House Republicans are preparing for a vote Wednesday to remove Liz Cheney as the party's Conference chairwoman after Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy turned against her.
The House Republican Conference will hold a meeting Wednesday, which, more than likely, will result in Cheney losing her No. 3 spot in House GOP leadership after upping her criticism of Donald Trump in the months following the January 6 Capitol attack.
Cheney was one of the 10 Republicans in the House who voted to impeach Trump after the riot. She also publicly increased her rhetoric against him in a fiery op/ed last week and a tweet where she responded to a statement from the former president about her.
New York Representative Elise Stefanik appears to be the likely replacement for Cheney after several party leaders, including McCarthy and Trump, endorsed her for the position.
The House is currently out of session, but will return to Capitol Hill on Tuesday after a three week break. On Wednesday the House GOP will convene to decide the future of the party in the lower chamber.
The House Republican Conference is preparing for a vote Wednesday to oust Representative Liz Cheney as chairwoman
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (left) reaffirmed he will support New York Rep. Elise Stefanik (right) to replace Cheney – a big change from the February vote to remove Cheney that failed with his support for the Wyoming lawmaker
'To defeat Nancy Pelosi and the socialist agenda, we need to be united. And that starts with leadership,' McCarthy told 'Fox News Sunday' in formally and publicly breaking with Cheney and backing Stefanik.
'That's why we will have a vote next week,' he continued. 'And we want to be united in looking, moving forward. And I think that's what will take place.'
'As conference chair, you have one of the most critical jobs as the messenger of going forward. Are we talking about what the Democrats are doing on the border? Are we talking about all the missed jobs [in the] report that we just had? Are we building an economy?'
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise has also endorsed Stefanik for the post.
While Stefanik has a less conservative voting record than Cheney, she does win in one area – she is a defender of former President Trump. She even was one of the lawmakers who objected to the joint session vote certifying the election for Joe Biden earlier this year.
Cheney survived a February vote attempting to oust her, but since then has not backed down on attacking Trump for continuing to push claims the 2020 election was 'rigged.'
She has argued that the Republican Party needs to move on from Trump, which has not resonated with the majority of lawmakers.
Chairman of the Republican Study Committee Jim Banks said Sunday that Cheney has 'failed' the party by becoming a divisive figure rather than a uniting one.
'One of my jobs is to hold my Republican leadership accountable for being focused on the Republican ideals that we stand for and the single mission that we have to win back the majority,' the Indiana Representative told ' Fox News Sunday' host Chris Wallace.
'She's failed in her mission as the chief spokesperson of our party,' he continued.
'We shouldn't be talking about Liz Cheney, we should be talking about pushing back against the radical Biden agenda, and this is all a distraction from our ability to do that.'
Cheney sealed her fate after doubling down on her criticism of Trump in the months after becoming the highest-ranking Republican to vote for his second impeachment.
Chairman of the Republican Study Committee Jim Banks said Sunday that GOP Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney has 'failed' the party in her leadership role
Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) on why they're trying to push Liz Cheney out of leadership:
"One of my jobs is to hold my Republican leadership accountable for being focused on the Republican ideals and single mission we have to win back the majority ... She has failed in her mission..." pic.twitter.com/ZNMfjHaZm2— The Recount (@therecount) May 9, 2021
Of the 212 Republican in the House of Representatives, 153 of them are members of the GOP Study Committee – making it the largest conservative caucus in Congress.
'Republicans are almost completely unified,' Chairman Banks said of the effort 'to oppose the radical Biden agenda.'
'We are almost entirely unified on this issue, except for Liz Cheney,' he clarified
'Any leader who is not focused on that,' Banks said, 'at this point needs to be replaced.'
On Wednesday, the GOP caucus will meet to decide the fate of Cheney in her elected role after top leadership, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, have publicly turned against her.
During Banks' interview with Fox on Sunday morning, he told Wallace that he stands by his decision to vote to challenge the results. While reasserting that President Joe Biden is the legitimate president, Banks also continued to question how the election was conducted.
'I stand by my vote to object on January 6 and stand by the Texas lawsuit,' he said. 'I have serious concerns about how the election in November was carried out.'
'That is where most Republicans in the GOP conference are unified around that single mission and goal and anything that distracts from it will hold us back from doing that,' he said, bringing it back to Cheney's future in the party.
Earlier this year, Cheney survived a secret ballot leadership vote 145-61 with the help of McCarthy.
McCarthy has questioned ever since then her ability to carry on as Conference chairwoman, claiming her message seems so departed from the rest of the party.
Ahead of an interview with Fox & Friends last week, McCarthy was caught on hot mic telling co-host Steve Doocey he's lost confidence in Cheney.
'I think she's got real problems,' he said. 'I've had it with.
'You know, I've lost confidence,' McCarthy continued in the hot mic moment. 'Well, someone just has to bring a motion, but I assume that will probably take place.'
Then during his interview, McCarthy told Fox: 'I have heard from members concerned about her ability to carry out the job as conference chair - to carry out the message.'
'We all need to be working as one if we're able to win the majority,' he added. 'Remember, majorities are not given; they are earned. And that's about the message about going forward.'
A key McCarthy ally revealed in comments to The Hill last week: 'There is no way that Liz will be conference chair by month's end. 'When there is a vote, it won't be a long conference; it will be fast. Everyone knows the outcome.'
Reports indicate thus far that Cheney isn't trying too hard or attempting to whip up support for her to hold onto her leadership role.
Top leadership is paving the way for Stefanik to replace Cheney in House GOP leadership, despite the New York Republican having a less conservative voting record than Cheney
Support for Stefanik also comes as Donald Trump endorsed her to take Cheney's post
The daughter of Former Vice President Dick Cheney, however, cast the battle as one far bigger than her own political career in an op/ed in the Washington Post on Wednesday.
'The Republican Party is at a turning point, and Republicans must decide whether we are going to choose truth and fidelity to the Constitution,' she wrote.
'In the immediate wake of the violence of Jan. 6, almost all of us knew the gravity and the cause of what had just happened — we had witnessed it firsthand,' she said bringing up the Capitol riot that preceded her vote to impeach Trump.
'The question before us now is whether we will join Trump's crusade to delegitimize and undo the legal outcome of the 2020 election, with all the consequences that might have. I have worked overseas in nations where changes in leadership come only with violence, where democracy takes hold only until the next violent upheaval. America is exceptional because our constitutional system guards against that. At the heart of our republic is a commitment to the peaceful transfer of power among political rivals in accordance with law. President Ronald Reagan as our American 'miracle.'
Scalise publicly voiced his support for ousting Cheney – while he and other leadership make clear their choice to replace her is New York Representative Elise Stefanik.
House Republican Whip Steve Scalise, No. 2 in House leadership, also expressed his public support for Stefanik in breaking with the No. 3 leader
'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.
Stefanik, not a favorite of some more far-right factions of the party, was a vocal and public defender of Trump during his impeachment hearings.
Wyoming Republicans are also looking to oust Cheney from Congress completely, as the party gears up for 2022 and Trump prepares to issue an endorsement for a challenger for her at-large seat.