Rep. Kevin McCarthy was nominated on Tuesday by House Republicans to be their candidate for speaker.
The current House minority leader announced his bid for the position late last week.
McCarthy beat out a last minute challenge from Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona, a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, winning the secret ballot by a margin of 188 to 31, CBS News reported.
The win for McCarthy means that his path to becoming speaker hinges on whether in a House with a tiny Republican majority he can get the 218 votes needed to take on the role.
CBS News projected that the GOP may only end up with 216 seats, with the Democrats having 211. But Republican candidates are leading in several close races whose winner has yet to be projected.
McCarthy was able to stave off a challenge from the conservative Biggs, who told Newsmax on Monday that "we have a new paradigm here, and I think the country wants a different direction from the House of Representatives."
Announcing his bid last week, McCarthy said in a letter: “While a number of races remain outstanding, I can confidently report that we will join that list, build on our significant gains from last cycle, and achieve our goal of taking back the House.”
“Now, we will be measured by what we do with our majority. Now, the real work begins. That is why I am running to serve as Speaker of the People’s House and humbly ask for your support,” he added.
It remains in question whether with only a slim Republican majority, McCarthy will be able to count on the support of the party’s far-right faction needed for passing important legislation. There is also the question of former President Donald Trump’s influence over GOP House members. Trump is expected to announce his 2024 bid for the White House on Tuesday.
Last Monday, a day before the midterms, McCarthy said outlined his program for the House, including Republican investigations of President Joe Biden's administration.
McCarthy, in an interview with CNN, said potential probes included the US pullout from Afghanistan and the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.