We reported yesterday how Kevin McCarthy was allegedly caught on a hot mic talking about Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), saying he’d had it with her. Then in a Fox interview, McCarthy said everyone needed to be working as one to defeat the Democrats in 2022 and that some were concerned about Cheney’s ability to carry forward the Republican message.
Cheney’s response exhibited exactly why she should be cut from leadership and why the Republicans are exasperated with her. Cheney’s spokesperson claimed,
“This is about whether the Republican Party is going to perpetuate lies about the 2020 election and attempt to whitewash what happened on Jan 6,” he said, according to Politico. “Liz will not do that. That is the issue.”
Now, it looks like the Republicans are finally ready to pull the plug on Cheney as far as her leadership position is concerned.
So much news this morning in @PunchbowlNews AM.
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) May 5, 2021
According to Axios, Rep. Steve Scalise is now publicly backing Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) to replace Cheney as House Republican conference chair.
“House Republicans need to be solely focused on taking back the House in 2022 and fighting against Speaker Pelosi and President Biden’s radical socialist agenda, and Elise Stefanik is strongly committed to doing that, which is why Whip Scalise has pledged to support her for Conference Chair,” Scalise’s spokesperson Lauren Fine said in a statement, which was first reported by Punchbowl News.
The GOP conference plans to meet next week at which time a vote on the issue is expected, according to Axios. There had been a prior effort to oust Cheney that failed in February but that was without any public word from McCarthy on the question. It takes a two-thirds vote with a secret ballot so it’s a hard vote to get. But with Scalise, the House Whip, turning against Cheney, plus McCarthy, they may just have the votes now to do it. According to Politico, Stefanik herself is pushing to build support to take the position.
Yet in a sign of how quickly things moving, several key GOP voices have come out in support of Stefanik.
— Melanie Zanona (@MZanona) May 4, 2021
According to The Hill, other potential contenders for the spot appear to have dropped out of contention. “There is no way that Liz will be conference chair by month’s end,” one key McCarthy ally told The Hill. “When there is a vote, it won’t be a long conference; it will be fast. Everyone knows the outcome,” the ally explained.
Cheney also is in big trouble in Wyoming. She already has four Republican primary opponents for next year’s election, according to the AP, some of whom are mad that, on top of everything else, she fist-bumped Biden when he gave his address to Congress. “Liz, fist bump your way right out of Wyoming,” Chuck Gray, a Wyoming state representative tweeted.