House Republicans renewed their efforts to oust Conference Chair Liz Cheney in response to her criticism of Donald Trump, Axios reports.
Cheney survived a bid by the House Freedom Caucus to strip her of her leadership post earlier this year but Republicans angry at her continued criticism of Trump are planning to renew their effort when the GOP conference meets next week.
This time, Cheney’s foes are pushing to replace her with a woman since the top two leadership jobs are filled by white men.
Republicans do not have many high-profile female lawmakers in their conference but some potential replacements include New York Rep. Elise Stefanik (who may challenge Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the next election), Missouri Rep. Ann Wagner, and Indiana Rep. Jackie Walorski.
GOP wants woman who backs Trump:
Republicans are targeting a woman replacement over concerns that they are too male to appeal to suburban women, a key demographic that has moved toward Democrats in recent years.
All of the women on the list have backed Trump and voted against his impeachment.
Stefanik is an unlikely choice. Though she has been a fierce defender of Trump, her district may be changed or eliminated after New York lost a congressional seat in the census, and her aspirations appear to be set on the New York governor’s mansion.
Wagner has been in Congress since 2013 and is considering a run for the Senate in 2022.
Walorski is the top Republican on the House Ethics Committee and is “well-liked within the party,” according to Axios.
Some aides have also mentioned Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who previously held Cheney’s position from 2012 to 2018. But Rodgers is unlikely to give up her post as the top Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
McCarthy knocks Cheney:
Though Cheney has received tepid support from the party’s leaders, House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy was critical of her in an interview with Fox News Tuesday.
"I have heard from members, concerned about her ability to carry out the job as conference chair, to carry out the message," McCarthy said. "We all need to be working as one, if we're able to win the majority. Remember, majorities are not given, they are earned, and that's about the message about going forward."
McCarthy hit Cheney over her continued criticism of Trump, telling Fox that the question moving forward is "what's our best step forward that we could all work together instead of attacking one another."