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House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif). Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy declared on Wednesday that he supports keeping Rep. Liz Cheney in her leadership role and opposes stripping Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of her committee seats at this time, sources familiar with his closed-door remarks told Axios.

Why it matters: In keeping Greene, McCarthy risks public condemnation and fuels a Democratic effort to remove her through a House vote. In standing with Cheney, he also risks alienating himself from pro-Trump Republicans who remain a potent part of the Republicans' base.

  • McCarthy (R-Calif.) made his declarations at the outset of a much-anticipated meeting of House Republicans.
  • He then outlined his positions in a statement issued to the media.

Between the lines: Several GOP lawmakers are frustrated with McCarthy for failing to deal with Greene on his own, and forcing them to cast a difficult vote on whether to strip Greene of her posts on the Education and Labor and Budget committees.

Go deeper

GOP to use Supreme Court fight to target vulnerable Dems

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Conservatives know they're unlikely to stop President Biden from filling a Supreme Court vacancy, but they plan to target Senate Democrats who face competitive re-election fights and are all but certain to vote for the successor to Justice Stephen Breyer.

Between the lines: The general strategy will be to tie those Democrats to positions seen as political liabilities in states like Arizona, Georgia and New Hampshire, where incumbents are seeking re-election this year, an operative briefed on early strategy talks told Axios.

4 hours ago - World

U.S. and NATO answer Putin in writing while bracing for Ukraine invasion

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. Photo: Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency via Getty

The U.S. and NATO provided Russia with written proposals on Wednesday to advance a "diplomatic path forward," even as they warned that Russia could invade Ukraine within days.

Why it matters: This is a delicate diplomatic balancing act. The U.S. and NATO want to show they're serious about diplomacy but unwilling to compromise on "core principles" — all without providing Vladimir Putin with an additional pretext for escalation.

The political leanings of the Supreme Court justices

Data: Martin-Quinn scores; Chart: Axios Visuals

The Supreme Court will continue to have a solid conservative majority even with Justice Stephen Breyer's retirement.

How to read the chart: An analysis by political scientists Andrew Martin and Kevin Quinn, known as the Martin-Quinn Score, places judges on an ideological spectrum. A lower score indicates a more liberal justice, whereas a higher score indicates a more conservative justice.