McCarthy Claims GOPers ‘Embrace Free Thought And Debate’ While Announcing Vote To Ax Cheney

UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 30: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., conduct a news conference on the China Task Force report in the Capitol’s Rayburn Room on Wednesday, September 30, 2020. The report outlines bipartisan action to combat threats from China. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney (R-WY) conduct a news conference in the Capitols Rayburn Room on September 30, 2020. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
May 10, 2021 3:53 p.m.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) announced in a letter to his GOP colleagues on Monday that the House Republican Conference will be voting on whether to oust Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) as conference chair on Wednesday.

In the letter obtained by Punchbowl News’ Jake Sherman, McCarthy claimed that “unlike the left, we embrace free thought and debate” — as he was laying out the process of stripping someone’s leadership role for not falling in line with the GOP’s false narrative claiming the 2020 election was illegitimate.

“All members are elected to represent their constitutions as they see fit, but our leadership team cannot afford to be distracted from the important work we were elected to do and the shared goals we hope to achieve,” he wrote.

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McCarthy’s letter was issued a day after he officially declared his support for Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) to replace Cheney as House GOP conference chair, echoing House Minority Whip Steve Scalise’s (R-LA) boosting of the New York Republican.

Most prominent Republicans have refused to come to Cheney’s defense as she stands by her vehement criticism of the former president and the election fraud falsehoods he continues to push.

In addition to McCarthy and Scalise, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) dodged an opportunity to go to bat for Cheney amid Republicans’ outrage following her vote to impeach Trump for “incitement of insurrection” earlier this year, telling reporters last week that “100 percent of my focus is standing up to [the Biden] administration.”

As she emerged as a top contender to replace Cheney as House GOP conference chair, Stefanik has reportedly signaled to her GOP colleagues that she only intends to serve as Cheney’s replacement for one term. According to Politico, the New York Republican assured colleagues who are concerned about her historically more moderate voting record that she only plans to finish out the rest of the current cycle as conference chair if she is elected to replace Cheney.

Politico and CNN reported that Stefanik hopes to grab the top job on the House Education and Labor Committee in the next Congress.

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