placed first and Biggs placed second with 7,793 votes. In the three-way November 7, 2006 general election, Farnsworth took the first seat and Biggs took the second seat with 38,085, votes ahead of Libertarian candidate Edward Schwebel.
- 2008: With 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. 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, who had run for the district's senate seat in 2006.
- 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, and the November 2, 2010 General election, winning with 59,933 votes.
- 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, and the November 6, 2012 general election, winning with 63,812 votes.
Biggs opposes abortion of any kind, including those involving rape, incest or risk to the mother. He supports overturning Roe vs. Wade. He has argued in favor of changing Senate rules to make it easier for the "GOP pro-life agenda." He has attended an anti-abortion conference hosted by the anti-abortion group, Susan B. Anthony List.
He has received mixed ratings from special interest groups focused on abortion. In 2017, he received a 30 percent rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America. He also has a 29 percent lifetime rating from Planned Parenthood, which supports legal access to abortion, as well as an 87 percent from National Right to Life Committee and a 100 percent from Campaign for Working Families, which both oppose legal abortion.
In comments at an April 2017 constituent town hall, as he was frequently interrupted with boos, Biggs rejected 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 contending, "there are credible scientists who say it doesn't." 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." Biggs submitted an amendment to the 2018 spending bill which would defund the National Climate Assessment. He urged president Trump to withdraw from the Paris Accords. In February 2020, when Republican 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 hardline denialists objected. Biggs, chairing the House Freedom Caucus, said: "People are like, 'Is this an official rollout? It can't be official. We didn't vote on it'."
While factions inside the Republican Party were split on whether to continue climate change denial, conservative groups such as the Club for Growth (CFG) and the Competitive Enterprise Institute opposed any appeasement. In 2018, Biggs was the sole House member to receive a 100 percent rating from the CFG.
Biggs opposes wearing masks to prevent the transmission of COVID-19, encouraging Arizonans to not wear masks. In July 2020, Biggs tweeted that people should not trust Anthony Fauci or Deborah Birx. He has called for the White House Coronavirus Task Force to be disbanded. During a major outbreak in the summer of 2020 in Arizona, Biggs questioned the hospitalization numbers and called governor Doug Ducey's two-month lockdown a result of "hysteria" from "Democratic Leftists." In September 2020, Biggs posted a series of tweets supporting the use of hydroxychloroquine to prevent COVID-19, and that Arizonans should "embrace" it. There is no strong evidence to support the use of hydroxychloroquine against COVID-19.
On March 4, 2020, Colorado Republican Ken Buck and Biggs were the only two Representatives to vote against an $8.3 billion COVID-19 aid package. In a statement, Biggs said that the "larded-up bill" was "bloated". Ten days later, Biggs voted against the larger Coronavirus Response Act, stating that because it provided benefits to domestic partners, it "redefined the family." In December 2020, Biggs called on President Trump to veto the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, which included $900 billion in stimulus relief for the COVID-19 pandemic. The legislation was the first bill to address the pandemic since April 2020.
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."
Biggs has gone on record as opposing net neutrality, and favored FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's plan to end it. In a letter sent to his constituents, Biggs stated that "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 telecommunications industry.
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.
On March 19, 2018, Biggs renewed his call for Robert Mueller to resign. On July 25, 2018, Biggs was among nine other Republican co-sponsors for a resolution to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who was Mueller's direct supervisor after the recusal of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
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. 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 "the 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 full report on April 18, 2019, and was most likely written in response to 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, chastising the Democratic party for attempting to "undermine the POTUS."
Texas v. PennsylvaniaEdit
While ballots were being counted in the 2020 presidential election, and Donald Trump was trailing Joe Biden in Arizona, Biggs claimed without evidence that nearly 10,000 voters had been disenfranchised in Arizona.
In December 2020, Biggs was one of 126 Republican members of the House of Representatives who signed an amicus brief in support of Texas v. Pennsylvania, a lawsuit filed at the United States Supreme Court contesting the results of the presidential election. The Supreme Court declined to hear the case, on the basis that Texas lacked standing under Article III of the Constitution to challenge the results of the election held by another state.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a statement that called signing the amicus brief an act of "election subversion." Additionally, Pelosi reprimanded Biggs and the other House members who supported the lawsuit: "The 126 Republican Members that signed onto this lawsuit brought dishonor to the House. Instead of upholding their oath to support and defend the Constitution, they chose to subvert the Constitution and undermine public trust in our sacred democratic institutions." New Jersey Representative Bill Pascrell, citing section three of the 14th Amendment, called for Pelosi to not seat Biggs and the other Republicans who signed the brief supporting the suit. Pascrell argued that "the text of the 14th Amendment expressly forbids Members of Congress from engaging in rebellion against the United States. Trying to overturn a democratic election and install a dictator seems like a pretty clear example of that."
Texting while drivingEdit
9/11 Victims Compensation FundEdit
In 2019, 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. On July 12, 2019, the measure passed the House by a vote of 402–12.
On March 19, 2021, Biggs voted against a House resolution to condemn the military coup in Myanmar. The resolution passed with 398-14 votes, with one other member, Paul Gosar, voting present. Biggs called the violence "tragic" but added that "there is suffering everywhere in the world" and the U.S. "can't be the military police for the entire world," claiming the resolution is a way to "put our foot in the door in Burma." The resolution was purely symbolic and did not call for use of force.
Syria and YemenEdit
Biggs was among 60 Republicans to oppose condemning Trump's action of withdrawing forces from Syria. Biggs along with Matt Gaetz and a handful of other Republicans, broke with party and voted to end Saudi assistance to the War in Yemen.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Andy Biggs.|
- Congressman Andy Biggs official U.S. House website
- Campaign website
- Andy Biggs at Curlie
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Profile at Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Legislation sponsored at the Library of Congress
|Arizona House of Representatives|
John A. Loredo
| Member of the Arizona House of Representatives
from the 22nd district
Served alongside: Eddie Farnsworth, Laurin Hendrix
| Member of the Arizona Senate
from the 22nd district
| Member of the Arizona Senate
from the 12th district
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arizona's 5th congressional district
|Party political offices|
| Chair of the Freedom Caucus
|U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)|
| United States representatives by seniority
Lisa Blunt Rochester