House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy set a Wednesday vote for removing Rep. Liz Cheney from her Republican leadership post in the chamber, saying it was clear that he and his GOP colleagues “need to make a change.”
Cheney seems all but certain to be tossed from her No. 3 House GOP job after she was among just 10 Republicans to vote to impeach former President Donald Trump in January.
McCarthy has signaled his desire to remove Cheney for several weeks.
“If we are to succeed in stopping the radical Democratic agenda from destroying our country, these internal conflicts need to be resolved so as to not detract from the efforts of our collective team,” McCarthy wrote in a Monday note.
“Having heard from so many of you in recent days, it’s clear that we need to make a change. As such, you should anticipate a vote on recalling the Conference Chair this Wednesday.”
Cheney’s job as chair of the House Republican conference includes formulating party messaging. Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York seems likely to replace her, though McCarthy might delay a second vote.
“Unlike the left, we embrace free thought and debate,” McCarthy said. He said lawmakers must represent their constituents “as they see fit, but our leadership team cannot afford to be distracted” from the party’s goals.
A modest number of Republicans have spoken out in Cheney’s defense.
“Cancel culture is cancel culture, no matter how you look at it,” Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa told reporters on Monday. “And unfortunately I think there are those that are trying to silence others in the party.”
Trump reiterated his support for Stefanik in a Monday statement.
He cited her support from the National Rifle Association and the union representing border patrol agents, plus her efforts to help Republicans win House seats, adding, “She knows how to win, which is what we need!”
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