Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

House Republicans are moving closer to ousting Conference Chair Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) from leadership, and are already considering replacements — including Reps. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), Ann Wagner (R-Mo.) and Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.), congressional aides tell Axios.

What we're hearing: Most members recognize Cheney can't be succeeded by a white man, given their top two leaders — House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) — fill that demographic.

  • Selling such a team in a midterm year would compound the GOP's challenges with suburban women.
  • The conference meets next Wednesday, May 12. Most members expect the process to oust Cheney to begin then, whether formally or informally, after some of McCarthy's top lieutenants broadened their complaints against her.
  • It would take up to a two-thirds vote of the 212 caucus members to replace her — a relatively high bar if a secret ballot is held.

Behind the scenes: When Cheney faced an uprising within the party in February over her vote to impeach former President Trump, McCarthy supported her and told his colleagues he wanted her to remain as GOP conference chair.

  • But leadership and many in the rank and file were angry last week when Cheney's criticism of Trump dominated coverage of the House Republican conference in Orlando, Florida.

Between the lines: The criticism prompted immediate speculation about her replacement. Republican Hill sources told Axios the list could include:

  • Stefanik (R-N.Y.): Widely seen as a rising star in the party, she gained popularity for fiercely defending Trump during his first impeachment.
    • Her seat in New York's 21st District could be affected due to the recent apportionment from the 2020 census. New York will lose a seat in the 2022 midterm elections, and Democrats are in full control of the state's government.
    • Stefanik also is considering running for governor of New York.
  • Wagner (R-Mo.): A member of Congress since 2013, she was initially considered a potential replacement to Cheney as conference chair when she was considering running for Senate.
  • Walorski (R-Ind.): She also has served in the House since 2013 and is the top Republican on the House Ethics Committee. She serves on the powerful Ways and Means Committee.
    • Walorski is well-liked within the party and is seen as someone who wouldn't cause waves in leadership.

But, but, but: Several aides mentioned Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) since she previously served as chairwoman of the House GOP conference from 2012 to 2018.

    • Some also think Rodgers could be "a good placeholder" before the next leadership elections, one leadership aide told Axios.
    • Nonetheless, Rodgers was recently selected as the top Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, something many aides don't think she'd want to relinquish.

Worth noting: None of these women voted to impeach Trump this year or in 2019.

  • Stefanik and Walorski objected to the Jan. 6 Electoral College certification of the presidential election.
  • McMorris Rodgers initially planned to oppose the results but changed her vote after the attack on the Capitol.
  • Wagner announced prior to Jan. 6 she would not challenge the results.

Go deeper

Liz Cheney refuses to back down on Trump criticism

Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the No. 3 Republican on the House, tweeted Monday that anyone promoting "THE BIG LIE" that the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump is "turning their back on the rule of law" and "poisoning our democratic system."

Why it matters: Top Republicans are now openly suggesting that Cheney could be removed from her leadership position because of her criticism of Trump, who remains the most popular figure in the GOP. Cheney was one of ten House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Susan Collins "appalled" by censure attempt against Mitt Romney

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) told CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday she was "appalled" to see her colleague Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) booed and nearly censured at the Utah Republican Party state convention a day earlier.

Why it matters: The effort to censure Romney for his vote to convict former President Donald Trump following the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol failed by a 711-798 vote. A number of Republicans have faced backlash in their home states for voting to convict Trump, as the former president continues to have significant sway over the party.

A $2B Capitol security mystery

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

More than 100 days after the Capitol insurrection, members of Congress don't have or won't provide details about what's going into a promised $2 billion emergency supplemental appropriation meant to protect their workplace.

Why it matters: Members of Congress have a history of proposing measures to safeguard the Capitol and themselves that result in member perks and restrict public access to the People's House.