According to a spokesperson for Mr Scalise, the congressman has endorsed Rep Elise Stefanik, a New York congresswoman who has stepped up to replace Ms Cheney.
“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,” the spokesperson, Lauren Fine, said in a statement obtained by Punchbowl News.
Despite surviving a February party conference ballot by 145 to 61, Ms Cheney is facing an uphill struggle as some members of her own party continue to move against her.
“I think she’s got real problems,” Mr McCarthy was overheard telling a Fox News journalist. “I’ve had it with her. You know, I’ve lost confidence.”
Two unnamed congressional sources told Reuters that a House Republican Conference vote on Ms Cheney could happen by as early as 12 May.
Ms Cheney has repeatedly clashed with former president Donald Trump and the House Republicans who still support him. After the 6 January Capitol riot, she was one of the few Republicans to vote for Mr Trump’s second impeachment. She has also insisted on telling the truth that Mr Trump lost the 2020 election, while many of her colleagues have continued to echo the ex-president’s baseless conspiracy theories.
Ms Cheney has also disagreed with her caucus over the Capitol riot itself. While other Republicans, including Mr McCarthy, have said any investigation of the attack should study violence by Antifa, Black Lives Matter, and other left-wing movements, Ms Cheney has said the probe should concentrate on the pro-Trump mob that actually attacked the Capitol.
All of this has left Ms Cheney increasingly isolated in her party, which has remained in Mr Trump’s grip despite his election loss.
Ms Stefanik, who seeks to replace her, is much more loyal to the former president. She forcefully defended him at his first impeachment trial, and she was among the Republicans who voted to overturn his Electoral College defeat.
On Wednesday, a spokesperson for Ms Cheney implied that she’s ready to fight back.
“Liz will have more to say in the coming days,” Jeremy Adler told The New York Times. “This moment is about much more than a House leadership fight.”
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