White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Tuesday said that President Biden’s meeting with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) — which will come shortly after the conference moves to oust Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) from her leadership position — won’t focus on the future of the Republican Party.
During a briefing on Tuesday, Psaki was asked whether Biden thinks that the House GOP’s vote scheduled for Wednesday undermines his presidency. Republicans are pushing to oust Cheney as conference chair after she refused to bend to former President Trump’s election fraud falsehoods.
“The focus of this meeting is not on the future of the Republican Party,” Psaki replied.
“They are neither seeking, nor is he offering, his perspective on that, nor will they resolve the identity of the party, who they are, what they will stand for,” Psaki said. “That won’t be resolved in this meeting.”
Psaki added that the hope is for Biden and McCarthy to find common ground when it comes to the infrastructure package that the President is trying to push through Congress.
Psaki’s remarks come a day before the House GOP is scheduled to vote on the fate of Cheney’s leadership position. Both McCarthy and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) have come out in support of Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) to replace Cheney as the House GOP conference chair.
Although few Republicans have come out in defense of Cheney amid House Republicans’ push for her ouster, some House Republicans have been privately criticized McCarthy for the move, according to Politico Playbook.
One unnamed lawmaker told Playbook that he might vote against McCarthy for the speaker position due to his “weak leadership,” and signaled that other Republicans may do the same.
“Kevin McCarthy has pissed off enough members of his own conference that he’s going to have to go back to his former days as a whip to try to figure out where his votes are,” the Republican said. “I’d be worried if I was him.”
Watch Psaki’s remarks below: