House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., will not support an effort to oust Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., from her leadership role, it was confirmed Thursday.
A spokesman for McCarthy said the leader would not join fellow Republicans who have called for Cheney's removal as chairwoman after she voted to impeach President Donald Trump.
Cheney and 9 other Republicans joined Democrats on Wednesday in voting to impeach Trump for inciting last week's riot at the U.S. Capitol that left five people dead.
House Freedom Caucus Chairman Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., and Rep. Matt Rosendale, R-Mont., began circulating a petition to have the conference remove Cheney from her leadership position. She is the No. 3 Republican in the House and highest-ranking GOP woman.
"When Rep. Cheney came out for impeachment [Wednesday], she failed to consult with the conference, failed to abide by the spirit of the rules of the Republican Conference, and ignored the preferences of Republican voters," Rosendale wrote in a statement Wednesday. "She is weakening our conference at a key moment for personal political gain and is unfit to lead. She must step down as conference chair."
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, one of Trump's House supporters, announced he will join others in the effort to oust Cheney. Jordan argued the conference should hold a vote.
Cheney said she did not plan to step down from her leadership position.
"I'm not going anywhere," she said Wednesday. "This is a vote of conscience. It's one where there are different views in our conference. But our nation is facing an unprecedented, since the civil war, constitutional crisis.
"That's what we need to be focused on. That's where our efforts and attention need to be."
House conservatives need 20% of the GOP conference to sign the petition to start the process of demoting Cheney.
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