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House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) claimed on "Fox & Friends" Tuesday that the push to oust Rep. Liz Cheney from GOP leadership is not related to her vote to impeach former President Trump, but rather her "ability to carry out the message."

Why it matters: Top Republicans have suggested that Cheney could be removed as GOP conference chair within a month, with Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), leader of the largest conservative caucus in the House, telling Axios that her continued criticisms of Trump are "an unwelcome distraction."

  • Amid the growing pressure, Cheney tweeted on Monday: "The 2020 presidential election was not stolen. Anyone who claims it was is spreading THE BIG LIE, turning their back on the rule of law, and poisoning our democratic system."

What they're saying: "No, there's no concern about how she voted on impeachment. That decision has been made," McCarthy told Fox News.

  • "I have heard from members concerned about her ability to carry out the job as conference chair, to carry out the message. We all need to be working as one if we're able to win the majority," he continued.
  • "I haven't heard members concerned about her vote on impeachment. It's more concerned about the job ability to do and what's our best step forward that we can all work together instead of attacking one another."

The other side: "This is about whether the Republican Party is going to perpetuate lies about the 2020 election and attempt to whitewash what happened on Jan 6. Liz will not do that. That is the issue," a Cheney spokesperson said in a statement.

The backdrop: When Cheney faced an uprising within the party in February over her vote to impeach 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.
  • McCarthy also privately tried to get Cheney to apologize in February for how she handled her vote to impeach Trump — a request she refused, as Axios reported at the time. Despite what McCarthy claims, many House Republicans are in fact angry at how she voted.

Go deeper: House Republicans already plotting Cheney replacement

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.

May 4, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Scoop: GOP wants to replace Cheney with another woman

Via Twitter

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.

Updated Apr 30, 2021 - Axios Events

Watch: A conversation on Biden's first 100 days

On Friday, April 30, Axios political reporter Hans Nichols and congressional reporter Alayna Treene hosted a discussion on President Biden's first 100 days in office, featuring Sen. John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.) and House Minority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.).

Sen. Hickenlooper unpacked bipartisan policy efforts, economic recovery after COVID-19, and climate change initiatives impacting the state of Colorado.

  • On Biden's American Rescue Plan: "He could not get a bipartisan, collaborative bill for the recovery plan...I think he did what he should have done, which is to put a bill together that would not just win the battle against COVID-19, but get us out of this recession."
  • On what he's hearing from Republican colleagues behind closed doors: "What they're saying publicly is pretty much what I'm hearing privately now. Sometimes they will handicap what the probability is of what they think their caucus will do on a specific issue...But I think they're being candid and honest."

Rep. Scalise discussed the Biden administration's infrastructure bill and tension between House GOP leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy and third-ranking Republican Rep. Liz Cheney.

  • On an infrastructure bill he would support: "The plans that I've seen that I like and would support would be plans that are fully paid for without new taxes. And what I mean by that is prioritizing existing federal dollars. There are some good plans that do that."
  • On President Trump's role in the Republican party: "President Trump is still a very active part of our party and a vocal leader in our party... So this idea that you just disregard President Trump is not where we are. And frankly, he has a lot to offer still and has offered what he wants to help us win the House back."

Axios Chief Revenue Officer Fabricio Drumond will hosted a View from the Top segment with Bank of America Global Environmental Executive Alex Liftman, who discussed President Biden's policy initiatives around climate change and the role of the private sector in focusing capital in these areas.

  • "[Addressing] big global issues like climate change...has led us to have a trillion-dollar goal over the next 10 years to help our clients to decarbonize...We need to drive a lot of capital to those existing technologies and help sectors, principally high carbon sectors, to implement those technologies."

Thank you Bank of America for sponsoring this event.