Cheney has become increasingly isolated within her conference amid her feud with former President Donald Trump, a battle that escalated after being one of 10 Republicans to back his impeachment under the accusation of inciting the insurrection of January 6 and when she called her lie. he actually won the 2020 election.
But on Tuesday, McCarthy claimed his impeachment vote would not cost him the job. Instead, he said she had not done enough to keep the party united behind a singular message to win back a majority next year, the clearest sign so far that he could look to the ‘oust from next week.
“I’ve heard from members concerned about his ability to take over as conference chairperson to get the message out,” McCarthy told Fox News Tuesday morning. “We all have to work together, if we are able to win the majority. Remember, majorities are not given, they are won, and this is about the message of moving forward. “
McCarthy added that the question for the future is “what’s our best step forward so that we can all work together instead of attacking each other”.
But Cheney shows no signs of backing down amid his growing feud with McCarthy.
“The question is whether the Republican Party is going to perpetuate lies about the 2020 election and attempt to whitewash what happened on January 6,” Cheney spokesperson Jeremy Adler said in a statement. “Liz won’t do that. That is the problem. ”
Cheney does not intend to step down as speaker of the House Republican Conference, two people familiar with the matter told CNN. This means that if she is ousted, it will have to be done by a conference vote.
Cheney has always supported his criticisms of Trump, even amid mounting attacks from his own GOP colleagues at Home. On Monday morning, the Wyoming Republican called Trump the “BIG LIE” for continuing to make false statements about the 2020 election results. Cheney said later Monday that his party could not accept the “poison” of the idea that the 2020 election had been stolen and shouldn’t ‘whitewash’ the Jan.6 riot on Capitol Hill – and Trump’s role in its fomenting, making comments behind closed doors at a conference. in Sea Island, Georgia.
Cheney’s future as Republican leadership looks increasingly bleak, with discussions now growing in GOP circles about her replacement in leadership as she has become alienated in her conference amid her feud. with Trump.
It’s still unclear which candidates might emerge – and who would actually win because it would be a secret ballot and no candidate has yet announced that they will run. Cheney would have to step down first, or McCarthy could organize a quick vote to kick her out, although he has yet to say if he will.
But with Cheney, the highest woman in the GOP leadership, Republicans are well aware of how he would appear to replace her with a man. So speculation is growing that a woman might be the best fit for the conference, aides and lawmakers tell CNN.
Some Republican women who could be in the running include Jackie Walorski of Indiana, Elise Stefanik of New York, Maria Elvira Salazar of Florida and Ashley Hinson of Iowa.
Representatives Mike Johnson of Louisiana and Jim Banks of Indiana are also said to be potential candidates.
It is unclear as of Tuesday who is actually in consideration as there are currently no votes scheduled to replace Cheney – although Republicans expect such a vote to take place as early as next week.
This story was updated with additional developments on Tuesday.
CNN’s Jamie Gangel contributed to this report.