Politics & Policy

Scalise Backs Stefanik for House GOP Conference Chair

Rep. Liz Cheney (R., Wyo.) stands behind Rep. Steve Scalise (R., La.) as he addresses reporters in Washington, D.C. April 20, 2021. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

House GOP Whip Steve Scalise (R., La.) called to oust Representative Liz Cheney (R., Wyo.) from her leadership position on Wednesday, throwing his support behind New York Republican Elise Stefanik.

“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,” Scalise spokeswoman Lauren Fine said in a statement. That “is why Whip Scalise has pledged to support her for Conference Chair.”

Scalise is the House’s second-highest ranking Republican, while Cheney, the current Conference Chair, is the third-highest GOP representative. The statement comes as House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) is working with Scalise to support Stefanik for Conference Chair, Punchbowl News reported on Wednesday.

“I think she’s got real problems,” McCarthy told Fox and Friends host Steve Doocy in off-air comments, a tape of which was obtained by Axios on Tuesday. “I’ve had it with … I’ve had it with her. You know, I’ve lost confidence. … Well, someone just has to bring a motion, but I assume that will probably take place.”

The comments seemed to imply the House GOP could hold a second vote to oust Cheney in the near future. Cheney survived the first conference vote in February.

Cheney has drawn ire from GOP colleagues in recent weeks for continuing to criticize former President Trump over his conduct during the January 6 Capitol riot and for claiming that Democrats “stole” the 2020 presidential election.

“This is about whether the Republican Party is going to perpetuate lies about the 2020 election and attempt to whitewash what happened on January 6,” Cheney spokesman Jeremy Adler said on Tuesday. “Liz will not do that. That is the issue.”

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.


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